FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/23/2021
Chibitronics Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation
Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D
Wilmington, Del., August 18, 2021 – Chibitronics Inc. has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $255,928 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on software that allows users to design printable paper circuits simply, easily and affordably to increase the diversity of those engaging in engineering and digital fabrication.
Chibitronics is designing the software to be accessible and intuitive, even for beginners who are unfamiliar with circuit design. Designs created through this software can be shared, printed, and fabricated using Chibitronics’ paper toolkits. By reducing the complexity of these tools, Chibitronics is engaging groups often excluded from STEM—underrepresented minorities, girls and women—by blending craft and circuit design.
“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.”
“Chibitronics’ mission is to make coding and engineering accessible through the arts, so that those who may not otherwise be interested in STEM feel inspired to join in,” said Jie Qi, co-founder and CEO of Chibitronics. “This funding allows us to support that mission by creating simple, affordable tools for beginners to create, share, replicate and remix circuit designs like they would with digital drawings. Our new software will also make it easy to then digitally fabricate these circuits using affordable desktop tools and our paper circuit toolkits.”
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 (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II funding are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.
About Chibitronics: Founded in 2014 by Jie Qi and Andrew “bunnie” Huang, Chibitronics creates STEM education toolkits that allow students and creators of all backgrounds to integrate technology and art. Chibitronics also provides tutorials, lesson plans for educators, and how-to guides. For more information about Chibitronics, visit: https://chibitronics.com/about/ For the latest updates on Chibitronics, please sign up for our monthly newsletter at https://chibitronics.com/subscribe/
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 $2 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 $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/
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