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NIST Announces FY 2014 Small Business Innovation Research Awards

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded more than $2.2 million in Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards to 15 companies. The recipients conduct research in cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, health care, manufacturing and technology transfer.

"We congratulate the awardees, who were selected from numerous technically excellent applications," said Phillip Singerman, NIST associate director for Innovation and Industry Services. "They represent eight different states and range in size from one to more than 200 employees. Their innovative research helps keep America competitive."

NIST SBIR awards are funded through a competitive process. In Phase I, small businesses can receive up to $90,000 to establish merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed research and development. Phase I awardees can vie for Phase II funding of up to $300,000 that enables them to continue their efforts. In Phase III, non-SBIR funds are used for commercialization of the technology.

The Phase I awardees are:

Cyber-Physical Systems
Management Sciences, Inc. (Albuquerque, N.M.) $89,988
Cognitive Residential Heat Pump Fault Detection and Diagnostic Datalogger—a technology that would improve the efficiency of home heat pumps and reduce maintenance costs through a combination of advanced computer control technologies to optimize performance and detect equipment wear or failure.

Cybersecurity
Antara Teknik LLC (Granite Bay, Calif.) $89,972
Cryptographic Acceleration for Border Gateway Protocol Security (CaBGPSEC)—a low-power, low-cost, efficient and highly secure router that could secure a key component of the Internet infrastructure.

Grier Forensics (Lakewood, N.J.) $90,000
Secure Email Agent Using the Domain Name System (DNS) as a Trust Infrastructure—a technology to distribute certificates and keys, making email secure, authenticated and confidential.

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (Watertown, Mass.) $89,997
Low-Noise, High-Efficiency Geiger Photodiode for Quantum Cryptography—a highly efficient photodiode that can be used in advanced photodetectors for various low-light applications such as quantum cryptography, in which single photons must be detected.

Health Care
En'Urga Inc. (West Lafayette, Ind.) $90,000
Combined Extinction/Fluorescence Absorption Diagnostics for Pharmaceutical Sprays—a method to audit the quality of sprays used to deliver medicine, such as from inhalers and machines that coat tablets, to help pharmaceutical manufacturers meet quality audit protocols.

High Precision Devices (Boulder, Colo.) $89,996
Optimization of the NIST/UCSF Breast Phantom for Quantitative MRI—a manufacturing process to provide cost-effective and shelf-stable NIST-designed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phantoms, which are devices used to calibrate MRI systems used in breast cancer research studies and clinical settings.

Physical Optics Corporation (Torrance, Calif.) $89,957
Aerosolized Vaccine Dose Analysis (AVIDA) System—a new system that can identify droplet/particle size and the concentration of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in each droplet of inhaled vaccines.

The Phantom Laboratory (Greenwich, N.Y.) $90,000
Production of NIST/UCSF Breast Phantom for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)—the proposed phantom is one of several recently developed to address the needs for reliable test tools for quality control in quantitative imaging work.

Manufacturing
Luminit, LLC (Torrance, Calif.) $89,493
Tunable Electro-Optic Laser Scanner (TEOLS)—for a rapid 3D LADAR imager for machine vision and monitoring of manufacturing processes, as well as applications in health care, telecommunications and defense.

Luminit, LLC (Torrance, Calif.) $89,623
Spectrally Pure Eye-Safe Laser (SPESL)—a rugged and easy-to-use laser for the detection of carbon dioxide, methane and other gaseous pollutants for applications in fields including manufacturing, spectrometry and computing.

SouthWest NanoTechnologies (Norman, Okla.) $89,957
Scale-Up of ATPE Technology to Produce Highly Enriched Semiconducting SWCNTs—this technology would demonstrate the ability to separate semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) to achieve the quantities required for commercial applications in integrated circuits, optical switches, chemical transistors and more.

Technology Transfer
Seacoast Science, Inc. (Carlsbad, Calif.) $90,000
Thermo-focusing Chromatography­–High Sensitivity Chromatography for Chemical Analysis—a NIST-patented technology, "Recirculating Temperature Wave Focusing Chromatography," will be licensed by Seacoast with the goal of using the method in a unique, low-cost gas chromatograph for environmental pollution monitoring.

The Phase II awardees are:

Cybersecurity
Gener8 (Sunnyvale, Calif.) $299,967
Bragg Grating Enhanced Narrowband Single Photon SPDC Source—an innovative fabrication method for a NIST-designed Bragg Grating that would allow production of entangled single photon sources for the study of advanced quantum communications applications.

Manufacturing
High Precision Devices, Inc. (Boulder, Colo.) $299,650
Flowing Water Optical Power Meter for Laser Measurements—a power meter for continuous wave higher power lasers traceable to a NIST primary standard.

RadiaBeam Technologies, LLC (Santa Monica, Calif.) $300,000
Digital Micromirror Device Detection Scheme for Transmission Scanning Electron Microscopy—a prototype detector for effective nanoscale material characterization for manufacturing.

SynTouch LLC (Los Angeles, Calif.) $299,760
Advanced Tactile Sensing for Dexterous Robot Hands in Industrial Automation and Assembly—new ways to measure robotic grasper dexterity and to evaluate new tactile sensory technology to allow greater dexterity for advanced applications in industrial automation and assembly.

The SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 under the Small Business Innovation Development Act and has been extended through Sept. 30, 2017. Visit NIST's SBIR program homepage for more information.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov.

Released September 15, 2014, Updated January 8, 2018