WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has selected 295 research and technology proposals from 216 American small businesses for negotiations that may lead to contract awards worth a combined $38.7 million. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The proposals are part of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. SBIR addresses specific technology gaps in agency missions while striving to complement other agency research investments. Numerous NASA efforts, including modern air traffic control systems, Earth-observing spacecraft, human spaceflight and the International Space Station, and NASA's Mars rovers have benefited from the program. The STTR program additionally facilitates the transfer of technology developed by a research institution through the entrepreneurship of a small business. "NASA's small business innovation research projects are strong and valuable investments that continue to pay dividends to NASA and the American people," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington. "If successful, these early stage technology concepts will mature to meet NASA's mission needs while also providing solutions that have wide applicability in the marketplace, potentially becoming new products, services and jobs here in the U.S." This year, NASA issued two concurrent solicitations for Phase I proposals. A general solicitation for both SBIR and STTR sought Phase I proposals in response to a broad range of research topics. A select solicitation was for the SBIR program only and focused on a small group of topics of particular interest to the agency. Innovative research areas among these selected proposals include: -- New technologies to reduce drag on aircraft and thereby increase fuel efficiency during supersonic flight. -- Improved advanced spacesuit life support systems. -- Development of innovative fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles offering unique capabilities for Earth science research and environmental monitoring.