According to the official government website for SBIR/STTR, Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is a program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

The mission of the STTR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Stimulate technological innovation
  • Foster technology transfer through cooperative R&D between small businesses and research institutions;
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D

The Office of the Naval Research solicited a program, titled Computing with Chaos. The objective of this program is to utilize the concept of nonlinear dynamical chaos to create a chaos-based computer for a novel approach to information processing that has the potential to be superior to existing technologies in finding optimal solutions for problem solving and decision-making. This research includes developing the software to program this chaos-based computer.
Applied Chaos Lab and its business partners, FirstPass Engineering and Chaologix applied for this program and awarded a Phase I STTR fund. After successfully finishing the phase I and applying for the phase II, the team awarded a STTR phase II grant. In this project the ACL and its business partners are designing and fabricating integrated circuits for chaos based computing systems, testing and measuring the system-wide improvements that can be gained through application of chaos theory, and introducing new features for the systems are made possible by chaos and nonlinear dynamics.