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Press Release - National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant Announcement


Click Here for February 26, 2019 Press Release PDF

Contact: Tommy Rompel
Chief Operating Officer

Tucson, Arizona, February 26, 2019 – SGNT (pronounced sig-net) has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,470 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on a Radio-Frequency-Identification (RFID) Based Seal & Packaging Methods to Eliminate Counterfeiting and Tampering of Physical Goods.

SGNT is performing fundamental R&D on the underlying technology required to manufacture and commercialize its patent-pending product.

SGNT technology significantly reduces the financial loss and brand damage caused by product counterfeiting and tampering. Scanning the patent-pending SGNT packaging seal with our simple smartphone app digitally proves the product authentic and unaltered.

This innovation will result in a notable reduction of counterfeit physical goods on a global scale. The pharmaceutical industry and U.S. Department of Defense, in particular, are in need of a solution to this problem. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates the global trade of counterfeit goods at $461 billion USD. This technology will mitigate economic loss incurred from the proliferation of counterfeit goods for organizations, governments, and individuals alike, and improve the health and safety for people across the globe that are frequently harmed because of counterfeit goods.

“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.”

“This grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is a critical step for us as we work to commercialize our breakthrough technology,” said SGNT’s CEO, Emil Tremblay. “We are very proud to represent Tucson’s growing startup community on the national stage.”

SGNT has benefited from the programs and support offered by Startup Tucson and the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce. SGNT's first office is located in the Metro Chamber building and is part of a new partnership between the Chamber and Startup Tucson.

“We couldn’t be happier being involved with helping such an innovative company reach their goals and make their dream a reality,” says Amber Smith, President & CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber.

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 America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $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 $7.8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

To learn more about SGNT, its team, and its technology, visit:


Media Kit available at https://sgnt.io/media

February 26, 2019
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