U.S. DOT names Small Business Innovation Research award recipients

May 14, 2021

Program awards contracts to small businesses to spur research of innovative transportation technologies

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced that 19 U.S. small businesses will receive approximately $2,850,000 in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I funding awards.

Each year, the SBIR Program awards contracts to small businesses across the country to spur research and commercialization of innovative transportation technologies. A full list of this year’s Phase I awardees is available here.  

Small businesses from 17 states were awarded contracts in research areas that align with U.S. DOT research priorities, the agency says. The projects cover a variety of topics such as exploring the use of robots for disinfection and decontamination of transit assets (e.g., buses and trains) and developing technologies to alert oncoming vehicles, including school buses, of children in the roadway, especially when visibility is limited due to low light conditions.

This year U.S. DOT held its second annual virtual Pitch Day as part of the Phase I selection process. “Pitch Day served as an opportunity for invited small businesses to interact with the government and showcase the innovation they can bring to the department. This interaction helps them understand our research needs and helps the department learn about the expertise that exists nationwide,” Dr. Robert Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, said in a statement

The SBIR Program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The program awards contracts in two phases, and recognizes a third phase leading up to commercialization. 

The U.S. DOT SBIR program is currently working to award these Phase I contracts while also preparing upcoming Phase II and Phase IIB contracts, which will further support small businesses working to commercialize technologies developed in previous phases. 



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