ViSUS LLC Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation
America’s Seed Fund Powered by NSF Provides Funding for R&D; Helps small businesses move innovations out of the lab and into the market
Salt Lake City, UT, September 1 , 2017. – ViSUS LLC has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant for $746,107 in collaboration with the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah to commercialize innovative technology by conducting research and development (R&D) work on the Immediate Delivery of Massive Aerial Imagery to Farmers and Crop Consultants. ViSOAR Ag Explorer enables farmers and crop consultants to decrease inputs and increase yields using aerial imagery, in minutes not days.
ViSOAR Ag Explorer™ will remove the software bottleneck (time and labor) in processing large aerial surveys, enabling a cost-effective process to deliver actionable information to farmers. In turn, farmers and farm consultants can optimize the use of fertilizers and more finely control the amount of pesticides and herbicides necessary to increase crop yield.
Furthermore, farmers mitigate costs and losses by being able to spot problem areas, minimize the spread of plant diseases, and identify issues such as standing water, irrigation malfunctions, and persistent automated machinery errors in planting or cultivation. The technology proposed by ViSUS is part of a broad initiative in agriculture addressing the need for a 70% increase food production by 2050 in response to the projected growth of the world's population.
ViSOAR Ag Explorer provides a solution for stitching of full resolution aerial imagery in the field without requiring an internet connection, making it an indispensable part of the software stack underlying every agricultural UAS system sold. Agisoft, Photoscan, and Pix4D each take approximately 4 hours to process 100 images on a high-end workstation, or up to 8 hours for imagery per flight; far too time consuming for large-scale deployment. “Our goal is provide in field image stitching at a coarse resolution that progressively solves 600 images in 10 minutes providing a full resolution view of the data, enabling instant analytics,” said Dr. Amy Gooch, ViSUS LLC, Chief Operating Officer.
“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 Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “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.”
Small businesses can receive up to $1.5 million in funding from NSF. Companies must first have received a Phase I award (up to $225,000) to become eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000) to further develop and commercialize the technology. 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.
Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential across almost all areas of technology are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. NSF’s deadlines for Phase I small business proposals occur twice annually, in June and December.
To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit: seedfund.nsf.gov.
About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $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 $7.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.