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NIST Awards $4 Million for 2018 Small Businesses Innovation Research Program

GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded $4 million in grants to 21 small businesses to support innovative technology development.

Awardees in 15 states will receive Phase I or Phase II funding through NIST’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The competitively selected awardees submitted proposals in response to NIST’s call for innovations in nine specific technology areas, including cybersecurity and privacy, physical infrastructure and resilience, and data and modeling.

“The NIST SBIR Program is an opportunity for small companies and entrepreneurial start-ups to contribute to the important mission of NIST, advancing measurement science and technologies in ways that enhance economic growth,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “These awards demonstrate the innovative potential of small businesses, which are engines of U.S. commerce and employment. More than 80 percent of the awards are going to companies with fewer than 20 employees, and over half of the awardee companies are fewer than 10 years old.”

Phase I awardees receive up to $100,000 to establish the merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed research and development. After completing their Phase I projects, awardees may vie for Phase II funding of up to $300,000 to continue their efforts. In Phase III, non-SBIR funds are used for technology commercialization.

The NIST SBIR program has supported the development and advancement of a variety of technologies in fields including cybersecurity, manufacturing, the “internet of things” and more.

The 2018 Phase I awardees are:

Advanced Communications, Networks, and Scientific Data Systems

Pollere, Inc. (San Mateo, California) $99,697
Secure Role-Based System for Distributed Network Measurement – a flexible measurement system for information networks that can ensure the privacy of data and role-based authorization. It can also help users prevent and quickly recover from costly downtime.

Advanced Manufacturing and Material Measurements

Advanced Silicon Group (Lincoln, Massachusetts) $100,000
Measuring the Concentration of Host-Cell Proteins in Biomanufacturing Using Silicon Nanowire Array Sensors – a low-cost quantitative sensor for biomanufacturing that can help improve the quality and safety of biopharmaceuticals.

Applied NanoFluorescence, LLC (Houston, Texas) $99,970
Multimode Chiroptical Spectrometer for Nanoparticle Characterization – a new scientific instrument that will enable fast, sensitive and quantitative analysis of complex nanoparticle samples, including their right or left “handedness,” which can have dramatic biological effects.

H3D, Inc. (Ann Arbor, Michigan) $100,000
Dual Plane 3D Compton Scattering Imager with Pixelated CZT Detectors for 1-10MeV Gamma Ray – a prototype imaging system that can be used to create 3D maps of materials for analysis, nondestructive testing and medical applications.

OG Technologies, Inc. (Washtenaw, Michigan) $100,000
Manufacturing Data Compiler for Visualization Based on Engineering-Driven Machine Learning – a data analytics and visualization software tool designed to bridge the gap between available data and the information demanded by users in manufacturing settings.

Senvol LLC (New York, New York) $99,946
Continuous Learning for Additive Manufacturing Processes Through Advanced Data Analytics – a data analytics software tool and robust additive manufacturing data schema to structure multiple types of data, including in-situ monitoring data, microstructure data and nondestructive testing data.

Cybersecurity and Privacy

CyberPoint International (Baltimore, Maryland) $81,740
TheSieve – a forensic analysis tool that uses machine learning techniques to classify electronic files as malicious or benign and can suggest files for closer inspection.

InfoBeyond Technology, LLC (Louisville, Kentucky) $100,000
Leveraging the Cyber Security Framework to Identify the SP 800-53 Security and Privacy Controls for Cloud‐Based Information Systems – a user‐friendly, efficient, reliable and generic tool that assists in implementing integrated, organization‐wide programs to manage information security risk.

Exploratory Measurement Science

Alphacore, Inc. (Tempe, Arizona) $99,942
IF Conversion System for High-Bandwidth Multiplexed Sensors Arrays – a single-board intermediate frequency conversion system for certain types of sensor arrays that are used for medical imaging, radio telescopy, nuclear nonproliferation detection and more.

Nikira Labs Inc. (Mountain View, California) $99,962
Compact Raman Fiber Optic Probe with Inline Spectral Filtering – a compact probe to improve fiber-coupled Raman measurements for applications such as research and development, in vivo medical procedures and noninvasive blood glucose monitoring.

Physical Infrastructure and Resilience

Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (Norwalk, Connecticut) $97,883
Self-Configuring Residential Conditioned Air Zoning System for Low-Energy Homes – a system that allows the configuration and control of conditioned air zones throughout a house to control air flow and optimize comfort and energy use.

The Phase II awardees are:

Collaborations and Partnership

En'Urga, Inc. (West Lafayette, Indiana) $300,000
Optical Device for Sorting Particles by Size – a prototype device to estimate the size of minute drops that will enable quality audits of advanced spray nozzles and fuel injectors.

Data and Modeling

MBSE Tools, Inc. (Alpharetta, Georgia) $300,000
Developing Model-Based Tools for the Design and Improvement of Manufacturing Systems – software tools that can provide answers to fundamental business questions about product selection, resource planning, scheduling and logistical control to support the design and improvement of manufacturing systems.

Metrosage, LLC (Volcano, California) $300,000
Interactive Software Tools for Processing QIFformatted Part Models to Generate Realistic and Accurate Measurement Plans and Programs in Standard Digital Languages – free, open source tools that will demonstrate the maturity of the ANSI Quality Information Framework for manufacturing and facilitate development of commercial applications.

Precision Measurements

ColdQuanta, Inc. (Boulder, Colorado) $300,000
Compact Vapor Cell Technology for Rydberg‐Atom RF Metrology – compact, stemless glass vapor cells designed specifically for high-accuracy radio frequency electric field measurement with highly energized “Rydberg” atoms.

Low Thermal Electronics, Inc. (Itasca, Texas) $298,499
Precision 10 kV Programmable Voltage Source – a stand-alone, programmable voltage source that will improve state-of-the-art measurements in high resistance, high voltage and potentially other research and metrology applications that require precision voltages between 1,000 and 10,000 volts.

Tetramer Technologies, LLC (Pendleton, South Carolina) $299,951
Rational Design of sub-100-nm Polystyrene Particles with a Low Coefficient of Variation in Size –a synthetic method to produce and purify highly uniform 100-nm and sub-100-nm diameter nanoparticles for use as latex size standards for applications such as the calibration of electron microscopes, particle counters and contamination monitors used in the semiconductor industry.


Cadre Research Labs, LLC (Chicago, Illinois) $299,400
Development, Validation, and Implementation of CMC Algorithm into a Software Platform for Firearm Analysis – implementation of a NIST-developed comparison algorithm for firearm forensics into a commercially available tool.

Nikira Labs, Inc. (Santa Clara, California) $299,424
Large Field of View Microscope for Rapid, High-Resolution Imaging – a high-resolution microscope that can rapidly image a large field of view for multiple imaging modes and can provide imaging of individual cells.

SIFT, LLC (Smart Information Flow Technologies) (Minneapolis, Minnesota) $299,928
ISABEL - Integrated Secure Automated Bug Extraction List – a tool that can automatically detect software bugs, understand their characteristics, and categorize them according to the evolving NIST Bugs Framework.

XpressRules, LLC (Spokane, Washington) $300,000
XpressRules-PM: Commercial Implementation of PM/NGAC – a natural language-based toolkit for implementing New Generation Access Control, an effective and scalable approach for deploying “smart” access control and consent solutions in dynamic scenarios such as those found in health care, banking, law enforcement and more.

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. NIST is a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. To learn more about NIST, visit

Released August 21, 2018, Updated August 30, 2018