This brochure contains abstracts of Phase I and Phase II awards made under the National Science Foundation's three-phase Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program for fiscal year 1996. This brochure also contains Phase I awards for the Foundation's Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. The abstracts provided are from proposals submitted in response to the SBIR solicitation 95-59 and the STTR solicitation 96-3.

SBIR supports creative, advanced research in important scientific and engineering areas and is designed to simulate its conversion into technological innovation and commercial applications for its potential economic benefits to the nation. SBIR funds projects on advanced research-based ideas that might lead to important new technology breakthroughs, innovative new products, and the next generation of a product or process.

Under the Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992 [P.L. 102-564), Federal agencies solicit research proposals from small science and technology-based firms with 500 or fewer employees. Since the inception of the program, nearly $300 million of Federal support for the small business community has been awarded.

The STTR Program is a pilot program encouraging technology transfer through jointly conducted research between small business concerns and non-profit research organizations. The program follows the same three-phase process as the SBIR Program. The differences between SBIR and STTR are minor, for example, Phase I is a 12-month project instead of a 6-month project. The STTR Program promotes a cooperative relationship between the small business and the a research institution. This provides for greater flexibility in access to equipment and facilities.

The SBIR/STTR Programs use a three-phase process which is specified in the legislation and in related policy directives from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Programs offer incentives for converting research performed in Phase I and Phase II to commercial applications in Phase III.

The SBIR/STTR programs receives research proposals from small science- and technology-based firms across essentially all fields of science and engineering with emphasis on industrially relevant research.

The awards that these two programs grant are based both on technical merit and the potential for commercialization. Prior to making a Phase II award, the small firm must show, through a concise commercialization plan, the possible commercial application of the proposed work.

More than one-half of all NSF SBIR/STTR awards include university collaboration, usually with scientists and engineers doing research in the same field, either as consultants or through subcontracts to their universities. University collaboration for SBIR Phase I can be up to one-third; STTR university collaboration can be up to one-half.

The SBIR design provides an incentive for the small firm to commercialize the results and increase the return on investment from government sponsored research. The contingent commitment can be obtained from a third party of their own choice, such as private investors, industrial and venture capital firms, or by a Phase I firm itself if it has a net worth of at least $1 million. Almost all NSF Phase II awards obtain such commitments.

NSF-funded SBIR grantees have obtained more than $1 billion of private follow-on capital and new business attributable directly and indirectly to research funded under the SBIR Program.

The SBIR Program is one of the most competitive in the government. Only one of seven or eight proposals is funded in Phase I and only one of five in Phase II.

The abstracts contained provide a brief description of the project and some relevant information about the company, such as the name and address, the Principal Investigatorís name and the companyís President.

If there are questions regarding the Program or how the NSF SBIR/STTR Programs work, please contact any of the following individuals.

National Science Foundation
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 590
Arlington, VA 22230
(PHONE: 703-306-1391; FAX: 703-306-0337)
email: sbir@nsf.gov

Dr. Kesh Narayanan, Director

Ms. Cheryl Albus, Program Coordinator and
Program Manager
Next Generation Vehicles (Topic 26)

Mr. Tony Centodocati
Electrical and Communication Systems (Topic 20)
Microelectronic Manufacturing (Topic 27)

Mr. Ritchie Coryell
Atmospheric Sciences (Topic 6)
Earth Sciences (Topic 7)
Ocean Sciences (Topic 8)
Polar Sciences (Topic 9)
Design, Manufacture and Industrial Innovation (Topic 21)

Mr. Darryl Gorman, STTR Program Director
Materials Research (Topic 3)

Dr. Bruce Hamilton
Biological Sciences (Topic 10, 11, 12)
Biological Infrastructure (Topic 13)
Bioengineering and Environmental Systems (Topic 24)

Dr. Joseph Hennessey
Chemistry (Topic 2)
Chemical and Transport Systems (Topic 22)

Dr. G. Patrick Johnson
Physics (Topic 1)
Mathematical Sciences (Topic 4)
Astronomy (Topic 5)
Civil and Mechanical Systems (Topic 23)

Dr. Sara Nerlove
Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research (Topic 14)
Advanced Scientific Computing (Topic 15)
Computer and Computation Research (Topic 16)
Networking and Communication Research and Infrastructure (Topic 17)
Microelectronic Information Processing Systems (Topic 18)
Information, Robotics, and Intelligent Systems (Topic 19)
Education and Human Resources (Topic 25)