- The National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded $3 million to 15 small businesses across nine states in December as part of the Small Business Innovation Research Program.
- The funds will be used for R&D and tech-based commercialization projects, such as advancements in semiconductors, drug development and flexible electronics manufacturing.
- Awards were granted in two phases — awardees received up to $100,000 for phase one projects and up to $400,000 for phase two projects.
The chosen proposals are meant to address specific technical needs within NIST's research focuses, including advanced communications, cybersecurity and privacy, health and biological systems measurements and advanced manufacturing.
Phase I funds are intended to “establish the merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of their proposed research and development.” Following the completion of phase one projects, awardees have the opportunity to seek phase two funding of up to $400,000. NIST may offer a third round of funding, dependent on non-Small Business Innovation Research program funds for technology commercialization.
In April, NIST requested a $1.6 billion budget from Congress for fiscal year 2024, including $358.5 million for new programmatic initiatives and facilities improvements, according to NIST. Congress passed a deal on the FY2024 budget Sunday, though the final legislation to codify the funding is still in progress, The Washington Post reported.
December’s $3 million is part of a much larger bundle of federal funding from the Biden administration to develop the country’s domestic semiconductor and high-tech manufacturing sectors, including the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act.
The Department of Commerce opened a $500 million round of funding from the CHIPS and Science Act for small-scale supply chain projects and businesses in September. In October, the Department of Energy offered small- and medium-sized manufacturers $22 million to make high-grade computing and smart technology accessible to smaller businesses.
Phase I Awardees