The Concept Newsletter - Spring 2019

header image

In this issue:

Thank you Joseph Grant! Welcome Gynelle Steele! Request for Information Other Opportunities Events Spinoff Magazine
Technology Innovation, Issue 3 Recent Success

Hello Innovators

Gynelle Steele<br />
                                                        NASA SBIR/STTR Deputy Program Executive photo

My name is Gynelle Steele, your new Deputy Program Executive. Over the last year, I have been working closely with Joseph Grant, former Deputy Program Executive, to assume the deputy responsibilities as he exits for his hard-earned and well-deserved retirement. Some of you may know me from my previous role as the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Liaison and manager of the Glenn Research Center SBIR/STTR Program Office. I look forward to getting to know you and learning more about your incredible innovations!

Speaking of your innovations, I am thrilled to share that we received a total of 1,619 proposals for 2019 Phase I: 1,412 for SBIR and 207 for STTR. Thank you for your submissions and thank you for your patience earlier this year as we navigated the impacts of the government shutdown together. While the solicitation was released a few weeks later than usual, we made a conscientious effort at the agency-level to prioritize our small businesses, making significant internal adjustments to ensure the solicitation was released as early as possible. We are now working vigorously to review and evaluate the proposals, with an expected announcement date of June 18th.

By now you should have received a notice to respond to our Request for Information (RFI), asking for your feedback on the 2019 Solicitation. I encourage you to respond to the RFI as your feedback helps us shape the next solicitation, which we’ll begin working on in the coming months.

It is an exciting time to be working with NASA – especially with our renewed focus on the Moon, as a means to take a giant leap on to Mars! Going forward to the Moon is part of a larger, sustainable exploration campaign with international and commercial partners. Our partnerships will unify nations, create new economic opportunities and inspire generations. We look forward to the contributions that small businesses and research institutions will make in our future missions to the Moon.  

I am enthusiastic about the future and thank you for your interest in the NASA SBIR/STTR Program!

Gynelle Steele
NASA SBIR/STTR Deputy Program Executive



NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Visit “Program Schedule and Selection Announcements” for more information.


Thank You Joseph Grant,
former Deputy Program Executive!

Thank you to Joseph Grant for thirty-five years of service to NASA and ten years of service to the SBIR/STTR Program! Joseph has been an important and stable leader, relentlessly striving to improve the health and effectiveness of the STTR Program, passionately focusing on outreach, and increasing underrepresented community participation in both SBIR and STTR. His leadership and energy will be missed by all!

Welcome Gynelle Steele,
new Deputy Program Executive!

Welcome to Gynelle Steele, new Deputy Program Executive! Prior to serving as Deputy Program Executive, Gynelle Steele previously managed the Glenn Research Center SBIR/STTR Program Office and was the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Liaison (MDL).  She has been active in developing core strategic elements of the Agency-wide SBIR/STTR Program and designing key processes that will help with aligning it for continued success.

Prior to serving as Glenn's SBIR/STTR Program Manager, Gynelle was an engineer in the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) serving as the Center Software Release Authority where she led the design and implementation of the Agency's software repository. She also designed and managed the Glenn Garrett Morgan Commercialization Initiative (GMCI) which was the Agency's only program focusing exclusively on transferring technology to small disadvantaged businesses.  

Gynelle has received multiple NASA awards including the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Associate Administrator's Program and Mission Support Award, the Office of Small Business Programs Technical Person of the Year Award, the NASA Medal for Exceptional Service, and the National Women of Color Award.

She holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Ohio University and an MBA from Cleveland State University.


Request for Information

The NASA SBIR/STTR program uses an annual Request for Information (RFI) to gather your feedback on the Solicitation. This feedback helps us shape the structure and content of future Solicitations. The information you provide is critical for our next solicitation development, which begins to take shape in the summer.

We strongly encourage all small businesses (whether you submitted a proposal or attempted to) to provide feedback. The official RFI notice can be found on FedBizOpps and responses are submitted in the Electronic Handbook (EHB). Responses are due by May 2nd.


Other Opportunities


All NASA SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees are eligible to submit an I-Corps proposal. The NASA  I-Corps program enables small businesses to increase the odds of accelerating the process of developing their SBIR/STTR technologies into a repeatable and scalable business model.

For more information, including proposal submission guidelines:


For the very first tie, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is including a Space Topic in their SBIR and STTR Program Solicitations! The NSF SBIR/STTR Program seeks to support innovative, high-risk and high-impact R&D projects with a strong case made for commercialization.
To learn about the differences between the NSF SBIR/STTR and NASA SBIR/STTR Programs and how you can decide which agency is the best fit for your project:


Spinoff Magazine

NASA Spinoff is an annual publication that highlights commercial products and services derived from NASA technology. Since 1976, Spinoff has featured more than 2,000 such technologies. Congratulations to the following SBIR alums featured in the latest magazine:

Adcole Maryland Aerospace – Tiny Star Trackers Help Spacecraft Find their Place
AOSense – Super Accurate Atomic Clocks Could Aid in Navigation, Communication
Zeus – Material for Mars Makes Life-Saving Sutures
BeeHex – Deep-Space Food Science Research Improves 3D-Printing Capabilities
Salutron – Lifetrak watches with sleep tracking/blue light sensing
Seronix – Spacesuit Air Filters Eliminate Household Pet Odors
GTL – Software Toolkit Steadies Rockets
Cambrian Innovation – Electrified Bacteria Clean Wastewater, Generate Power
GDA Corp – Algorithms to Detect Clouds Forecast Global Crop Production
Tao Systems – Probes Characterize Air and Water Flows over Aircraft, Yachts 
EP Systems – Battery Innovations Power All-Electric Aircraft
Artium – Spray Analyzer Turns Up in Cars, Planes, Medicine, Cutting-Edge TVs
KromaTiD – Fluorescent Paints Spot DNA Damage from Radiation, Gene Editing
Deep Space Industries – Simulated Space Dirt Supports Future Asteroid Mining
Applied Spectra – Detailed Spectrometry Analysis Makes Dangerous-Materials Testing Safer

Check out these stories and more:


Upcoming Events

Come to one of our upcoming events to learn more about the program and talk directly with one of our representatives about your technology idea!
View full list of events:

May 2, 2019
Chicago, IL
The Women Tech Founders Conference is where the country’s most innovative female founders, funders, and leaders come together to equalize the power of the tech industry.
May 20-24, 2019
The SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort to convey the non-dilutive technology funding opportunity provided through the SBIR and STTR programs. The SBIR/STTR programs annually provide $2.5 billion in funding to small advanced technology firms to spur new technological discoveries and facilitate the commercialization of innovations. Together they represent America's Largest Seed Fund.
June 17-19, 2019
Boston, MA
Interact with government SBIR/STTR program managers and staff, industry leaders and veteran SBIR/STTR awardees to learn how to access SBIR/STTR, build partnerships, and create successful commercialization strategies. Opportunities include Roundtable discussions, 1-on-1 meetings, and Conference sessions. SBIR Conference attendees receive online access to 1-1 SBIR Meeting Site.


Technology Innovation, Issue 3

The newest edition of NASA's Technology Innovation, Issue 18.3 on Aeronautics is now available for download. Each issue features space technology innovators and project developments across NASA, highlighting the American inventors, entrepreneurs, and application engineers who have transformed space exploration technologies into products that benefit the Nation.




Recent Success

Congratulations to Sustainable Bioproducts for raising $33 million in Series A capital to develop food products from microorganisms discovered in research enabled by NASA STTR Phase I funding! Rich Macur, Principal Investigator, credits many of the insights their team had while working with NASA to creating the innovations that help fund them.

Read more: Food Startup Takes Microbes form the volcano to the Table


Are you a previous or current SBIR/STTR awardee with a success story to share? We would love to hear about it and share your story!
Email us at