NASA has selected 365 US small business proposals for initial funding from the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programme, a total investment of more than $45 million.
The agency provides up to $125,000 for companies to establish the merit and feasibility of their innovations, NASA said on Thursday.
"At NASA, we recognise that small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic," Jim Reuter, Associate Administrator for the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), said in a statement.
"This year, to get funds into the hands of small businesses sooner, we accelerated the release of the 2021 SBIR/STTR Phase-I solicitation by two months. We hope the expedited funding helps provide a near-term boost for future success."
Through the programme, NASA works with US small businesses and research institutions to advance cutting-edge technologies.
Phase-I SBIR contracts are awarded to small businesses and last for six months, while Phase-I STTR contracts are awarded to small businesses in partnership with a research institution and last for 13 months.
Based on their progress during Phase-I, companies may submit proposals to subsequent SBIR/STTR opportunities and receive additional funding.
NASA selected proposals to receive funding based on their technical merit and commercial potential.
The selections span the breadth of NASA missions to empower the agency's work in human exploration, space technology, science, and aeronautics.