Much to our excitement, Multiscale Systems, Inc. has been notified that we're receiving a National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I SBIR Award. From the press release:
Worcester, MA (6/11/19) - Multiscale Systems, Inc., has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,553 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on Ultra Low-Cost Mechanical Metamaterials to Enable Mobility and Interactivity for Cyber-Physical Devices.
Multiscale Systems, Inc. is performing fundamental R&D on the underlying technology required to manufacture and commercialize its advanced material system.
Multiscale Systems, Inc.’s mechanical metamaterial technology enables conventional materials to be enhanced without chemical or molecular modification, leading to materials that are significantly lighter, stronger, multi-functional, and failure-resistant. Products made with mechanical metamaterials are more energy-efficient and have longer service lifetimes, leading to cost savings for consumers and net-positive environmental impacts.
This innovation will result in notable advances for manufacturing. Conventional materials have well-established limitations and life times, and material scientists have thought that new chemistries or polymers were the most likely path toward innovation. However, the university-level basic research that uncovered the fundamentals of mechanical metamaterial technology showed unconventional opportunities were hiding right around the corner. By simply embedding geometric patterns into common materials, they become enhanced by the interaction between geometry and mechanics. The team at Multiscale Systems, Inc. has developed methods and software for designing these patterns, allowing them to find new patterns that meet industry-specific needs.
“The National Science Foundation supported my physics PhD through the EFRI-ODISSEI program, and the critical discoveries made during those years have led to a number of cutting-edge ideas,” said Jesse Silverberg, PhD, founder of Multiscale Systems, Inc. “This grant from the NSF is a critical resource for us as we work to commercialize the most promising discoveries into high-impact breakthrough technologies.”
Multiscale Systems, Inc. is also benefiting from the programs and support offered by MassChallenge, a Boston-based business accelerator. Multiscale Systems Inc. is currently using temporary office space provided by MassChallenge in the waterfront district of Boston, but is seeking to locate both office and manufacturing facilities in Worcester, MA later this year.
Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR 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 America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/
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 $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds 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 $7.8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
Much to our excitement, Multiscale Systems, Inc. has joined an exciting global network of startups through the MassChallenge accelerator program. From the press release:
Worcester, MA (5/15/19) - Multiscale Systems, Inc., an advanced materials firm commercializing mechanical metamaterials, today announced that it was selected to participate in the 2019 MassChallenge Boston accelerator program. Rigorously selected by a community of close to 200 expert judges, Multiscale Systems, Inc. represents the top 9% of applications from around the world, including 61 countries and 25 U.S. states.
Through a global network of zero-equity accelerators, MassChallenge identifies the world's highest-impact, highest-potential startups and helps them successfully launch and grow. As part of the 2019 cohort, Multiscale Systems, Inc. will have unrivaled access to expert mentorship, top corporate partners, and more than 20,000 square-feet of co-working space - all at zero cost and for zero equity. Multiscale Systems, Inc. will also engage in evidence-based curriculum, which has been designed to address key challenges throughout each phase of the early-stage lifecycle, including discovery, development, deployment, and distribution. At the close of the program, startups will compete for more than $1M in cash prizes at the 2019 MassChallenge Boston Awards held on October 24, 2019.
Dr. Jesse Silverberg, Multiscale Systems, Inc.'s founder responded to the news today: "We are thrilled to be accepted into the MassChallenge program where we -- a group of science and engineering wonks -- will be able to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies. As part of the generation that grew up in the aftermath of the global economic collapse, our measure of success is the number of high-quality jobs we can provide for our community here in central Mass."
Multiscale Systems, Inc. is making their name as first-movers in an emerging new area of material science. Their mechanical metamaterial technology endows conventional materials with enhanced properties, making them lighter, stronger, multi-functional, and failure-resistant.
MassChallenge is the second competition this year-old startup has gained traction with. Late in 2018, the team competed and received Phase I/II awards at the US Army's xTechSearch competition, which awarded the team seed funds to purchase essential manufacturing equipment. "This early success with xTechSearch was essential for a strong application to MassChallenge," said Dr. Silverberg, "As we move ahead, we are excited to be building on a strong foundation and with the support of so many advocates."
MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, more than 1,900 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $4 billion in funding, generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue, and created more than 120,000 total jobs.
After a year of planning in stealth mode, it's time to make our presence known. I wonder if new companies are expected (by contemporary standards) to do something special to commemorate the event. Not being big on such things, I think I'll finish this post1 and get back to work.
Learning-by-doing as an approach to getting the job done has always worked well for me. I remember learning introductory physics and calculus by working through books of problems. When put side-by-side with assigned theoretically-oriented text books, it made for a good well-rounded pairing. Web development is largely the same (for me anyway) -- visualize a mental picture of what it's supposed to look like or do, then start coding until it works. If that fails, then search web for a minimal-example to figure out what's wrong. In the process, it becomes a learning opportunity that can save time later on.