Education is Focus of One Topic in New DoT SBIR Solicitation
The Department of Transportation (DoT) released its latest Phase I SBIR solicitation on February 4 with a submission deadline of April 4, 2014. The solicitation lists six topics for the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and three topics for the Federal Railroad Administration. Maximum Phase I awards range from $125,000 to $150,000, depending on the topic, and Phase II awards from $350,000 to $1,000,000.
One unusual FHA topic is titled “STEM Education – Increasing Awareness about Intelligent Transportation Systems and Connected Vehicle Technologies for High School Students.” The topic is designed “to attract and keep middle and high school students’ interest in STEM [i.e., science, technology, engineering, and math] education by linking their classwork to well-paying jobs in intelligent transportation systems.” FHA stresses that SBIR proposals should focus on lesson plans and classroom activities that introduce students to advanced transportation technologies and the career opportunities in the field that will be expanding by an estimated 20% by 2018.
Examples of hands-on activities include:
- Collecting and analyzing traffic data and then develop strategies to improve safety and increase traffic flow in the community
- A design contest to alleviate a problem such as distracted driving
- Designing parking applications for large special events
Prospective applicants can submit technical questions about the research topics to the DOT SBIR Program Office at email@example.com. Need help preparing a compelling proposal?
Here is a list of all nine topics:
- 14.1-FH1: Development of Prestressed Concrete Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Inspection Procedures
- 14.1-FH2: Personalized Driving Data for Insurance Discounts & Public Benefits
- 14.1-FH3: Suppressing Utility Problems – Protection via Robotic Engineering to the Sub-Surface
- 14.1-FH4: STEM Education – Increasing awareness about Intelligent Transportation Systems and Connected Vehicle Technologies for High School Students
- 14.1-FH5: Visually unobtrusive traffic monitoring for National Park Service Parkways
- 14.1-FH6: Corrosion Resistant Prestressing Strand for Prestressed Concrete Bridges
- 14.1-FR1: Lightweight, Portable System for Mid-Chord Offset Measurement of Railroad Rails
- 14.1-FR2: Wheel Load Cycle Tag for Rail
- 14.1-FR3: Easy Access to Freight Locomotives
Michael Kurek, PhD, is a BBCetc Partner.