Zyante, the company that produces zyBooks, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase II grant by the National Science Foundation. The award, in the Education Application category, is the result of a rigorously competitive application process and is indicative of the innovative work being done on zyBooks. Fewer than 10% of companies who apply for NSF’s SBIR program are awarded a Phase II grant.
The Phase II award is based on zyBooks’ continued development of a web based authoring framework for university level STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) content via curated crowdsourcing in an animated, interactive format.
Under the zyBooks curated crowdsourcing model, which differs significantly from traditional crowdsourcing, a core author/editor team creates the initial content, requiring little upfront investment. The community then adopts the content and contributes items under the core team’s curation, with the core team serving as a means of editing and streamlining the content. In this way, curated crowdsourced content cannot only dramatically improve content, but it can also reduce creation/maintenance costs.
Per Smita Bakshi, zyBooks CEO: “The zyBooks team is thrilled to be recognized by the award of this prestigious grant.” This grant will, Bakshi continues, “allow [zyBooks] to build out our authoring platform so that more authors can efficiently create interactive content.”
The SBIR Program provides an opportunity for the best of the best in science and technological innovation to commercialize and expand to the next level. Sponsored and administered by the National Science Foundation, Phase I and Phase II grants require grantees to successfully provide a battery of applications, proposals, and data driven findings to show why their proposal, out of all the innovations on the market, shows real opportunity to transform scientific discovery into lasting societal and economic benefit and commercial success.
Zyante was awarded the Phase I grant in July 2013