STEP Tools, Inc. Awarded Navy SBIR

STEP Tools, Inc. Awarded $70,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command for Internet-based Project STEP Tools to build framework for a collaborative, Smart Product Model on the World Wide Web

Troy, New York January 24, 2000- STEP Tools, Inc., the forerunner in developing STEP-integration software toolsets for the global marketplace, today announced it has been awarded a $70,000 Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (DoD SBIR) Grant from the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command. The STEP Tools SBIR "Web-based Smart Modeling Environment" project will potentially build the framework for a collaborative, Smart Product Model on the World Wide Web. STEP Tools' Phase One award will fund their efforts to test the scientific and technical merits of the DoD proposed concept. If Phase One is successful, STEP Tools may be awarded a Phase Two contract and receive funding to further develop the concept, usually to prototype stage.

"This project will leverage our extensive experience in applying STEP standards within the automotive and aerospace industries," states John D. Valois, Principal Investigator for the STEP Tools SBIR. "Combined with the potential of the World Wide Web, this groundwork will enable the Navy to design new ships more quickly and at lower cost. It will also allow STEP Tools to develop the next generation of technology for ST-Repository, our STEP data management product and other STEP Tools products."

The Department of Defense SBIR program is the largest source of early stage research and development funding available in the United States for small, high tech companies. All projects serve a Department of Defense need, and have commercialization potential in both military and commercial markets. Qualifying companies must be US owned and organized for profit. STEP Tools retains the intellectual property rights for their innovation. The STEP Tools SBIR project officially began on January 10, 2000.

Breaking New Ground, STEP Tools "Web-based Smart Modeling Environment" SBIR Project

The complexity of modern ship systems has made it very difficult to develop cost-effective system designs involving cross disciplinary teams of experts, each using their own distinct set of tools and technology. Design data exchange between different software tools is often difficult, error prone, and adds very little value to the process. Collaborations that could increase system performance or reduce cost do not occur as frequently as necessary to produce an optimal system design.

The "Web-based Smart Modeling Environment" project to be developed by STEP Tools will provide a framework for building a collaborative, smart product model over the World Wide Web. This highly versatile environment will enable increased collaboration among diverse teams for large, complex systems and the production of designs with higher performance and lower cost across the life cycle. The benefits of this work are increased potential for collaboration amongst the myriad of suppliers and Navy procurement organizations, as well as within the members of the ship building industry.