Akron, OH (July 5, 2017) -- The National Science Foundation has awarded Akron Ascent Innovations, LLC (AAI) a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase IIB grant to support further development its nano-fiber based dry adhesive materials.
“The NSF SBIR program means more than support the commercialization of groundbreaking, early stage research,” said Dr. Kevin White, COO and Principal Scientist at AAI. “It also enables innovators in small business to engage with valuable industrial partners. These intellectual and market-focused partnerships have been the real key to understanding how to best position our materials. The NSF SBIR program provides a major validation of the technology, and goes one step further by giving us the resources to engage with real industrial partners The Phase II award was absolutely critical to getting us to where we are now, and we are confident that the Phase IIB award will allow us to reach even further.”
The NSF SBIR Phase IIB award is a supplemental funding opportunity available only to companies that have received a SBIR Phase II award from the NSF. AAI has received several other supplemental awards through the SBIR Phase II program, including the Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) for commercialization and business development, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) award to support two undergraduate students, and the Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnerships (TECP) award to foster new research and development geared toward the needs of a key strategic partner.
According to Barry Johnson, Director of NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, “The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts. We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”
About Akron Ascent Innovations
Akron Ascent Innovations, LLC (AAI) is a nanotechnology company that develops novel nano-fiber based dry adhesives for consumer, industrial, commercial print, and health care markets. Its technology platform provides a cost effective and scalable approach to producing removable and reusable adhesive materials with exceptional strength. The company was founded based on research from the University of Akron and is located at the Akron Global Business Accelerator in downtown Akron.
About the National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In 2012, its budget is $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards nearly $420 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
The NSF SBIR program is “America’s seed fund.” It has helped startups and small businesses transform their ideas into marketable products and services for 40 years. The focus of the program is on high-risk, high-impact technology that show promise but have not yet been validated. Each year, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program awards nearly $190 million in funding to entrepreneurs across the country. The non-dilutive grants support research and development across almost all areas of science and technology, and aim to help companies de-risk technology to enable commercial success. The goal of the program is to foster innovation and help create businesses and jobs in the United States.
America’s Seed Fund is a program within the National Science Foundation and housed within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships within the Directorate of Engineering. NSF is a federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, currently with an $8.1 billion budget.
Through the merit review process, NSF funds the most innovative ideas in science and technology. Notable NSF-supported advances include Doppler radar, the Internet, web browsers, bar codes, magnetic resonance imaging, inkjet printers, computer-aided design systems, tissue engineering, and other technology-based innovations that spur economic activity and improve the quality of life for all Americans.
Dr. Kevin White
Chief Operating Officer and Principal Scientist