Heila Technologies Awarded $1 Million from the National Science Foundation
Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Program Funds Commercialization of Heila Edge® DER Control and Optimization Platform
For Immediate Release
May 18, 2021
SOMERVILLE, Massachusetts — Heila Technologies Inc. (Heila), a Boston-based distributed energy controls company, recently received an approximately $1 million grant as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program after receiving the Phase I SBIR award in 2019. The SBIR program aims to fund advanced research and development for cutting-edge scientific and engineering discoveries and bring them into the market at scale. The grant will support Heila’s efforts to commercialize their Heila Edge® platform.
Heila’s solution adopts a decentralized approach to distributed energy resource (DER) system management, orchestrating fleets of DERs with embodied intelligence and emergent behavior to build stronger, cleaner and more resilient grid systems. Utilizing advanced machine learning algorithms in an end-to-end control and optimization solution, the Heila Edge® platform can operate and optimize DERs autonomously, even when external communications are lost. Doing so enables operators to seamlessly add or remove assets — regardless of technology or vendor — with no single points of failure or vulnerability to cyberattacks.
“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”
“Our technology can unlock the full potential of DER systems and can help overhaul the grid to enable a more resilient, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future. We have identified the set of capabilities that, if demonstrated in high impact projects, would make the Heila Edge® platform the only solution capable of resolving the technical and logistical gaps that hinder the further adoption of intelligent DERs at scale,” said Francisco Morocz, CEO of Heila Technologies. “We’re grateful that NSF continues to recognize our work toward this goal — this award is an instrumental milestone as we scale up.”
The company had previously been awarded $221,000 through the Phase I SBIR grant, recognized for its unique value proposition as a DER management solution. Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II funding are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales. The Phase II SBIR award builds upon Heila’s previous achievements and poses its Heila Edge® platform as a top contender among competing DER control platforms.
About Heila Technologies Inc.
Heila Technologies is an MIT-born company dedicated to simplifying the integration and operation of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). Combining decades of deep theoretical knowledge and practical industry experience, Heila’s mission is to transform the energy industry from the ground up using DERs as the pillars of a new clean, resilient, and equitable grid. Its decentralized optimization system provides unparalleled automation and modularity, dramatically reducing system complexity and cost. The company was founded in 2015 and is based in Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit www.heilatech.com.
About the National Science Foundation’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 $2 million in funding 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 $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.