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SBIR Phase II: MicroLINKs: connecting the physical and digital worlds

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2208619
Agency Tracking Number: 2208619
Amount: $999,885.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SP
Solicitation Number: NSF 21-565
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-12-31
Small Business Information
350 Duffield Hall
Ithaca, NY 11729
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Alejandro Cortese
 (919) 824-2809
Business Contact
 Alejandro Cortese
Phone: (919) 824-2809
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Research Innovation (SBIR) Phase II project is to reduce the economic, human, and environmental cost caused by the current disconnect between an object and its digital history. At the human level, consider hospital use cases: medical errors are estimated to kill upwards of 90,000 people annually. Many of these deaths can be traced to a disconnect in the flow of information: the wrong medication goes to a patient, a surgical instrument is not properly sanitized, etc. These errors could be prevented with a tag that is used to verify the identity and status of an object at point of delivery. The proposed technology has application potential across multiple industries: in the enterprise space, companies are investing billions in serialization and augmented reality (AR) to do everything from monitoring supply chains to speeding up manufacturing to improving the cost and reliability of maintenance. _x000D_
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to address an unmet need to provide a technology that connects the physical and digital worlds while offering the needed characteristics for specific markets. The proposed tags provide a novel solution as a ubiquitous, unobtrusive, and cost-effective link that seamlessly and securely ties a physical object to its digital content/history, and a unified data storage/access framework.The technology milestones are to increase read distance (from 4 cm to 16 cm) to address the need to accommodate applications requiring longer read distances; to increase volume tag manufacturing at a rapid but controlled pace and to continue to develop next generation readers based on a prototype reader with co-axial optics, where the read length can be adjusted with no changes to the optics or detector. Based on need, the reader can be varied for specific market segments, while relying on the same core optical and electronic sensing technology._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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