SBA Small Business Innovation Funding Speeds Up Development of Drone Deliveries

Business man stands in front of a rooftop display of proprietary fuel cells and solar panels

Dr. Michael Waller founded Falcon Fuel Cells in 2020, from spin-off technology through his research at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Designed for military surveillance and retail delivery applications, Falcon Fuel Cells’ propriety mobile fuel cells allow up to 10 times more flight time for small to mid-sized unmanned aerial vehicles “UAV” or, what we commonly call, drones.  The cutting-edge fuel cells have higher energy densities, allowing UAVs to fly farther, carry larger payloads, and make more deliveries per flight than battery-powered UAVs.

In May, Falcon Fuel Cells was awarded the US Small Business Administration (SBA) Buffalo District Government Contracting Champion of the Year in celebration of National Small Business Week.  The Monroe County APEX Accelerator nominated Dr. Waller for his work in the federal contracting space and focus on the US Defense Industrial Base.  Upon accepting the award, Dr. Waller stated “I am honored for the nomination of Government Champion of the Year.  Monroe County APEX Accelerator’s assistance in the federal contracting space and our SBIR awards helped Falcon Fuel Cells to continue to grow our technology and business.”

Falcon Fuel Cells has successfully competed for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts to develop their fuel cell technology.  The SBIR program, administered by SBA, funds startups and small businesses across technology areas and markets to stimulate technological innovation, meet Federal research and development (R&D) needs, and increase the transition of R&D into commercial use.  The company was awarded two SBIR contracts with the US Air Force (“USAF”,) and is looking to pursue additional support to advance its technology.  The SBIR awards allowed Falcon Fuel Cells to commercialize the most advanced fuel cell system for UAVs for sale directly to the USAF. 

Dr. Waller continues to grow his company through R&D and is currently working on a prototype for a proprietary fuel cell power plant.  The company’s sustained growth through sales to the military and additional SBIR grants will continue to move this important technology forward for both government and private sector applications.  Who knows?  Maybe your next online package delivery will be “Falcon-fueled.”

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.