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26/04/2013 11:09pm

NASA chooses SMEs for innovative research and technology projects

image NASA chooses SMEs for innovative research and technology projects
New Delhi, Apr 26 (KNN) Now its NASA, one of the world’s biggest space centres which has selected small businesses for innovative research and technology projects.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected 44 additional proposals from 42 small high-technology companies to enter into negotiations for Phase 2 contract awards through the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, according to NASA’s official release. 

Valued at about USD 30.7 million, these selections complement 39 Phase 2 proposals announced in November. 

"These additional Phase 2 SBIR selections continue the successful legacy of the SBIR program to bring needed new technologies to NASA and the American marketplace," said associate administrator for space technology at NASA Headquarters Michael J Gazarik in Washington.

"Small businesses are the innovation incubators of the new global technology economy. These companies conduct the early stage research and development that enables future NASA missions in aeronautics, science, and exploration,” he added.

NASA's SBIR Program joined hands with small businesses to catalyze efforts to develop new technologies to support the agency's technology needs. The program addresses specific technology gaps in agency missions and also strives to complement other NASA research investments. 

In addition to meeting NASA's needs, the Phase 2 proposals also provide innovative research in areas that have commercial applications.

SBIR is a competitive, awards-based program that encourages United States small businesses to engage in federal research and development and bring new technologies to the global marketplace. It enables businesses to explore new technologies and potentially profit from development of new commercial products and services. 

SBIR's three-phase award system provides qualified small businesses, including those owned by women and the disadvantaged, with opportunities to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the federal government. 

Phase 1 is a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea. Awards last as long as six months. The selected Phase 2 projects will expand on the results of Phase 1 projects selected last year, with as much as USD 700,000 to support research lasting as long as two years. Phase 3 is for the commercialization of the results of Phase 2 and requires the use of private sector or non-SBIR federal funding. 

NASA's Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, Calif., manages the SBIR Program for the agency's Space Technology Program. NASA's 10 field centres manage individual projects. 

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is innovating, developing, testing, and flying technology for use in NASA's future missions and the greater aerospace community. (KNN)
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