Solectrac LLC. Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation
Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D
Albion, California, December 1, 2016 – SOLECTRAC LLC has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on a Small Farm Electric Tractor for renewably charged zero emission organic food production.
Current agricultural production in the developed world is predominately dependent on the use of large amounts of fossil fuels and other toxic chemicals. The SOLECTRAC (Solar Electric Tractor) that is engineered to use the latest in battery, motor and electronic technology to create a tractor that can be charged from renewable energy to reduce or eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The high clearance tractor is designed to use cultivation for weed control to significantly reduce the use of toxic chemicals in food production.
“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.”
“I have been working on electric tractors for zero emission farming for 25 years without funding. The NSF grant will allow me to finally take the tractor into commercial production” Stephen Heckeroth, grant Principal Investigator (PI) and Solectrac CEO
Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR grant (up to $225,000), 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 program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. To learn more about the NSF SBIR program, visit: www.nsf.gov/SBIR.
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.