Geopipe Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

Posted by Christopher Mitchell, Ph.D.

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

New York, NY, August 2, 2017 – Geopipe has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224K to conduct research and development (R&D) work on generating immersive virtual models of the real world. Architects, video game designers, special effects artists, and many others need models of the existing world for their projects, but it is currently expensive and time-consuming to create or acquire these models. Geopipe is developing algorithms that can understand raw data about the world and turn it into complete, semantically rich 3D virtual models that professionals can download in an instant at a customizable level of detail.

“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.”

“The support of this NSF SBIR grant will help us to develop the novel algorithmic techniques that make Geopipe possible,” said Dr. Christopher Mitchell, CEO and cofounder of Geopipe. “We will be working on building and validating our technology and our business model over the next year as SBIR grantees; this program uniquely encourages entrepreneurs like us to take powerful research and apply it towards the success of commercial ventures.”

Geopipe's model of midtown Manhattan previewed in the Unity game engine.

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/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

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