You are here
Small Business Innovation Research Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) FY2021
NOTE: The Solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from the various SBIR agency solicitations and are not necessarily the latest and most up-to-date. For this reason, you should use the agency link listed below which will take you directly to the appropriate agency server where you can read the official version of this solicitation and download the appropriate forms and rules.
The official link for this solicitation is: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html
Application Due Date:
Available Funding Topics
Background NOAA enables growth in the American Blue Economy, with seaports alone supporting $5.4 trillion in economic activity, helping offer new sources of growth, jobs, and innovation. Marine aquaculture (or farmed seafood) is vital for supporting our nation’s seafood production, year-round jobs, rebuilding protected species and habitats, and enhancing coastal resilience. Improving marine transportation, through increased transit safety for vessels; promoting sustainable tourism and recreation across coastal and Great Lakes communities; increasing ocean exploration to help characterize the U.S. exclusive economic zone; and improving the resilience of coastal communities from extreme weather and climate events are all critical components of the U.S. Blue Economy where NOAA is focusing its future efforts. Research Priorities: Examples of appropriate subtopics for research applications from small businesses include, but are not limited to the following: Data for Decision Making: Combining existing and new data sources to provide actionable information to coastal communities and decision makers in the support of ocean commerce, energy development, sustainable infrastructure, and conservation. Data Visualization: Using Augmented Reality or other innovative visualization technologies to improve communication and comprehension of multiple complex data inputs related to climate, weather, coastal navigation, or others in support of decision making and planning at individual, local, regional, and national levels. Ocean Observations: Enhancing ocean observations to minimize uncertainty, including, but not limited to, cost effective integration of environmental sensors into existing infrastructure, such as commercial and Federal submarine telecommunications cables for improved monitoring of ocean conditions, detection of Tsunami waves, or other applications. Aquaculture Techniques: New techniques and technologies that support the development of sustainable aquaculture in the United States. Ocean Exploration: Techniques and technologies that unlock the potential of our ocean and coastal resources through increased mapping, exploration, and characterization of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and beyond.
Background Techniques such as high-throughput DNA sequencing and subsequent bioinformatics analyses can aid national priorities including: fisheries management, aquaculture development, food and water safety, species and habitat conservation, seafood consumer protection, and natural products discovery. Advances in these ‘omics methodologies can improve the ability to monitor and understand the biological communities of the oceans and Great Lakes. ‘Omics approaches can be faster, cheaper, less invasive, and can provide more information than traditional methods. An expansion in the use of ‘omics is underway at NOAA. Investment in ‘omics is essential to increase efficiency, improve ecosystem assessments and forecasts, advance stewardship, and promote the American Blue Economy, which is estimated to contribute $304 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and 3.3 million jobs annually. The Blue Economy includes the resources, services, and benefits provided by the oceans and Great Lakes, such as jobs, food, water, energy, recreation, and commercial products. Research Priorities: Examples of appropriate subtopics for research applications from small businesses include, but are not limited to the following: Omics in Monitoring and Detection: Improve detecting and monitoring of harmful algal blooms, toxins, pathogens, and invasive species to protect health and coastal economies. Omics in Fisheries Management: Support consumer protection and sustainable fishing practices by using genetic analysis to identify fraudulent and illegally sourced seafood products. Omics in Aquaculture: Foster the development of aquaculture by using ‘omics to optimize animal health, yield, and product characteristics while supporting safe and sustainable farming practices. Omics in Fisheries and Protected Species: Sustain fisheries resources and protect vulnerable species using ‘omics to increase the breadth, depth, and throughput of information used to evaluate target populations’ structure and distribution, generate indices of abundance, and characterize the food webs that support them.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Background The application of AI, including machine learning (ML), has already demonstrated significant advances in research and development, with subsequent improvements in performance at greatly reduced costs and compute time for various NOAA mission areas, such as deep-sea exploration, habitat characterization, fisheries assessments, environmental modeling, and interpretation of earth science observations. The use of ML algorithms has enhanced automated detection capabilities and operational efficiencies during aerial and underwater surveys from ships and autonomous platforms to assess the abundance of marine mammal and fish populations. ML has also advanced data assimilations and forecast modeling, and specific examples of improvements include quality control of environmental or satellite observations, physical parameterization for environmental modeling including ecosystems, physical and computational performance of numerical earth system models, aiding weather warnings and associated Impact-based Decision Support Services, operations of unmanned systems for a wide range of environmental observations, and supporting partners in wildfire detection and movement. Research Priorities: Examples of appropriate subtopics for research applications from small businesses include, but are not limited to the following: AI for Oceans, Coasts, and Fisheries: Innovative computational approaches to help interpret genetic variation of marine mammal and fish populations and recognize relationships with environmental data. AI for Earth Observation Tools: AI-ready data and tools for reliable and efficient processing, interpretation, and utilization of earth observations. AI for Space Data Systems: Cost-effective relay of space data over very long path lengths in real time through improvements to all aspects of materials and structures in antenna design and dual use of other spacecraft subsystems.
Background The recent rapid expansion in availability of UxS, fueled in part by NOAA scientists and discoveries, has brought a corresponding increase in their innovative use as a force multiplier for many NOAA programs—augmenting data collection often at lower cost, increased safety, and reduced risk, especially in remote or extreme environments. Examples include hydrographic and habitat mapping, ocean exploration, marine mammal and fishery stock assessments, emergency response, and at-sea observations that improve forecasting of extreme events, such as harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. Research Priorities: Examples of appropriate subtopics for research applications from small businesses include, but are not limited to the following: Uncrewed Ocean Exploration: Improve our understanding of U.S. deep waters and expand seafloor exploration and mapping to identify energy sources, minerals, and pharmaceuticals vital to U.S. industries, human health, and national security. Uncrewed Marine Mammal Tracking: Improve identification and characterization of marine mammals and wild fish stocks Uncrewed Ocean Data: Improve monitoring and characterization of oceans at all levels. Uncrewed Severe Weather Prediction: Cost-effective real-time monitoring of key characteristics related to severe storm development (tornado and derecho, fire weather, hurricanes).
Citizen Science and STEM Education
Background The NOAA Office of Education has the vision of an informed society that uses ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate science to make the best social, economic, and environmental decisions. Citizen science also has a rich history within NOAA. Volunteer observations have helped inform our Nation’s prediction and management of weather, oceans and coasts for over a century. This experience, paired with strengthened coordination, operational capabilities, workforce proficiency, and multisector partnerships will enable NOAA to lead citizen science efforts for years to come. Our agency will maximize and contribute to new pathways for evolving how the public engages with scientific research and monitoring. Research Priorities: Examples of appropriate subtopics for research applications from small businesses include, but are not limited to the following: Auto-Transcription and Text Identification: The development of an auto-transcription technology combining optical and machine-learning methods that could rapidly and accurately translate tabular manuscript forms (handwritten and typed) into digital text. Customizable Data Validation Technology for Public Data Applications: Machine learning capability that could be broadly applied to public data reporting applications to allow for customizable checks for incorrect, false, and/or malicious data entries. Data Tools for Education, Communication, and Citizen Science: Development of tools, platforms, apps, games, lesson plans, curricula, techniques and educator professional development materials to make environmental information, including public data sets, more accessible, usable, understandable, and relatable to students, citizen scientists, and the public.