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(Chip Somodevilla/2011 Getty Images)
(Chip Somodevilla/2011 Getty Images)

Small Business Briefing

Small businesses get boost from NASA Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Small businesses get boost from NASA

NASA has selected 85 small business proposals to enter into negotiations for Phase II contract awards through the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. NASA will award approximately $63-million in contracts to 79 small high technology firms in 27 U.S. states whose projects address specific technology gaps in agency missions.

"Small businesses are not only crucial to NASA's trailblazing achievements in space exploration; they are the backbone of the American economy," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a press release from NASA.

In addition to meeting NASA’s needs, the proposals must also provide innovative research in areas that have other commercial applications. Examples include:

  1. Development of design and fabrication techniques that will be used to create better UV detectors;
  2. A new composite material manufacturing process which could decrease manufacturing costs;
  3. New high-performance lubricants beneficial to robotic spacecraft operations in extreme temperature;
  4. A laser-ranging technology that can be used as the next generation air data system for aircraft.

No timecards, just tablets

Three years ago, tablets were almost non-existent; at least not from a consumer standpoint. Now it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere – from the couch to the train to the coffee shop – without seeing someone swiping an iPad 2.

But they’re also creeping up in less likely places, like hospitals, insurance offices and even ice cream shops . In fact, tablets have completely transformed the way many of these businesses operate.

In this story from NPR, find out how Iorio's Gelateria in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has replaced traditional timecards and even the cash register with a tablet, and what it means for the future of these businesses.

What's in a name?

Settling on a name for your company is just like naming your first-born child – only it's harder, because you have to worry about copyright infringement. The Huffington Post offers 10 tips for naming your business and Inc.com offers some advice when dealing with trademark dilemmas.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

CES 2012: International Consumer Electronics Show

The world's largest consumer technology tradeshow kicks off on January 10 in Las Vegas. To register, click here.

Start 101: Ready, Set...Register Your Business

On December 22 in Toronto, learn about the different business structures you can register and which is best for you. Learn to register your business and CRA accounts properly, get maximum tax advantages, report properly to Canada Revenue Agency and avoid potential problems.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

The sure-footed ascent of Manitobah Mukluks

In part 1 of Talking to Entrepreneurs, Sean McCormick, the president and co-founder of Manitobah Mukluks, explains how he and his sister became purveyors of authentic aboriginal footwear, and his role as a mentor in Manitoba's aboriginal community

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

How useful are tablets for business?

Tablets have proven their might as consumer devices. But how do they fare in the business world?

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

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