NASA funds small-business ideas ranging from AI medicine to plumbing for the moon

NASA says it’ll fund more than 400 ideas from small businesses, aimed at creating technologies ranging from plumbing fixtures suitable for the moon to AI-based medical assistants that can provide “an extra pair of trained eyes” for crews on Mars.

The contracts will provide about $51 million to 312 small businesses in 44 states and Washington, D.C., to support the development of technologies that could come in handy for space exploration or Earth-based applications.

“NASA depends on America’s small businesses for innovative technology development that helps us achieve our wide variety of missions,” Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, said in a news release. “Whether we’re landing Artemis astronauts on the Moon, sending rovers to Mars or developing next-generation aircraft, our small business partners play an important role.”

Six Washington state businesses are among the recipients of Phase I contracts under NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research program, or SBIR. Two more teams, pairing up businesses and universities, will receive Phase I contracts in the Small Business Technology Transfer program, known as STTR.

Each contract is worth up to $125,000. SBIR contracts last for six months, while the STTR contracts last for 13 months. Depending on their progress, Phase I companies could be win additional support during follow-up SBIR/STTR phases.

Here are the six Washington state proposals funded through SBIR:

  • Jeeva Wireless, Seattle: Developing protocols an ultra-low-power backscatter networking platform that can synchronize timestamping on a scale of microseconds between sensors and a wireless hub/aggregator. Such
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Inside the lavish lives of the billionaire family behind Boohoo, the fast-fashion giant called out in an investigation into workers being paid just $4 an hour at suppliers’ factories

Mahmud Kamani (L) is photographed with rapper Snoop Dogg, business partner Carol Kane, and his son, Samir.
Mahmud Kamani (L) is photographed with rapper Snoop Dogg, business partner Carol Kane, and his son, Samir.

Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for bohooo

  • Boohoo is the UK’s fast-growing fast-fashion retailer that was set up in 2006 by Mahmud Kamani and his business partner Carol Kane and is now valued at more than $4.3 billion

  • The company has come under intense scrutiny this month after a Sunday Times investigation found that a factory supplying its clothes was paying workers as little £3.50 ($4.37) an hour and flouting COVID-19 social distancing rules.

  • The company said it is investigating the report and described the conditions as “totally unacceptable.”

  • Here’s the story of Kamani, the man behind the empire, and his glamorous life with his wife and three sons. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The rise of the Kamani family is frequently described by the British tabloids as one of the UK’s great “rags to riches” tales. 

Mahmud Kamani, the patriarch of the family, is the 55-year-old billionaire behind Boohoo, the UK’s fast-fashion clothing company that has achieved explosive growth in the past few years and is considered to be one of the few retailers to have dodged the retail doom and gloom. 

Kamani, who is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country and has worked his way up the UK’s rich list to be worth just over $1 billion, started his career by selling cheap clothes to market stallholders and high-street brands in the UK

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Mark Wahlberg Expands Dealership Business With Buick-GMC Store

It’s across the street from the Chevy dealership he owns.

Over the last few years, Mark Wahlberg has expanded his resume from actor to businessman. He has Wahlburgers, a string of casual burger joints and bars, works with a health and wellness company, and owns a Chevy dealership in Columbus, Ohio. Today, his business empire is expanding with another dealership purchase – a Buick-GMC operation right across the street from his Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet shop, according to Automotive News.

Wahlberg’s expanding business operations also include an Airstream and RV dealership in the same city. It’s been renamed as Mark Wahlberg Airstream & RV, and we’re sorry if you were expecting a different name. If Wahlberg’s new purchases are like his Chevy dealership, there’ll likely be a large “W” logo, the same signature signage on his restaurants, letting the world know who owns it.

Celebrities Like Cars, Too:

Wahlberg purchased the Haydocy Buick-GMC dealership with his business partner Jay Feldman, a Michigan dealer Wahlberg met during the filming of Transformers: Age of Extinction. They bought the Chevy dealership together in 2018, too, and are business partners in several of Wahlberg’s restaurants. When the two bought the Chevy dealership, Feldman said they were looking at other dealerships to purchase, and Wahlberg echoed similar sentiments at the time.

“Columbus has been so welcoming and it just made sense to grow our automotive platform here,” Wahlberg said in a statement, according to the industry publication. “The Haydocy family has been wonderful to

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Opening day on July 4 could have been something special. Too bad MLB blew it

Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season on July 4. <span class="copyright">(Mark Brown / Getty Images)</span>
Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season on July 4. (Mark Brown / Getty Images)

If only baseball had gotten its act together this spring, it could have staged a grand reopening act this summer, a kickoff to a pandemic-shortened season for America’s pastime on the most American of holidays — the Fourth of July.

“Oh, you mean baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?” sports business consultant Andy Dolich, 73, said, recalling the television advertising jingle that first aired in 1975. “Fireworks, families and communities coming together for a celebration … who’d be interested in that?”

The sarcasm in Dolich’s voice was as clear as his message: Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season July 4.

Sure, there would have been less pomp under the circumstances. With stadiums empty, there would be no need for the unfurling of giant American flags, military flyovers and extravagant postgame fireworks shows.

But if owners and players hadn’t spent three months haggling over money, a dispute that pushed what is now a scheduled 60-game season to July 23, baseball could have had the domestic sports stage to itself for weeks, returning well before the NBA and NHL.

And MLB could have produced a Fourth of July extravaganza, airing multiple season openers throughout the day to a country craving live sporting events and a distraction from the coronavirus

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