Grant provides funding for company to research and develop proprietary technology for fast millimeter wave (mmw) imaging


PITTSBURGH — Sept. 19, 2017 — Steel City Optronics, a Pittsburgh-based technology company dedicated to increasing public safety through the development and commercialization of security cameras and navigational electronics using millimeter wave (mmw) technology, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research grant to conduct research and development work on a proprietary technology for fast mmw imaging.
Steel City Optronics’ patent-pending technology enables video-rate imaging of moving objects from less than 10 inches to more than three miles away. The company uses a novel integration of both new and mature technologies to sell its camera at a cost-effective price point accessible to schools, libraries and public spaces, not just airports and government facilities.

“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

The NSF Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer catalyzes the commercialization of technological innovations through the transformation of scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit. The program increases the incentive and opportunity for startups and small businesses to undertake cutting-edge, high-quality scientific research and development.

“The NSF scientific review panel carefully evaluates the technology and commercial potential of thousands of applicants in each application period. We are honored to have passed this rigorous screening and be selected as a National Science Foundation grantee,” said Sara Partee, founder and chairman of Steel City Optronics.

“Our focused goal is to save lives through the widespread adoption of our cost-effective security and situational awareness solutions. The funding from, and the imprimatur of, the NSF will help us achieve our goal of increased public safety,” said Kevin Magenis, CEO, Steel City Optronics.

To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit:

About Steel City Optronics
Steel City Optronics LLC is a Pittsburgh-based technology company comprised of engineers and scientists bound together to bring state-of-the-art millimeter wave security cameras to market. The company is building a video-rate camera that can detect weapons and explosives left behind in packages, weapons hidden under clothing and contraband concealed in bags even when subjects are in motion and at distances of up to three miles. Our technologies make security monitoring, situational awareness, navigation and loss prevention easier, faster and more effective than ever before. Vulnerable public areas like schools, hospitals, airports, universities and stadiums are seeking better security solutions. Our technologies answer this need and help protect people from terrorism and other criminal behavior through better security screening. In addition to security monitoring for public safety, our cameras can see through common obscurants like smoke, fog, dust and rain, making them ideal for situational awareness, object avoidance and navigation.

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $190 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.