Northwest-based Protium Innovations receives NSF Small Business Technology Transfer grant.
Protium Innovations LLC (Protium) has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development work on 3D printed liquid hydrogen fuel tanks for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The project will fill knowledge gaps in manufacturing methods and materials to cost effectively develop a new class of liquid hydrogen storage tanks for electric UAVs. The tanks will increase the reliability and performance of surveillance platforms in the armed forces, enable the inspection of key energy and transportation infrastructure, and enable more reliable intelligence and communications platforms for first responders during natural disasters. In addition, the project will enable the switch to renewable hydrogen electric drivetrains in a variety of additional transportation systems on the ground and in the air, reducing emissions and increasing energy independence.
“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.”
“Protium Innovations is proud to use this opportunity to promote a new clean energy solution in a young and growing technology sector,” remarked Dr. Patrick Adam, Co-Founder of Protium and Principal Investigator for this grant. “We look forward to being able to provide an integrated energy system that both meets customer’s needs for reliability and low cost operations, while providing the broader societal benefit of reduced pollution and less reliance on foreign energy producers.”
Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant, it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant for 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.