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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) yesterday announced 15 recommendations for awards through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.USDOT received 106 proposals for the nine topics submitted by five participating USDOT agencies. The selected businesses will receive a total of $1.9 million in funding for their first phase of concept development, according to a USDOT press release.Through the conceptual development phase, the businesses will establish the potential for commercialization of their research based on their assigned topic in order to receive funding for the second phase, department officials said in a blog post.Managed by USDOT's Volpe Center, the competitive award program is designed to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in transportation-related research and development.This year's selected businesses and research projects include:• Intelligent Automation Inc., Rockville, Md.; basalt fiber reinforced polymer for railway wood ties manufacturing;• Migma Systems Inc., Walpole, Mass.; a robust railway track crack detection system using thermal signatures;• Creare LLC, Hanover, N.H.; real-time broken rail detection system;• Protection Engineering Consultants, San Antonio, Texas; resilient wayside structures and passenger car survivability; and• CLR Analytics Inc., Irvine, Calif.; a smart onboard railroad passenger information and entertainment system.
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