Qelzal Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

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

SAN DIEGO, 01/06/2017 – National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Qelzal a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,950 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on novel ways to achieve machine vision and integrate multiple sensors to detect and avoid all types of obstacles and flying aircraft.

Essential to unlocking a $127.3B commercial drone economy are advances in technologies enabling unmanned air vehicles (UAV) to fly safely beyond line of sight. Qelzal’s efforts focus on keeping people and aircraft safe by developing novel computation capabilities to mimic and apply the way our brain computes. These capabilities are beyond deep learning systems and much closer to how the brain actually operates.

“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.”

“As a small business, receiving funding is fantastic. However, equally important is the endorsement that an NSF grant represents,” said Olivier Coenen, CEO of Qelzal. “The award represents having highly respected, technically savvy people looking at what we are doing and understanding the value of innovation we propose, its opportunity for great commercial success and the larger benefit society will receive. We’re honored to be a recipient.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant, 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.

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: 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.

To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit: www.nsf.gov/SBIR.