The U.S. Department of Transportation is now accepting proposals to tap into $1.7 million in funding from its Small Business Innovation Research or SBIR program.
[Above photo by USDOT]
The agency said its SBIR Program awards contracts to small businesses across the country to spur research into and the subsequent commercialization of innovative transportation technologies. The current SBIR Solicitation provides funding ranging from $150,000 to $200,000 for per project, USDOT noted.
“Small businesses are essential to our economy, and this program plays an important role in advancing America’s economic competitiveness by supporting domestic small businesses while stimulating technological innovation that can improve our transportation systems and lead to further economic growth,” explained Robert Hampshire, Ph. D., USDOT’s deputy assistant secretary for research and technology in a statement.
He added that the SBIR program seeks to support investments in transportation that improve the safety, sustainability, and resilience of the country’s transportation assets, while providing opportunities for small businesses to explore innovative technologies.
The research topics selected for this year’s SBIR proposal solicitation address a variety of needs across several USDOT modal agencies, including:
- Federal Highway Administration: Managing storm-water runoff with a self-contained portable treatment system and traffic monitoring and ‘in-situ’ information processing.
- Federal Railroad Administration: Concrete crosstie inspection technology and a new design for passenger railcar glazing securement.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Child presence detection test device and immersive virtual reality training on impaired driving for law enforcement.
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: Bioremediation for hazardous material spills; integrated radio frequency identification or RFID trackers and sensors for hazardous material communication in transportation; portable state-of-charge sensor for lithium batteries; and wearable personal protective equipment or PPE-integrated sensors for first responders.
USDOT this is part of a larger multi-agency effort it joined in September 2022 to focus on the needs of small and disadvantaged businesses, helping them access resources they need to succeed.