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Research Grants

The Smart Airport and Aviation Partnership (SAAP) invites proposals for aviation-related small research grants in amounts between $1,000 and $30,000.

About SAAP Research Grants

The application period for this solicitation has ended.

Please join our Mailing List for future events and funding opportunities

SAAP is a public-private partnership formed to assist regional efforts to build an aviation ecosystem in Southern New Jersey.  It is funded by a matching grant from the United State Economic Development Authority (USEDA).  The central applicant for the grant was the Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA), and the SAAP program is managed by ACEA with assistance from the National Institute of Aerospace.  Both Cape May County and Atlantic County are among the partners comprising SAAP.

SAAP’s primary activities include (1) the business accelerator known as “flightPlan,” serving competitively selected cohorts of aviation-related companies, (2) the Small Research Grant program described here, (3) activities with our regional economic development partners that attract and facilitate aviation-related businesses in the Southern New Jersey region; and (4) support and encouragement of “Smart Airport” technologies.

Your grant proposal must include (in no more than 10 pages):

  • Proponent’s resume or, if proponent is a company, resumes of founders and statement of corporate status (e.g., C corp, LLC), statement of corporate missions, and amount of time you have been in business;

  • Link to your website, if any;

  • Description of your proposed research and methodology, including the technology(ies) you propose to enhance or develop, anticipated duration of research, sites at which research will be performed, and why and to whom your research will be useful;

  • Explanation of how your proposal aligns with SAAP missions and/or publicly-announced aims of the William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center located in Southern New Jersey;

  • Identity and resumes of research and test team members;

  • Articulation of how a SAAP grant will supplement your current resources and capabilities, how you plan to continue and conclude your research, including milestones, and what you will consider a successful conclusion;

  • A budget, including milestones, supporting payments of grant funding (please note that larger grants may be made in progress payments as milestones are reached);

  • Draft ConOps, if applicable; and

  • Amount you are seeking, and specific budget of intended use(s) for that amount.


Proponents may request a conceptual review seeking advance input from a grant evaluation team to ensure the proposal contains all necessary elements.  The grant evaluation team will consist of the current SAAP Accelerator leadership team, the President of the National Aviation Research and Technology Park (NARTP), the President of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA), and the Cape May County Commissioner with oversight for economic development.  The team will forward a completed proposal to the SAAP Advisory Board with a recommendation as to whether the proposal should be accepted and funded.

Once a grant is awarded, the recipient will file monthly reports until the conclusion of the last milestone identified on recipient’s budget documents.  The monthly reports will articulate what progress was made on the recipient’s research over the past month, and how the SAAP grant contributed to that work.  Recipient also will comply with any requirements established by the ACEA, which maintains and dispenses the research grant funds.

All proposals are welcome and will be fully considered.  We especially encourage minorities, women and veterans to join our community and experience the exciting innovation environment and growth potential of the aviation industry.  Proposals also are especially encouraged from past and present members of flightPlan, the Aviation Accelerator.  For all applications, financial need will be taken into account. 

Applications are considered on a quarterly basis.  Typically, awards will be made twice yearly, but the Director of SAAP shall have discretion to bring appropriate applications on an expedited basis to the Grant Review Committee and Advisory Committee.  Proposals for the next round of competition for the grant must be submitted to the Program Manager at  Awards will be finalized when approved by SAAP’s Advisory Committee.

The application period for this solicitation has ended.

Please join our Mailing List for future events and funding opportunities

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