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

[Fremont, CA], March 15, 2020 – Automat Solutions, Inc. has been awarded a National

Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,355 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on the development of a novel Materials AI Robotics-driven System (MARS) that will redefine the way material innovation is performed.

This project has the potential to rapidly develop high-performance battery materials, and significantly shorten their time-to-market, by employing a disruptive MARS based on fundamental engineering research. The manual Edisonian development process is

ineffective and inefficient given the complexity of material design and the magnitude of experimental and computational work, and, as a result, greatly hinders critical material innovation. The system takes advantage of machine learning and robotic high-throughput automation as the foundational elements, thus boosting Research and Development (R&D) productivity, performing effective experiment planning, and minimizing errors.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental

developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of

science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial

Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep

technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that

address tremendous needs.”

“Self-driving methodology with artificial intelligent and robotics is the next big thing for material innovation,” said Jason Wang, the Principal Investigator of the project at

Automat Solutions. “The SBIR grant we are awarded from NSF provides critical support to advance the frontline of this technology.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes

eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $1,000,000). 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.

Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within three weeks if they meet the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply.

All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. To learn more about

America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit:

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success.

America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation

Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.


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