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Soctera awarded National Science Foundation STTR Phase I Award

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

ITHACA, N.Y. – September 2, 2021 – Soctera Inc. has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $256,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) on the scaling of power amplifiers that utilize aluminum nitride (AlN)-based semiconductors, increasing power output and performance while improving heat management over traditional materials. Soctera’s innovative use of AlN has the potential to decrease operating temperatures and increase the maximum range of high-frequency radar and next-generation (6G) telecommunication base stations.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, the division director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF.

"Soctera is honored to receive this prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation," said Austin Hickman, president and CEO of Soctera. “With fabrication facilities available right on campus at the Cornell Nanoscale Facility (CNF), we’re ready to begin our scaling efforts of the aluminum nitride platform.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II (up to $1 million). Small businesses with Phase II funding are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

About Soctera: Soctera is developing the world's first power amplifier on an aluminum nitride platform. The company plans to expand from this initial product and monolithically integrate other AlN-enabled electronics, creating a new platform for future high-power, high-frequency systems. Soctera is a member of the Praxis Center for Venture Development, Cornell’s on-campus incubator for startups in engineering, digital and physical sciences. The company is led by co-founders Austin Hickman and Reet Chaudhuri, recent Ph.D. graduates in the field of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University. Soctera is advised by Debdeep Jena and Huili Grace Xing, professors of electrical and computer engineering and materials science and engineering at Cornell.

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