Bonbouton Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation
New York, NY, April 1, 2019 – Bonbouton has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant for $730,200 to conduct research and develop (R&D) comfortable, precise graphene sensing elements that can be directly integrated inside a shoe’s insole to constantly monitor diabetic foot health and detect early signs of foot ulcers, a complication that affects over 25% of all people living with diabetes and is responsible for an estimated 80% of the 70,000 amputation surgeries performed each year in the United States.
Bonbouton’s research on graphene has contributed to the knowledge of double-layer capacitor (“supercapacitor”) electrodes and the fabrication of electrically conductive and high surface area nanomaterials. Its patented methods for inkjet printing graphene has elucidated ways for construction of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) with a wide scope of applications for medical and healthcare applications showing predictive analytics, including temperature, pressure, ECG, EMG, and humidity sensing. The results from the scientific findings enable a better understanding of graphene-related underlying mechanisms operating both at the chemical and physical level for prediction of sensory behavior through mathematical modeling and experimentation, which will enable dialog to open up future collaborations between the academic and industrial world.
“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.”
“It has been a privilege to work with NSF through SBIR Phase I to develop the prototype and validate the market demand, and I’m very much looking forward to strengthening the existing partnership in building our business and ultimately providing our preventative solutions for different stakeholders in diabetes management,” said Linh Le, Founder and CEO. “The NSF has not only provided financial support, but also tremendous insight from working with Program Manager Rick Schwerdtfeger, who helped me not make as many mistakes as a first-time entrepreneur.”
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 the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit: www.nsf.gov/SBIR.
About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $190 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.