NASA knows well that not all breakthroughs in space research come via R&D divisions of major corporations.
So the space agency has selected 137 research and technology proposals from 117 small businesses and research institutions across the U.S. to support NASA’s deep-space missions in the decades ahead. The agency received a total 323 proposals since last year’s solicitation for Small Business Innovation Research awards.
The businesses and institutions selected will work on 134 proposals and receive $104.3 million in NASA funding.
Projects run from six months to two years, with individual awards of $125,000 to $750,000. The agency said proposals were selected primarily on the basis of technical merit and feasibility.
“These proposals represent the entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses that fuel our economy and create jobs on Main Street,” said Steve Jurczyk, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “The dollar value of these innovation projects represents an investment in the American economy.”
The R&D projects span the fields of aeronautics, space-tech and space exploration. Product applications include proposals for mission-management software, 3-D printing mechanisms, optical tools for planetary exploration and facility-monitoring systems, among others.
The SBIR program is based at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California.