Substrate Games Awarded NIH SBIR Phase I


DES MOINES, IOWA, September 15, 2017 - Substrate Games, LLC has been awarded a competitive SBIR Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) totaling $222,654. This grant will support the research and development of an interactive software application for undergraduate students studying organic chemistry.

Organic compounds and their interactions form the very foundation of life. The relevance of organic chemistry to medicine research and practice is profound. Students and their professors often cite a strong grasp of organic chemistry study as a key factor to a successful medical career. Yet the course presents steep barriers due to its complexity, and high rates of failure are common. Our approach aims to increase student engagement and bring clarity to foundational concepts that will serve the student through their academic career and beyond.

Through our participation in the I-Corps program's customer discovery process, we encountered a widespread, difficult problem - learning organic chemistry - that we believe we can help solve through our expertise in effective science education, interaction design, and visualization. We're excited for the opportunity to aid the medical professionals of tomorrow.

- Will Schneller, Co-founder + Studio Director


About the NIH SBIR Program

The United States Congress created the SBIR program in 1982. These programs congressionally require eligible governmental agencies to set aside a percentage of their extramural budget so that domestic small businesses can engage in R&D that has a strong potential for technology commercialization. The goals of the SBIR program include stimulating technological innovation and increasing private sector commercialization of innovations developed through federal R&D funding. Eleven federal agencies have SBIR programs. Federal agencies with extramural research budgets over $100 million are required to set-aside a certain percentage of their budget to the SBIR program.