$12.8M Awarded to Support R&D at Capital Region Tech Firms
Capital Region technology firms received more than 18 percent more in federal R&D seed funding, totaling $12.8 million in fiscal 2017, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of data on SBIR.gov.
SBIR and STTP Programs
Eight Capital Region firms received $10.6 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds and four firms received $2.2 million in Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funds. The goal of the SBIR program is to, stimulate innovation at small businesses to meet the R&D needs of the federal government, whereas the STTR program aims “to facilitate the transfer of technology developed by a research institution through the entrepreneurship of a small business concern.” Eleven federal agencies participate in the SBIR program and five in the STTR program.
A quarter of the SBIR and STTR funds ($3.3 million) was for phase I funding, which supports proof of concept and feasibility research. The remainder ($9.5 million) was for phase II funding, which covers the continued development and pre-commercialization of technologies. Regionally, federal agencies awarded 24 SBIR grants, compared to 17 the previous year. Fourteen of last year’s SBIR grants went to Kitware, an open source software developer in Clifton Park. Agencies awarded five STTR grants to Capital Region firms, compared to four the previous year.
SBIR awardees included the following:
- Actasys: $122,467
- Ecovative Design: $222,463
- Free Form Fibers: $1,122,464
- Glauconix: $872,470
- Kitware: $6,844,956
- Mobius Labs: $122,472
- Mohawk Innovative Technology: $1,121,621
- Pulmokine: $122,474
STTR Awardees included the following:
- HocusLocus: $733,711
- Kitware: $299,959
- My Music Machines: $999,500
- Simmetrix: $149,448
Actasys in Watervliet received funding from NASA to collaborate with the University of California, Los Angeles and Princeton University for the development of a model-based environment for the advancement of design and performance validation of active flow control (AFC) technology using synthetic jet actuators. Actasys’ AFC technology can make tractor trailers more aerodynamic and reduce their fuel consumption.
Ecovative Design in Green Island received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to research the growth and production of fungal resin for formaldehyde-free wood particleboard.
Glauconix in Albany received phase II funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the development of a high-throughput drug screening system for eye diseases.
Kitware in Clifton Park received Department of Health and Human Services funding for the development of an integrated open source web-based data analytics platform that will employ machine learning to mine social media channels for information on chronic disease. The firm is collaborating with the University at Albany.
Mobious Labs in Rexford is using an NSF grant to develop an Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Water Management System (SWMS), a type of “smoke alarm” that employs artificial intelligence and water usage data to warn consumers, building owners or municipalities of leaks in appliances or water fixtures or systems.
CEG Technology Acceleration Solutions
As a regional technology center under the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, CEG’s Business Growth Solutions unit offers a menu of technology acceleration services for Capital Region startups and established firms, including:
• Tech Scouting to search for solutions;
• Technology Driven Market Intelligence to understand markets;
• Engagement of NYSTAR Innovation Assets for testing and development;
• Funding assistance via state and federal programs such as NYSERDA, SBIR, STTR and other funding opportunities;
• Access to labs, office space, and other facilities affiliated with Innovate 518; and
• Venture pitch coaching and opportunities via the VentureB Series.
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