NIST Awards More Than $3.5 Million to High-Tech Small Businesses to Support Innovations in Manufacturing

colorized image of carbon nanotubes
Colorized micrograph image of carbon nanotubes. Iowa-based small business Zymosense will use its SBIR funding to conduct a proof-of-concept demonstration of a NIST-developed process to separate a certain type of single-walled carbon nanotubes. These nanotubes have many applications in energy storage and conductive films and coatings.


GAITHERSBURG, Md. – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded more than $3.5 million in funding to 17 U.S. small businesses for advancing technologies in manufacturing, privacy, medical diagnostics and more.

The funding was awarded through NIST’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and goes to businesses in 10 states. The competitively selected proposals were submitted in response to a call for innovative products addressing specific technical needs in areas including advanced communications, cybersecurity and privacy, health and biological systems measurements and advanced manufacturing.

Phase I awardees will 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 $400,000 to continue their efforts. Phase III relies on non-SBIR funds for technology commercialization.

2021 Phase I SBIR Awardees

AI Solutions LLC (Lisle, Illinois) $99,585

Development of a Deep Learning Model for Predicting and Correcting Sintering Deformation of Printed Metal Components – a feasibility study for developing a baseline model for the deformation process so that deformations in 3D-printed parts can be predicted and proactively corrected.

ChemCubed LLC (Stony Brook, New York) $99,915

Nanocomposite Dielectric Material for Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Printed Circuitry – a nanocomposite material that would serve as insulating layers between circuits and masking material for soldering.

Colloidal Metrics Corp. (Mountain View, California) $100,000

Innovative Emulsion Polymerization Manufacture of Dual-Function, Nanoscale Calibration Spheres Over the Range of 100 to 400 nm Diameter – a size standard and particle concentration reference material for nanoscale particle size and concentration measurements.

Exum Instruments Inc. (Denver, Colorado) $99,916

An Innovative Mass Spectrometer to Simplify Materials Characterization for Additive Manufacturing – a tool for measuring the chemical properties of feedstock powders that would eliminate the need for external laboratory testing.

Glow Biosciences LLC (Columbia, Missouri) $100,000

Portable Optical System for Preclinical Monitoring of Biological Processes in Nontransgenic Animals – to apply portable bioluminescent technology to study important biological functions such as metabolite uptake and microbiota function.

Irradient Technologies Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts) $99,991

High Throughput Experimental Discovery and Optimization for 3D Nanofabrication of Optical & Photonic Materials and Devices – demonstration of a 3D nanofabrication platform for manufacturing optical and photonic devices.

Miami Valley Materials Testing Center (Tipp City, Ohio) $106,500

Novel Multilayer Material Adhesion Test for Additive Manufacturing – a research project to evaluate “push-pin testing,” which is used to characterize multilayer delamination in ultrasonic additive manufacturing.

Multiscale Systems Inc. (Worcester, Massachusetts) $100,000

Contact-Free Optical Metrology for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing of Mechanical Metamaterials – a feasibility study for a noncontact, optical measurement method for recycled PTEG plastic panels that would reduce power consumption during fabrication.

Stealth Software Technologies Inc. (Los Angeles, California) $99,989

ANISE: ANalytics and statistics with Information SEcurity – a prototype software platform that will protect the privacy of data from multiple sources, enabling secure statistical computations on datasets that cannot be shared.

Xallent LLC (Ithaca, New York) $106,500

Nano-Electro-Mechanical-Systems Probe for Thin Film Materials – a feasibility demonstration of a system for atomic imaging and sheet resistance characterization of thin films and semiconductor devices.

Zymosense Inc. (Ames, Iowa) $100,000

Automated Aqueous Two-Phase (ATP) Extraction for Low Cost and Scalable Sorting of Chiral-Pure Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes – proof-of-concept demonstration for automating the NIST-developed ATP system for separating chiral pure single-walled carbon nanotubes.

2021 Phase II SBIR Awardees

Airflow Sciences Corporation (Livonia, Michigan) $400,000

Advanced Measurement Probe System for Non-Nulling Stack Velocity Testing – a system capable of full-scale emissions testing of industrial plant smokestacks to allow them to more accurately quantify and minimize pollution emissions. During Phase II, Airflow will select a test site to prove out the system and verify operation.

NanoElectronic Imaging Inc. (Riverside, California) $400,000

A High-Precision Three-Dimensional Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) Imaging System – a thickness mapping system that will extend the TEM’s usual 2D submillimeter imaging resolution into the third dimension with comparable precision to provide a fully 3D, high-resolution imaging capability that could prove valuable for applications in the semiconductor industry.

Poseidon Systems LLC (Rochester, New York) $395,582

Portable Grease Characterization Device – a hand-held device that will allow sampling of grease to determine the amount of wear in critical bearing components of many types of machines. The device could reduce maintenance times while increasing understanding of the condition of equipment used for power generation (including wind turbines), mining, oil and gas extraction, and more.

RedShred LLC (Baltimore, Maryland) $400,000

ENT: Extended Nestor Tagging – in Phase I, RedShred developed a cloud-based platform that enables natural language processing (NLP) and ranking of unstructured text data from manufacturing data logs. In Phase II the company will add enterprise management and analysis capabilities to accelerate adoption of NLP technologies in manufacturing.

STF Technologies LLC (Newark, Delaware) $400,000

High-Throughput, High-Pressure Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) Sample Environment – new system that will enable higher throughput at neutron facilities and provide both users and instrument scientists a uniform experience across facilities and SANS instruments.

WW Technology Group Inc. (Ellicott City, Maryland) $400,000

Model-Based Application of NIST Cybersecurity Standards – a digital tool that will help organizations better understand and apply existing, evolving and new NIST standards.

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