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  • Daniel Weinstein

Lura Health Receives $256,000 NSF SBIR Phase I Grant Award

We are very excited to announce that Lura Health has been awarded a National Science Foundation Phase I SBIR grant for $256,000. This award will support the development of our current intra-oral salivary pH monitor and help us progress towards our ultimate vision of creating a comprehensive personal health management system, using saliva as a diagnostic medium. This award serves as a recognition of belief in the proposed impact of our technology, our long term vision, and the ability of Lura Health's team. We are immensely proud to have this support from the National Science Foundation.

Lura Health has previously applied for three SBIR Phase I grant opportunities without receiving an award. After several years of continually advancing our technology, growing our team, refining our business models, learning from reviewer feedback and improving upon our grant proposals, we have now received an award on our fourth proposal submission. This award, along with all of the other progress and milestones Lura Health has achieved, would not be possible without our incredible team, advisors and awesome supporters.

The graphic below is published by the National Science Foundation and explains more details about what goes into the proposal review process:

Here is some more information about the National Science Foundation and the SBIR program, from the NSF SBIR website:

About the NSF’s Small Business Programs

America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. For more information, visit

The History of NSF SBIR

After a career in the U.S Army Air Corps and 20 years of corporate experience, including serving as the VP of two small, high-tech firms, Roland Tibbetts was appointed as the Senior Program Officer at NSF in 1972. Tibbetts was known as a task master with well-honed instincts for enabling potentially game-changing projects. He also recognized the importance of small, high-tech firms to the economy and observed the fierce opposition they faced from other recipients when pursuing federal R&D funding.

Tibbetts envisioned a three-phase structure in order to foster the research and development (R&D) in small, high-tech businesses and push them to realize their commercial potential. He believed these firms were instrumental in converting government R&D into public benefit through technological innovation and commercial applications, therefore stimulating aggregate economic growth.

In 1977, NSF recognized the need for ongoing support for small business and instituted the Small Business Innovation Applied to National Needs program within the Engineering Division. The program was designed to tap the innovative capabilities of small firms and was the precursor to NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research program. The program’s first solicitation attracted 329 proposals from small businesses, 42 of which were funded with awards of up to $25,000 each.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a government-wide SBIR program into law. Read more about the history of the SBIR program on the SBA’s website.


A clarifying side note - the NSF SBIR Phase I grant award will be awarded to UCHU Biosensors, our previous brand, as this is still our legal company name. When the award is made publicly available on the National Science Foundation website, UCHU Biosensors will be listed as the awardee.


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