Spring 2020 Newsletter



Volume 14, Number 1 | Spring 2020


Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program

In This Issue

  • Intro
  • Key Program Milestones 
  • Small Business Resources: COVID-19 
  • Sign up for I-Corps 
  • Phase II-E Option Eligible Window 
  • Companies Supporting COVID-19 Relief 
  • Other Opportunities 
  • Success Stories
  • NASA Spinoff Features SBIR/STTR
  • Events 

Hello, Innovators

Jenn Gustetic

The 2020 Phase I solicitation period closed on April 20. This year we received an increase in submissions of more than 14% compared to last year! Thank you for all your meaningful work preparing proposals for this year’s solicitation. Small businesses are the core of our program, and your innovations and perseverance during this unprecedented situation inspire us to work hard towards our mission and vision—empowering you to deliver technological innovation that contributes to NASA’s missions, provides societal benefit, and grows the U.S. economy.  

While the solicitation due date was extended by four weeks to provide relief to our community, we are working diligently on getting funding in the hands of small businesses as

soon as possible and without having to delay awards significantly. You should expect to hear from us at the end of June, when selections are scheduled to be announced, and you will receive debriefs shortly after. Be sure to review the debrief of proposal strengths and weaknesses to understand our evaluation criteria and help you prepare for the next solicitation.  

If you submitted or started a proposal during this solicitation, you should have received a notice to respond to our Request for Information (RFI) with your feedback on the solicitation. Your feedback will help us shape the next solicitation over the next few months, so I encourage you to respond. 

– Jenn Gustetic, NASA SBIR/STTR Program Executive 

Key Program Milestones

• NASA SBIR 2019 Phase II Award Announcement – scheduled for May 5, 2020 

• NASA SBIR/STTR 2020 Phase I Award Announcement – scheduled for end of June 2020 

• CCRPP Awardees Announced – go.usa.gov/xvEzP

Small Business Resources during COVID-19 

Resources for Small Businesses (COVID-19)

We are keeping track of several funding resources and opportunities outside of the NASA SBIR/STTR Program that are available to small businesses in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The page is updated periodically with new resources, so we encourage you to check back regularly for updates.


Sign up for I-Corps

If you submitted a 2020 Phase I proposal and it is selected for award, you are eligible to participate in the Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) training program. I-Corps provides additional funding on top of the Phase I award to help small businesses accelerate their SBIR/STTR technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Learn about I-Corps now to be prepared for the open period from July 1 – July 14! sbir.nasa.gov/content/I-Corps

NASA I-Corps funding opportunity:

SBIR: Up to $10,000 &  STTR Up to $25,000. Open July 1 – 14

"Participation in the NASA I-Corps program was a transformative experience; it taught us how to step away from the scientific details and think about the problem from the customers' perspective."

– Carleen Bowers, PhD

Entrepreneurial Lead for the NanoSonic, Inc.

2017 I-Corps Cohort Team


Request For Information

The NASA SBIR/STTR Request for Information (RFI) is open to those who started or completed a proposal submission in the 2020 Phase I solicitation. This feedback helps us shape future solicitations.

If you started or completed a proposal in the recent submission period, please look out for the email to access the RFI from sbir@reisystems.com.

SBIR/STTR Phase II-E Option Eligible Window

The deadline to submit a Phase II-E proposal to be considered for the next cycle of awards is June 17, 2020. The eligibility window for SBIR/STTR Phase II-E proposal submission starts after the 12th month of performance and ends 60 days before the Phase II contract end date.

Learn more about Phase II-E proposal instructions for preparation and submission at sbir.nasa.gov/content/post-phase-ii-initiatives

SBIR/STTR Companies Supporting COVID-19 Relief

We’ve been inspired reading about SBIR/STTR companies that are using their expertise and resources to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts. If that includes you, we want to know! Send us an email at arc-sbir-outreach@mail.nasa.gov with links to your press releases or other information. Read a few examples we’ve seen below:

Made in Space 3-D printing face shields

Made in Space is 3-D printing face shields to hospitals near the Made in Space facilities in Jacksonville, FL and Moffett Field, CA: madeinspace.us/2020/04/08/made-in-space-3d-printing-ppe-to-help-in-the-fight-against-covid-19/

CFD Research

CFD Research is working to better understand various aspects of COVID-19 respiratory viral infection, transmission, protection and treatment: www.cfd-research.com/cfd-researchs-scientific-efforts-to-help-combat-the-covid-19-pandemic/


Serionix is developing facial mask prototypes that include its Colorfil™ filter technology: blogs.kellogg.northwestern.edu/inside/2020/04/21/startup-filter-tech-ppe/

Other Opportunities

NASA wants to assess the availability of potential lunar investigations for NASA's Commercial Lunar Investigation Services (CLPS) effort. Respond to NASA’s Request for Information (RFI) by May 11. View the opportunity on NSPIRES:

nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary!init.do?solId={8A4B5803-AF22- 1C12-B9B1-1A0DEB015EE8}&path=open

Success Stories

We’re proud of what small businesses have achieved with our program—see for yourself what’s possible by reading some of our recent success stories below.

Virginia Diodes, Inc. CubeSat

Virginia Diodes, Inc. contributed to the world’s first ice cloud map with technology developed in part with SBIR funds. The IceCube CubeSat will improve our understanding of the Earth’s climate and energy budget. go.usa.gov/xvEzS

Higher Ground, LLC

Higher Ground, LLC is expanding the reach of UAVs with developments including UAV tracking and enabling UAVs to detect and avoid oncoming traffic. Its work with NASA SBIR resulted in additional work with Department of Homeland Security to enhance emergency response functions of UAVs: go.usa.gov/xvEzh

Intelligent Automation, Inc

Intelligent Automation, Inc’s MetroSim optimizes air traffic in busy metroplexes, where flights impact each other at a single airport and among traffic at nearby airports. This technology is not only used by NASA, but also gained interest from the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Technology, and more: go.usa.gov/xvEuq

Masten Space Systems

Masten Space Systems was selected to deliver nine scientific payloads under the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) as part of the Artemis program. masten.aero/blog/clps


Quest Thermal Group

With SBIR funds, Quest Thermal Group is developing advanced thermal insulation systems for the Balloon-borne Cryogenic Telescope Testbed (BOBCAT). go.usa.gov/xvEu3


OnRobot (formerly Perception Robotics) was highlighted in a February Spinoff Feature for its industrial robotic gripper. The technology stems from the weak electrical attraction that allows geckos to scale even the smoothest surfaces. The company received Phase I and II SBIR awards to develop the technology further. go.usa.gov/xvEuC

NASA Spinoff Features 17 SBIR/STTR Successes

NASA Spinoff launched its 2020 issue on March 18, and this year the magazine features 17 entries with technologies stemming from the NASA SBIR/STTR Program. Since 1976, Spinoff has highlighted commercial technologies with origins in NASA missions and research.

Read the full Spinoff 2020 edition online: spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2020/index.html



Announcing… the 2020 fully-virtual Innovation and Opportunity Conference!

This year, the Innovation and Opportunity Conference (IOC)—the annual event highlighting opportunities with the NASA SBIR/STTR Program and more—will take place virtually! We look forward to bringing together NASA and other government agencies, small businesses, startups, research institutions and large businesses/prime contractors online to network and discuss technology and commercialization topics.

Other events announcement

Per NASA guidelines due to COVID-19, our program will not be participating in any in-person events through June 30, 2020. Please keep an eye out for future events on sbir.nasa.gov/events.

Thank You for Reading!

If you have questions about the NASA SBIR/STTR Program, learn more at sbir.nasa.gov.

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