Notre Dame startup recognized for Small Business Innovation Research award

SIMBA Chain Inc., an IDEA Center startup based on technology developed at the University of Notre Dame, has received a 2020 Tibbetts Award. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) awards program is said to recognize individuals, companies, and organizations for “accomplishments in creating cutting-edge technologies” and “demonstrating significant economic and social impact.”

“I am grateful to see that research conducted at Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing (CRC) is not only being used in the real world, but is also having a recognizable impact,” said Jaroslaw Nabrzyski, director of the CRC, concurrent professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and co-founder of SIMBA Chain. “Receiving a Tibbetts Award for SIMBA Chain really tells us how beneficial our research at Notre Dame is and can continue to be.”

SIMBA Chain’s technology was funded by a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) and the CRC to develop a secure messaging and transaction platform for the United States military. From that work, ITAMCO and Notre Dame researchers have created a cloud-based, smart-contract-as-a-service platform that enables users with varied skillsets to implement decentralized applications for secure, direct connections between users and their providers.

"SIMBA Chain was born out of an SBIR grant so its quite fitting and such an honor for us to be a recipient of the 2020 Tibbetts Award, and to join esteemed companies on the Tibbetts and SBIR wall of fame," said Ian Taylor, computational scientist at the CRC, research professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and chief technology officer of SIMBA Chain.

The Tibbetts Awards are named after Roland Tibbetts, the founder of the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The SBA is described as an agency “fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise.” The program honors awardees for the exceptional successes they achieved through SBA’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. 

To learn more about the awards, please visit

The CRC at the University of Notre Dame facilitates multidisciplinary discoveries through advanced computation, software engineering, data analysis, and other digital research tools. The center enhances the University’s innovative applications of cyberinfrastructure, provides support for interdisciplinary research and education, and conducts computational research. Comprised of three groups – computational science, High-Performance Computing, and software development – the CRC supports discoveries in science, engineering, the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences. To learn more about the center, please visit


Brandi R. Wampler / Research Communications Specialist

Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame / 574.631.8183 / @UNDResearch

About Notre Dame Research:

The University of Notre Dame is a private research and teaching university inspired by its Catholic mission. Located in South Bend, Indiana, its researchers are advancing human understanding through research, scholarship, education, and creative endeavor in order to be a repository for knowledge and a powerful means for doing good in the world. For more information, please see or @UNDResearch.