Fuel for Thought

Activated Research Company Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

Jul 31 2017 Read 803 Times

Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D

Activated Research Company has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225k to conduct research and development (R&D) work on a new detector for liquid chromatography.

The NSF grant will fund fundamental research to develop a universal detector for liquid chromatography, a technique that is used to determine the composition and purity of pharmaceutical products, biofuels, environmental contaminants, and other materials. Current technologies are expensive, time-consuming, and require complex equipment. The proposed technology will simplify the process and potentially lead to faster drug and product development, more accurate purity information, and better environmental sampling.

“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,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “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.”

“This technology could be truly game-changing for scientists who use liquid chromatography,” said Charlie Spanjers, Product Innovation Engineer, who is leading the technical development of the project.

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $225,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

ARC was founded in 2014 with a mission to make the world a better place using their expertise in catalysis. Their flagship product, the Polyarc system for GC/FID analysis, lays the foundation for future products which combine catalysis and microreactor design to solve unique challenges. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $190 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

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