BioDrill Technical Solutions, a tenant at our supporting member the RIT Venture Creations incubator, won a $225,000 federal grant to further develop its technology as a game-based learning tool for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) curricula at the high school level, especially Advanced Placement environmental science and biology.
BioDrill sells a bench-scale version of an anaerobic digester that converts food and other waste into fuel, intended as an instructional tool. Under a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Science Foundation, the company will develop a game-based approach to help AP students learn how adjustable operating parameters affect output and yield, and how pricing in raw-material and end-use markets affects the economics of a conversion business.
Under the STTR and SBIR programs, federal agencies conducting or financing significant levels of R&D must set aside a specified percentage for competitive awards to small businesses, and in the case of STTR the selected businesses must be partnered with a college or university. STTR/SBIR awards are either grants or contracts without balance-sheet implications and are often used by seed-stage businesses as a way to finance reduction of technical risk prior to seeking private venture financing.
For more information, see the Venture Creations news release.