Policy & Funding
IES Announces Funding for Ed Tech Companies
The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences is looking to fund innovative technology solutions that can aid student learning, teaching, special education and school administrators.
Education companies looking to create technology solutions for students, teachers and administrators now have a new funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The Small Business Innovation Research program is designed to provide small businesses and their partners with funding for the research, development and evaluation of new commercially viable education technology products.
Through a solicitation on Jan. 31, IES announced the funding for Phase 1 SBIR grants for the 2019 fiscal year, which provide small companies with awards up to $200,000. The companies will have eight months to develop prototypes that are relevant to student, teacher and administrative outcomes related to education and special education. The announcement of funding is a standard solicitation that has been released by ED for two decades. However, Edward Metz, SBIR program manager at IES, said the content of proposals has shifted over the past 10 years.
"We do see emerging technologies appear from year to year. In the past year or two, there's been an increase in virtual reality and augmented reality. Ten years ago, those technologies didn't exist," Metz noted.
The SBIR announcement outlines three priority areas for funding. The first is educational products used by students or teachers in K-12 education settings. The second area is technology solutions used by infants, toddlers and students who have or are at risk for disabilities, as well as solutions used by teachers within early intervention or special education settings. The last area is solutions to be used by school administrators in K-12 education and special education settings.
The SBIR solicitation will close March 20 at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. More information can be found here.
Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.
Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.
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