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ASBTDC Client Wins More SBIR/STTR Funding

July 27th, 2016 by Rebecca Norman

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center client Ozark Integrated Circuits has won two federal research awards totaling $275,000 to further research and develop extreme environment circuits.

In the past 13 months, Fayetteville-based Ozark IC has been awarded five Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer projects with a total value of over $1.25 million. The latest awards are from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense.

ASBTDC assisted with each proposal.

Ozark Integrated Circuits teamCompany President and CEO Matt Francis said ASBTDC was “crucial” to Ozark IC’s success in the highly competitive program.

“The ASBTDC provided timely and valuable market research information that we used in our commercialization plan for the proposal. Rebecca Norman’s proposal review also helped to strengthen the application,”  said Francis. Norman is ASBTDC’s innovation consultant and provides assistance to Arkansas technology entrepreneurs.

SBIR/STTR funding allows small businesses to participate in federal research and development projects for agencies including NASA, the National Science Foundation, and others.

“Providing access to alternative sources of funding, like the SBIR/STTR programs, is essential to growing tech-based startup companies,” said ASBTDC interim state director Laura Fine.  “The SBIR/STTR program provides funds to develop early-stage technologies to address critical and pressing needs.  Since their inception, SBIR and STTR have invested a combined total in excess of $120 million in Arkansas small businesses to allow them not only to use technology to make our lives easier and better but also create the types of jobs and opportunities Arkansans need.”

The $125,000 NASA SBIR Phase I award will allow Ozark IC to further develop technology that allows for long-term system monitoring and control at very high temperatures, such as those found on the surface of Venus or inside jet engines.

On the commercial level, any system that needs to get information to or from a very hot location to a very cool location can make use of the technology. “The techniques we will develop will allow us to get that data in or out in a digital form. This will vastly reduce the cabling required and decrease noise. This is very important in aerospace applications where every gram of mass counts,” said Ozark IC’s Chief Technology Officer Jim Holmes.

Award Abstract

The $150,000 DoD STTR Air Force award will support the development of technology for use in high-temperature aerospace applications. Ozark IC’s research will focus on rapid production of low-cost ceramic prototypes. “The ability to quickly develop prototypes at a low cost will speed up the production and lower the final cost of reliable extreme-environment circuits,” said Francis.

Ozark IC will partner with the High Density Electronics Center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville on the STTR project. “HiDEC plays a crucial role in this award,” Holmes noted. “The use of its in-house LTCC technology will provide the platform for demonstration of the fast-turnaround, low-cost prototypes.”

“The ASBTDC located key market research findings to supplement our proposal,”  said Dr. Ian Getreu, Ozark IC director of business development and strategic partnerships. “Rebecca Norman reviewed our proposal and provided critical feedback. This support was again invaluable – as it has been for all our proposals.”

ASBTDC, part of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business, is a recipient of special funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) partnership program and is the lead entity in promoting technology development throughout Arkansas. To learn more about SBIR/STTR funding opportunities, visit asbtdc.org/technology.