NIST identifies 56 wicked cool advanced research projects

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced 56 new awards for innovative industrial research and development projects that represent everything from alternative energy sources and manufacturing to nanotechnology and semiconductor electronics.

A total of 69 companies and one non-profit organization will participate in the projects, which include nine joint ventures. Forty-eight of the projects are led by small businesses. The new awards potentially represent a total of up to $138.7 million which comes from NIST's Advanced Technology Program ATP. Another $104 million comes from shared industry costs if all projects are carried through to completion, NIST said. ATP awards are made contingent on available funding and on evidence of satisfactory progress throughout the multi-year research schedules.

The 56 projects were chosen in a competition announced last April and represent the last set of R&D projects to be funded under the ATP, which was abolished under the America Competes Act.

Some of the most interesting projects awarded cash are:

* Cyoptics: To develop technology for optical components that can transmit and receive up to one terabit of data per second over one single-mode fiber, greatly reducing complexity and cost in high-capacity fiber-optic networks.

* Crystal IS: to develop novel materials, processing techniques and designs to produce high-efficiency LEDs that operate in the deep ultraviolet.

* Ferro Solutions: To develop an efficient, wireless power transfer system with new thin-film deposition techniques and millimeter- and micron-scale designs for tiny, implantable power receivers to be used in a range of new and improved therapeutic electrostimulation devices.

* Meaningful Machines: To develop an efficient and practical technology, using novel algorithms, for high-quality, context-based machine translation between languages.

* NanoRidge Materials: To develop a lightweight, electrical wire-and-cable system that can reduce fuel costs and improve energy efficiency in numerous applications including aerospace.

* Thar Technologies: To develop and demonstrate continuous processing technology for environmentally friendly and cost-effective production of diesel-grade biofuel from plants.

* Velox Semiconductor: To develop high-voltage, high-current electronic components for further increasing the fuel efficiency of hybrid vehicles.

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