The Phase II proposal, Washable Wool Products for Individual Protection, submitted to the Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has been selected for award. This is the news the Sheep Venture Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Sheep Industry Association's (ASI), received this week.
"During Phase I of the program, the Sheep Venture Company successfully evaluated various methods of low-cost treatments that allow wool fabrics to be machine washed and dried in a field environment with little to no shrinkage," commented Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI wool marketing director. "Moving on to Phase II of the program is really exciting as this is the time where we manufacture and test prototypes."
Phase I of the project was completed this fall and explored the development of a treatment that renders wool fabrics machine washable and dryable in a field environment with little to no shrinkage. Phase II provides the funding to move the product into production. The target award for this phase of the project is $730,000 over two years, plus $50,000 for the completion of Phase I.
The SBIR program allows small, U.S. businesses with less than 500 employees the opportunity to provide innovative research and development solutions in response to critical Department of Defense (DOD) needs. Each quarter the DOD publishes a series of solicitations for solutions to problems they are experiencing.
"The sheep industry has a long history of working with the military to develop products that will better protect and safeguard our troops," continued Samuelson. "ASI has great resources as well as close relationships within the textile industry to develop a superior product with the funding through this program."