Kyma Discusses Role of SBTDC and SBIR/STTR Program in its Growth

Kyma Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of crystalline aluminum nitride (AlN) and gallium nitride (GaN) and related products and services, today discussed the help of the North Carolina Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) and the role of the US Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs in Kyma’s growth, as well as the future of the SBIR/STTR programs.

SBTDC is a not for profit organization that helps small business in North Carolina.  It is administered by North Carolina State University and is operated in partnership with the US Small Business Administration.

The SBIR and STTR Programs are highly competitive three-phase programs that reserves a specific percentage of Federal research and development funding for award to small businesses to move ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace, to foster high-tech economic development and to address the technological needs of the Federal Government.  While a small business must lead in proposing for both programs, STTR’s additionally require a partnership with nonprofit research institutions.

Kyma has won over 20 Phase I and Phase II SBIR’s and STTR’s since the company was founded in 1998.  Two of these projects have transitioned to Phase III funding.  Most of Kyma’s SBIR/STTR projects have focused on improving the manufacturability of bulk gallium nitride (GaN) materials.  Each specific SBIR/STTR project has focused on a specific aspect of GaN manufacturing: e.g., creating a desired GaN substrate electrical property, increasing the size of the GaN crystals, improving the surface quality of finished GaN substrates, etc.

Keith Evans, Kyma’s president and CEO stated, “The SBIR/STTR program has been a great support vehicle for Kyma and we would not be where we are today without it.  Additionally, the SBTDC has been enormously helpful in guiding Kyma and other North Carolina firms as to how to best interface with and leverage the SBIR/STTR Program.”

Support from the SBTDC and the SBIR/STTR Program has enabled Kyma to developing several products which are getting very good traction in the market.  Three of Kyma’s key materials products were not a primary target of their SBIR/STTR projects but instead they represent a side benefit that hugely leveraged the activities within those projects:

  • Kyma’s AlN templates have served as a primary input material into their SBIR/STTR-supported bulk GaN development effort and they are now Kyma’s largest volume product.
  • Kyma’s GaN templates began as “qualification runs” for their SBIR/STTR-supported bulk GaN effort and are now Kyma’s second largest volume product.
  • Kyma’s polycrystalline GaN products began as byproduct of their SBIR/STTR-supported bulk GaN growth and are now Kyma’s third largest volume product.

Additionally, Kyma’s bulk GaN substrates are beginning to gain market acceptance as the company achieves certain size and quality milestones.

Successful commercialization of products enabled by the SBIR/STTR program has helped Kyma to establish continued profitability and to position as a major supplier into the high efficiency lighting and power electronics markets.  The company is in the process of raising up to $20 million to build manufacturing capacity and to accelerate development of several new products.  The company plans to create up to 100 domestic, high-paying green jobs over the next few years.

Evans added, “The SBIR/STTR program has been critically important to our growth and yet we and many small businesses nationwide have fretted in recent years as Congress enters an annual battle over the future of the program.  This gridlock simply does not need to be.  The program is an extremely well documented success story and we are hopeful its long term reauthorization will be passed soon in a form that is substantially unchanged in terms of being 100% merit based and small business centric.”

About Kyma Technologies

Kyma is a leading supplier of crystalline gallium nitride (GaN) and aluminum nitride (AlN) materials for a broad range of high performance nitride semiconductor device applications.

The market for nitride semiconductor devices was $12B in 2010 and is expected to reach $90B over the long term, including $60B in visible lighting applications and $30B in power electronics applications.

For more information about Kyma Technologies, visit, e-mail, or call the company directly at 919.789.8880.

Kyma is a registered trademark of Kyma Technologies, Inc.