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UAS Cluster Initiative newsletter
  February 20, 2024

  1. America's Seed Fund, SBIR/STTR
  2. OK Catalyst Funding Labs and support for SBIR/STTR participants
  3. Women Catalyst Advantage Network (Women-CAN) Accepting Applications
  4. Using SBIR Funding as a Match for OARS Funding
  5. Available Lab Technologies
  6. Rethink Vertical Podcasts
1. America's Seed Fund, SBIR/STTR:

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research Development with the potential for commercialization. SBIR applicants must be a qualified US small business while STTR applicants must be a collaboration that includes a small business and a research institution, such as a university.

To find out more about SBIR and STTR, go to the website or view the SBIR Overview Slide show.

2. OK Catalyst Funding Labs and support for SBIR/STTR participants

OK Catalyst provides no-cost training and mentorship for small businesses across Oklahoma and the Heartland win SBIR awards from DoD, DOE, NASA, NSF, and other SBIR-awarding agencies.

OK Catalyst's Funding Labs assist small businesses in finding SBIR funding opportunities and preparing competitive proposals. Each Funding Lab typically takes the form of an 8-week, virtual course timed to align with an open proposal submission window from an SBIR award-granting agency. Participants in the Funding Labs will receive proposal development training and mentorship tailored to the unique demands of specific agency topics. Upon receiving a Phase I award, OK Catalyst participants will advance to our post-award TABA Lab, where they will receive additional technical and business assistance to support their efforts to complete Phase I and win a Phase II award.

Go to their website at for information. To find out the latest on the OK Catalyst Funding labs, click on the SBIR Funding Labs tab at the top of the web page.

3. Women Catalyst Advantage Network (Women-CAN) Accepting Applications.

BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting is excited to offer transformational training opportunities to women entrepreneurs through its Women Catalyst Advantage Network (Women-CAN). The SBA-funded training opportunities include SBIR training, one-on-one consulting, and leadership training. To qualify to participate in the program, a company must be >51% women-owned and must intend to submit an SBIR/STTR application or already have an SBIR/STTR award. Applications are currently open for the following cohorts:

Cohort #3 - Application deadline Feb 28
Cohort #4 - Application deadline Mar 20
For more information including how to apply, go to .

4. Using SBIR Funding as a Match for OARS Funding.

Oklahoma SBIR-awarded companies have an outstanding opportunity to receive additional funding through OCAST Applied Research Support (OARS) funding. The OARS program awards non-dilutive funding of up to $500,000 to companies leading innovation projects that have the potential to create economic impact in Oklahoma. Projects must have an end user application in industries including biotechnology, aerospace, autonomous systems, defense, and energy diversification.

To be eligible for OARS funding, recipients must be based in Oklahoma and commit a $1-for-$1 match, and the great news for SBIR-awarded companies is that they can use their SBIR funding to fulfill the matching funding obligation. While a minimum of 51% of the project work funded by OCAST must be completed within the State of Oklahoma and show an economic benefit within the state, the funding can be used to hire scientific and technical expertise, create partnerships, secure necessary supplies and equipment, or validate technologies heading toward market launch, moving your company closer to commercialization.

For more information, go to {OARS) Industry Innovation Initiative on the OCAST website.

5. Available Lab Technologies

These are technologies and software available from Federal Lab research or universities. The listings in this section generally do not fully meet the standards for a startup or new product line, HOWEVER they may be enhancement to your business or product line. The links will provide you with more information on the technology along with follow up contact information.

Rotorcraft UAV with Horizontally Mounted Propeller for Environmental Interactions
This technology is from Purdue University.

Carbon Fiber Structural Antenna for UAV Weight reduction
University of Kansas

6. Listen to the Rethink Vertical Podcast

Don't miss the Rethink Vertical podcast, brought to you by the UAS Cluster Initiative, and listen as host Craig Mahaney interviews the industry's most innovative thinkers and doers to bring you emerging aerospace industry insight, without the fluff. The next podcast will be released on Thursday Feb 22, 2024

You can access the Rethink Vertical Podcasts at: Rethink Vertical Podcast.

UASCI is creating an environment where unmanned aviation startups can thrive, connect with innovative networks, access global capital, discover national technologies and learn from proven tech industry leaders.

The UAS Cluster Initiative is funded in part through a Contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed within this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

Questions or comments regarding Newsletter, contact Jack James at
Upcoming Industry Events
Dronesponders: National Public Safety UAS Conference 2024
Mar. 12 - Mar. 13, 2024
Williamsburg, VA

Apr. 3, 2024
Oklahoma City, OK

Xponential 2024
Apr. 22 - Apr. 25, 2024
San Diego, CA

2024 Energy Drone & Robotics Summit
Jun. 10 - Jun. 12, 2024
Houston, TX

First Advanced Air Mobility Symposium (AAM 2024)
Sept. 9 - Sept. 12, 2024
Montréal, Canada
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