USDOT awards small businesses $2.9M for innovation research

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently awarded approximately $2.9 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I awards to 19 small businesses nationwide.

The SBIR Program awards contracts to small businesses that spur research and commercialization of innovative transportation technologies. It encourages businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development and awards contracts in two phases.

A virtual pitch day was held as part of the phase I selection process.

“Pitch day served as an opportunity for invited small businesses to interact with the government and showcase the innovation they can bring to the Department,” Dr. Robert Hampshire, deputy assistant secretary for research and technology, said. “This interaction helps them understand our research needs and helps the Department learn about the expertise that exists nationwide. This year’s topics all play an important role in addressing the department’s goals and priorities. They focus on infrastructure and materials, vehicle and passenger safety, and providing disinfected or sanitized transit assets.”

All but two of the businesses were awarded contracts in research areas that align with USDOT research priorities.

The projects include technologies that alert oncoming vehicles and exploring the use of robots for disinfection and decontamination of transit assets such as buses.