AccuStrata Inc. Receives $432K Phase II NSF Grant

SBIR Supports Company's Technology to Increase the Power Solar Cells Generate

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Eric Schurr
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COLLEGE PARK, Md.—AccuStrata Inc., a company in the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Technology Advancement Program incubator developing a control system that increases the power solar cells generate, has received a $432,000 phase II small business innovation research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation, university officials announce today.

The grant is the sixth the company has won in the past 18 months.

AccuStrata is developing a real-time process control system, called TF Auto-Pilot, which detects manufacturing flaws in solar panels and allows manufacturers to correct the panel and return them to their targeted specification, enabling higher-power panels and fewer product rejects.

“Solar cells manufactured with our system can produce 15-20 percent more power,” says AccuStrata President George Atanasoff. “With this funding, we are developing an improved prototype system and validating it for the two most widely used thin film solar panel manufacturing technologies.”

Decreasing flawed and rejected panels "on the fly" as products are made increases solar panel efficiency and manufacturing yield, reduces manufacturing costs, and increases revenue and profit for manufacturers.

In March 2010, AccuStrata received a $70,000 phase I SBIR grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. In January 2010, the company received a $35,000 phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation. In December 2009, the company won a $150,000, phase I Department of Energy SBIR grant. In August 2009, the company won a DOE Supply Chain grant for $150,000. In June 2009, AccuStrata received a National Science Foundation phase I SBIR grant for $100,000. The company also received funding from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation through the Maryland Technology Transfer Fund.

AccuStrata was selected as the Maryland Incubator Company of the Year in 2008 and was again nominated for Maryland Incubator Company of the Year in 2009.

About AccuStrata (
AccuStrata Inc. is a College Park, Md-based company developing an intelligent, real-time optical control system able to improve thin film photovoltaic (solar cell) manufacturing, resulting in higher conversion efficiency and reduced cost. As a result of the company’s solution, solar cells produce more power, resulting in increased revenue and profit for manufacturers.

About the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Technology Advancement Program (TAP) ( 
For over 20 years, TAP has helped entrepreneurs build some of the most successful technology companies in the mid-Atlantic region.  TAP’s staff is comprised of seasoned veterans of startups and venture capital firms who provide business advice and support, market intelligence, introductions, access to funding and other critical assistance that can accelerate the growth of technology ventures. TAP offers furnished offices and flexible lab space as well as a multitude of other benefits and services that can only be found at a technology business incubator situated right on the campus of one of the nation’s top public universities, the University of Maryland. TAP was the first technology business incubator in the state of Maryland and is the birthplace of two of Maryland's billion dollar companies: Gaithersburg-based Digene Corporation (now part of Qiagen) and Columbia-based Martek Biosciences.

About the A. James Clark School of Engineering

The University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is a premier program, ranked among the top 20 in the world. Located just a few miles from Washington, D.C., the Clark School is at the center of a constellation of high-tech companies and federal laboratories, offering students and faculty access to unique professional opportunities.

Our broad spectrum of academic programs, including the world’s only accredited undergraduate fire protection engineering program, is complemented by a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, early hands-on educational experiences, and participation in national and international competitions.

The Clark School is leading research advancements in aerospace, bioengineering, robotics, nanotechnology, disaster resilience, energy and sustainability, and cybersecurity. From the universal product code to satellite radio, SMS text messaging to the implantable insulin pump, our students, faculty, and alumni are engineering life-changing innovations for millions. Learn more at



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