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Success Stories by Department of Defense

Oct 2, 2014

ViaSat, Inc.
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Highlights: 2100 employees, $688 million sales

There is no doubt that SBIR funds have made a big difference at ViaSat, a digital communications company specializing in satellite and wireless networking technologies. ViaSat’s first SBIR Phase I contract was from the Navy for the Communication Environment Simulator (CES), a technology that has evolved into a state-of-the-art simulator for testing the F-22 Fighter Aircraft avionic systems and resulted in several spin-off programs.

The CES system can accurately simulate information communications during air combat situations, not only between various DoD component systems but also among the allies.  Typically, these systems must be tested with live flights that are very expensive. ViaSat’s CES can be used during the development stage, saving the taxpayer money by avoiding the need to make corrections later in the development cycle.


Jul 30, 2011

Wyatt Technology Corporation
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

The success of Wyatt Technologies started with a misdirected phone call.

While cleaning up the pieces of a failed company, founder Dr. Phil Wyatt received a phone call from the Department of Defense. They thought they were calling the old company, also named “Wyatt,” letting him know he’d won a contract award to study water quality. From that award, granted by the Defense SmallBusiness Advanced Technology program (a precursor to the SBIR Program) was born a company that today is the world’s leading producer of laser-based instrumentation used to measure the masses, sizes, and colligative properties of large macromolecules such as proteins and polymers (plastics).

The company’s extensive instrument line provides unique and powerful tools for many different areas of analytical chemistry, including quality control, process control, molecular weight and size determinations, and a host of other...

Jul 30, 2011

Variation Reduction Solutions, Inc.
Plymouth, MI 48170

With its roots in the automotive industry, VRSI could have faced a fate similar to many Michigan companies when the economic downturn hit in 2007. Instead, VRSI has grown and thrived, thanks in part to the SBIR Program. Innovative leaders at the company had looked to extend beyond the automotive sector to the aerospace industry, specifically the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, and were able to leverage SBIR awards to enter that market.

“Starting in 2007 we got involved in the F-35 Program through our first SBIR effort. It was right when the automotive business was starting to fall off precipitously in the run-up to the financial downturn,” recalls Michael Kleeman of VRSI. “Being involved in a new industry, bringing our technology into new types of fruition with the tremendous enabling influence of the SBIR Program, is what enabled us to not only weather that...

Jul 30, 2011

Bedford, MA, 01730

Highlights: iRobot wins U.S. Army, Navy and DARPA contracts worth a total of $4.4 Million

iRobot Corp. (IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, was selected as one of eight companies to receive the first annual Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Hall of Fame Award.

The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Through this competitive program, SBA ensures that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts.

“We’re thrilled to receive the SBIR Hall of Fame Award,” said Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive officer of iRobot. “I can say with absolute certainty that without the help of the SBIR program, iRobot could not have become the industry leader we are today.”

The SBIR Hall of Fame...

Jul 29, 2011

US Small Business Administration
Washington, DC 20416

2011 SBIR Hall of Fame and Tibbetts Awards Ceremony - The national ceremony to recognize recipients of the Tibbetts Awards and Hall of Fame Awards was held in Washington, DC, on February 15, 2011.  Click on the video below to see the highlights.

Jul 8, 2011

Creare Inc.
Hanover, NH 03755

Cutting fluids used during the machining process can pose risks to human health and the environment. Creare, Inc., has created the Indirect Cooling System (ICS), which is a low-cost system that indirectly cools the cutting tool without the use of cutting fluids. Creare’s ICS prevents the environmental and occupational health problems caused by conventional cutting fluids and reduces the cost of the process compared to both dry cutting and jet cooling with a synthetic coolant. ICS increases tool life by up to 700 percent and decreases part production costs while improving final part quality. The ICS cools the cutting tool indirectly using an inert working fluid. This provides several additional environmental and cost benefits, including zero toxic emissions. The system produces only inert gas that can be vented easily into the environment without further treatment, and the gas is produced at a flow rate 250 times lower than...

Jul 8, 2011

Jet Process Corporation
North Haven, CT 06473

Conventional processes used to apply thin film coatings on electric devices generate significant water pollution, process waste, and toxic effluent.  The most common coating processes—sputtering, evaporation, Chemical Vapor Deposition, and electroplating — are not always compatible with heat sensitive substrates and semiconductor processes, and they provide only moderate output at a high cost. Jet Process Corporation has developed an innovative, carbon-free process without toxic precursors or effluents to manufacture high-quality coatings on substrates for various applications. The Jet Vapor DepositionTM (JVDTM) process can use various metal sources, including gold, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, iron, tin, and silver; and, the resultant coatings are equivalent or superior to conventional coatings, environmentally friendly, and more cost effective.  The company specializes in...

Jul 8, 2011

NanoMech, Inc.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Cutting fluids used during the machining process are expensive,can be toxic, and produce a significant waste stream. NanoMech,Inc., developed a patented, innovative nanostructured coating for cutting tools based on the principles of biomimicry. The TuffTek® coating contains the hard phase deposited in a nodular structure similar to a lotus leaf’s surface, and the soft phases in the micro-reservoirs surrounded by the nodules, keeping the contact surface refreshed with lubricants.  The TuffTek® coating can improve tool life by 300 percent or more in certain applications. The technology was called “coating’s holy grail” by Cutting Tool Engineering (October 2008). NanoMech has successfully marketed TuffTek® coatings to cutting tool manufacturers and users in the automotive and other manufacturing industries, but its coating technology has applications in numerous markets, including manufacturing, biomedical,...

Mar 21, 2011

Advanced Ceramic Research, Inc.
Tucson, AZ 85706

Highlights: Successful acquisition by BAE Systems

Founded in 1989, Advanced Ceramic Research, Inc. (ACR) develops state-of-the-art high temperature, high strength ceramic materials and innovative processes. ACR’s first revenues came from the US Government’s SBIR Program and $1,000 in start-up capital. Within six months, ACR had secured a Phase II SBIR contract for $500,000 from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center. Funding from the Navy had been critical in helping ACR become what it is today. As Anthony Mulligan, president of ACR, said, “The Navy’s support has been invaluable to ACR. We could not have attained the technical superiority we enjoy today without Navy funding.” Since 1989, ACR has received nearly $6 million in SBIR/ STTR funding that has led to over $30 million in follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funding and an additional $35 million in signed license and technology transfer...