NOAA invests $16M in small business innovation

The NOAA Small Business Innovation Research Program has awarded approximately $16 million in grants to 47 U.S. small businesses. This seed funding will support research and development of innovative technologies across NOAA’s mission. The winning proposals span multiple research topic areas, including climate change adaptation and mitigation, coastal resilience, and extreme weather events, among others.

This year, 30 companies were each awarded up to $175,000 in Phase I startup capital to test the feasibility of their proposed technologies over the next 6 months. Small businesses were selected to receive funding based on the scientific and technical merit, level of innovation, and commercial potential of their proposed technologies. NOAA Phase I awards totaled approximately $5.2 million, and investments were spread across 18 states. 20 percent of the awards were made to first-time SBIR awardees, and about 17 percent of the selected companies qualify as women-owned or small disadvantaged businesses. 

“The seed funding provided by the NOAA SBIR Program is critical for driving innovation across NOAA’s weather, water, and climate mission areas” said Steve Thur, Ph.D., NOAA assistant administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. “NOAA SBIR awards also support the establishment and growth of small businesses and startups working on key challenges.” 

NOAA has also invested approximately $11.1 million in follow-on Phase II funding for 17 small businesses. NOAA Phase II awards are funded at a maximum of $650,000 over 2 years. The NOAA Phase II competition is open to small businesses that completed a NOAA SBIR Phase I project, and offers an opportunity for high-performing small businesses to expand on promising Phase I proof of concept testing and further develop the technologies toward commercialization. 

“Our program supports projects that have strong potential to deliver social, environmental, and economic benefits for the American public” said Genevieve Lind, Ph.D., NOAA SBIR Program Manager. “We are thrilled to be investing in innovative technologies that will address significant environmental challenges as they move toward commercial viability.”

The 2023 NOAA SBIR awardees and their project titles are listed below, sorted by topic area. Additional information about the selected small businesses and proposed technologies, including project abstracts, can be found here.

SBIR Phase I Awardees

Extreme Events and Cascading Hazards
Anuma Aerospace, LLCPersistently Elevated Gas-free Aerostatic Sensor Utility System (PEGASUS)
CFD Research CorporationDeveloping the Drought Risk Overview Product (DROP): Improving Flash Drought Forecasts and Early Warning Using Machine Learning and Extreme Value Theory Techniques
Climate Forecast Applications Network, LLCApplications of AI to Ensemble Forecasts of Compound Extreme Weather Events in Support of Operational Adaptation of Electric Utilities
Metron, Inc.EXCLAIM: a Decision Support Toolkit to Mitigate Impacts of Cascading Climate Hazards
SPEC Sensors dba Interlink Electronics, Inc.Low-Cost, Low-Power Sensor Nodes for Monitoring Air Quality Impacted by Wildfire Smoke
Stratos Solutions, Inc.AeroLite Sense: Atmospheric Aerosols and Particulates Observations from the Stratosphere
Synthetik Applied Technologies, LLCUrbanScale: Physics Informed Deep Learning Framework to Generate High-Resolution Urban Temperature Data
Yankee Environmental Systems, Inc.Smokesonde: Low-Cost In-Situ Sampling of Smoke and Convective Storm Intensity Supporting Fire Weather and Incident Meteorology
Coastal Resilience
Connectsix, LLCTime-Gated Optical Oceanographic Sensors (TGOOS)
Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.Low SWaP, UxS-Mounted System for In-Situ Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms
LineSpect, LLCHABCamera Harmful Algae Bloom Predictor
WaiHome, LLCAffordable Wastewater Disposal for Coastal Households Adapting to Sea Level Rise
The Changing Ocean
Applied Ocean SciencesA Visibility Risk-Assessment Tool for Maritime Operations
FarSounder, Inc.Enabling Expanded Crowdsourced Bathymetry Contributions With High-Quality Metadata via Commercially Sustainable Incentives to Contributors
Oceanit Laboratories, Inc.Carbon-Negative Oceanit Reef for Aquatic Life (CORAL) Surveying via Hyperspectral Imaging-Equipped Littoral Drones (SHIELD)
Pacific Hybreed, Inc.Family-Based Breeding for Production of Higher-Yielding Manila Clam Seed
Viable Gear, LLCSeaweed-Based Bioplastic Replacement for Commercial Lobster Fishing Gear
Water Availability, Quality, and Risk
DeepSpace Technologies, Inc.An Ultrawideband RFI-Mitigating Software Defined Radiometer
Hydrosat, Inc.Hydrosat: Next Generation High-Resolution Daily Surface Temperature for Interconnected Earth Processes
Salient Predictions, Inc.Machine Learning and Ocean Variables for Improved Predictions of Water Availability in the U.S.
Transcend Engineering and Technology, LLCIncreasing Water Use Efficiency by Addressing Sensor Cost Barriers Using Novel Technology
Upstream, PBCHydroForecast Seasonal: Improving Operational Water Supply Forecasts to Enable Risk-Based Decisions and Planning
Effects of Space Weather
Atlantis Industries, Inc.Atlantis AI Based Long Range Space Weather Prediction System
Ensemble Government Services, LLCDeveloping a Proof-of-Concept Neutral Density Monitoring and Alert Service for Satellite Operators.
NeXolve Holding CompanyActive Material Technology to Improve Solar Sail Performance for Space Weather Monitoring
NextGen Federal Systems, LLCMachine Intelligence for Space Weather (MINTS)
Orbotic Systems, Inc.In-Situ Space Weather Analysis
Space Environment TechnologiesNitric Oxide Measurements to Improve Atmospheric Densities (NOMAD)
Monitoring and Modeling for Climate Change Mitigation
Jaia Robotics, Inc.Sea Air Boundary Energy Transfer Measurements Using Micro-Sized UxVs
Space Balloon Technologies Corp.Controlled Altitude Ballooning for Monitoring Energetic Particle Effects on the Atmosphere

SBIR Phase II Awardees

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
AirMettle, Inc.Accelerated In-Storage Analysis of Multi-Dimensional Data
Weather-Ready Nation
60Hertz, Inc.Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Based Algorithms for Predictive Maintenance Using NOAA Data Sets for Renewable Energy Assets
ACME AtronOmatic, LLC dba MyRadarOrbital Wildfire Resilience (OWR)
Dragoon Technology, LLCSingle-Use Uncrewed Aircraft with Oceanic Range
Improving Aviation, LLCNowcasting Wildfire Ember Risk in the WUI with WindTL
Intellisense Systems, Inc.Flood Location and Alerting
Morphobotics LLC dba Robotics 88Autonomous Environmental UAV Survey System for Wildfire Assessments
Weathervane Labs, LLCNovel Personal Thermal Comfort Models for Weather-Ready Decision-Making
Healthy Oceans
Aerodyne Research, Inc.Novel Probes for Real-Time Monitoring of Dissolved Gasses and their Isotopologues in Aquatic Ecosystems
Ai.FishCloud-Based Automated Electronic Monitoring for Fisheries of the Future
Biospherical Instruments, Inc.Innovative UV Biofouling Mitigation Technique for In-water Optical Sensors
Blue Ocean Gear, Inc.Enabling Data Measurements Using Smart Buoy Technology On Fishing Gear
Coastal Ocean Vision, Inc.In-Situ and Point-of-Sale Quantification of Human Pathogens Associated with Aquaculture and Shellfish Farming Using Novel Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Field Data Services, LLCAutomated Monitoring of Salmonids in Streams with New Solid-State LiDar
FPN, LLCDevelopment and Evaluation of Peroxide Free Finfish Nursery Feeds with Active DHA-Synthase Enzyme (DSe)
Ocean’s Balance, Inc.Sustainable Seed Production for North Atlantic Kelp Aquaculture
Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies
Geometric Data AnalyticsDeployment Planning, Monitoring, and Navigation for Uncrewed Systems

Businesses that are selected to receive NOAA seed funding are encouraged to take part in NOAA’s 2-year Commercialization Assistance Program, which helps innovators transition their SBIR-developed products to the commercial marketplace. The program provides one-on-one mentoring with industry-specific business consultants, as well as training opportunities on topics such as developing business plans and marking strategies. 

The culmination of this program is the NOAA SBIR Demo Day event, during which current Phase II award winners showcase their technologies and hone their business pitches in front of a panel of industry and business development experts. The next Demo Day will be hosted in Los Angeles in December 2023, and will feature companies that received Phase II seed funding in 2022. NOAA hosted a separate Demo Day event in Washington D.C earlier this summer, which featured companies that received NOAA SBIR Phase II awards in 2021. 

NOAA expects to announce the FY2024 SBIR Phase I Notice of Funding Opportunity in October 2023. To learn about upcoming NOAA SBIR events, workshops, and funding opportunities, please sign up for the NOAA SBIR email list and follow the NOAA Technology Partnerships Office on LinkedIn and Twitter @NOAAinnovate

Media contact: Suzi Webster