Waves in Solids

Waves in Solids is a research and development business focused on engineering and sensing for structural integrity. The firm has prior experience winning Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.

Its owner, Thomas Hay, contacted the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance because he was interested in applying for an Innovation Partnership microgrant to assist in a Phase I SBIR proposal to the National Science Foundation.

He strongly felt that the company’s recent SBIR proposals had not been as successful as they used to be. With the help of the SBDC, Mr. Hay was eager to reexamine and improve their former approach.

The Pitt SBDC consultant helped Mr. Hay successfully apply for an Innovation Partnership microgrant of $2,000, which went toward covering the costs testing on a bridge. These tests provided valuable data to support the SBIR proposal.

In addition to funding, a valuable element of the microgrant process is receiving critical feedback on the proposal from experienced reviewers before submitting it for SBIR consideration.

The consultant helped Mr. Hay review the feedback from the Innovation Partnership panel. He offered additional critique of his own as well, pointing out areas that lacked detail and suggesting where further discussions may be beneficial.

The consultant also helped Mr. Hay explore potential funding opportunities for an innovation that had received Phase I SBIR funding but not Phase II funding, thus leaving it undeveloped for the time being.

Waves in Solids received the $100,000 National Science Foundation Phase I SBIR grant that Mr. Hay applied for. He will continue to work with his consultant to meet the federal grant requirements, move his innovation forward, and identify potential funding opportunities for other technologies.