The U.S. Department of Energy announced $35 million in funding for diverse small businesses to pursue scientific, clean energy, and climate solutions. The funding will support 158 projects across 29 states that will aim to develop an array of clean energy technology, from climate research tools to improved batteries for electric vehicles. This investment will create good-paying jobs, build a diverse climate workforce, and help achieve President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.
“Supporting small businesses will ensure we are tapping into all of America’s talent to develop clean energy technologies that will help us tackle the climate crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s investments will enable these economic engines to optimize and commercialize their breakthroughs, while developing the next generation of climate leaders and helping to build a sustainable future to benefit all Americans.”
This funding is administered by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs which support a diverse portfolio of small businesses, including startups, across technology areas and markets relevant to DOE’s missions to stimulate technological breakthroughs, meet federal research and development (R&D) needs, and increase commercialization by transitioning R&D into deployment. SBIR/STTR awardees have reported over $1.7 billion in sales resulting from funding awards. Recently developed technologies included measurement of nanoscale chemical interactions, automation across multiple industries, and measurement of aerosol levels for climate research.
A sampling of selected projects include:
- Birch Biosciences, LLC (Portland, OR): Innovation in the plastic recycling industry is crucial to addressing the economic and environmental costs of the unsustainable use of plastics. This project will develop novel, next-generation plastic recycling technology using synthetic biology to enable sustainable, cost-effective solutions for closed-loop recycling of plastics. (Award Amount: $256,492)
- Coreform LLC (Orem, UT): Engineering simulation is critical to developing safer products and bringing them to market faster in many industries, but next-generation engineering designs require methods beyond capabilities of mainstream software. This project will accelerate the development a new simulation technology capable of running highly complex simulations to enable more efficient product design. (Award Amount: $256,500)
- ExMat Research, Inc. (Spokane, WA): The damage from phosphorus in the nation’s freshwater, estimated to cost $2.2 billion annually, includes biodiversity loss, increased costs for drinking water treatment, and economic losses related to recreation and angling and lake property values. This project will develop an affordable sensor capable of monitoring phosphorus to mitigate the health and economic impact. (Award Amount: $250,000)
- Greenway Energy, LLC (Aiken, SC): This project aims to create and commercialize a new low-cost and efficient hydrogen energy storage system as an upgrade to current technology. (Award Amount: $200,000)
- Novoreach Technologies LLC (Midland, MI): Through composite materials, this project will develop an effective and economic solution to capturing CO2 from the air. (Award Amount: $200,000)
For more information about the 158 projects, click here.
“This federal investment in Oregon small businesses can spark the creation of both jobs and opportunities for innovative approaches that help to solve urgent challenges produced by the climate crisis,” said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (OR). “I’m gratified these small businesses in Eugene and Portland have earned these resources from the U.S. Department of Energy, and I’ll keep battling for other federal funds that help similarly creative small businesses in Oregon and nationwide.”
“New York is home to world-class research institutions and innovators,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY). “By supporting our state’s small businesses in developing critical clean energy technology, this federal funding will help protect our environment, create jobs, and advance vital scientific research. I’ll keep doing everything I can to ensure that New York institutions have the resources they need to lead our country to a clean energy future.”
“I’m proud that Michigan small businesses are leading the way in researching and developing clean energy technologies that will help us address the real and growing threat of climate change while also supporting jobs and our state’s economy,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI). “I applaud these grants which will further empower small businesses in Michigan to innovate and develop the cutting-edge technologies of the future.”
“Montana small businesses are leaders in high-tech jobs, solutions, and innovation. This funding will help Montana continue to grow jobs, invest in important research and lead in next generation technology,” said U.S. Senator Steve Daines (MT).
“One way we can continue uplifting our state’s economy is by helping make sure Illinois small businesses have the resources they need to become leaders in clean energy,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL). “I’m glad to see the DOE making small business a priority in the clean energy economy.”
“I am pleased that the Department of Energy has announced $35 million for a diverse group of small businesses pursuing clean energy and climate solutions including HighT-Tech in College Park. This funding will help Maryland’s Fifth District small businesses meet their goals and bring innovative technologies to market that advance clean energy solutions,” said U.S. Representative and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-5).
“The climate crisis presents an opportunity to invest in new technology that will help us both combat climate change and create new, good-paying jobs in New Jersey. I’m proud of the work we’re doing to accelerate the transition to a clean economy by giving small businesses the resources they need to be part of it. These grants help ensure our economy and our energy infrastructure are ready to meet the climate challenges we face,” said U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (NJ-06).
“I am pleased that a diverse group of small businesses in North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District will be awarded Department of Energy funding to support their efforts in innovative climate research and new clean energy technologies,” said U.S. Representative David Price (NC-04), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and it is imperative that Congress continues to support research and development funding that will move us towards a more environmentally sustainable future.”
“The $35 million in funding from the Department of Energy will hopefully encourage more small businesses to pursue clean energy and innovative climate solutions. I am proud that Qunnect INC which is located in my district will be receive $255,904 in funding to continue to research and implement new ways to make their business more climate friendly. We are all in the fight against climate change and small businesses like Qunnect INC are doing their part to make our community more climate friendly,” said U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez (NY-12).
“Clean energy technologies will not only be key to fighting the climate crisis, they also create jobs, drive American competitiveness, and strengthen our economy. For decades, local innovators including those at Kitware Inc. have been at the forefront of efforts to develop advanced technologies that grow businesses and improve lives. I am thrilled to see the Department of Energy’s latest investment in New York’s Capital Region. Small businesses like Kitware are the backbone of our communities and our industries, and I’ll keep working to secure these critical federal investments for our region,” said U.S. Representative Paul Tonko (NY-20).
“Western Pennsylvania is a leader in energy and innovation because of our talented workforce and the innovative work of companies like Visimo,” said U.S. Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17). “Congratulations to Visimo on securing this award from the Department of Energy, I look forward to seeing your continued work to develop solutions for our energy future.”
“If we want to ensure our grandchildren inherit a habitable planet, we need to support America’s small businesses that are investing in clean energy and a green, zero-carbon emissions economy,” said U.S. Representative Marie Newman (IL-03). “That’s why I am thrilled that the Department of Energy is awarding nearly $200,000 to our Orland Park’s very own Caporus Technologies, LLC, which is helping lead the nation in clean energy projects and the new green jobs that will bring us into a more efficient and sustainable future.”
“Today’s announcement proves that the future of semiconductor technology — the tiny electronics at the heart of our modern lives — is being built by small businesses right here in mid-Michigan,” said U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-08). “These awards to Great Lakes Crystal Technologies, which grew out of a Michigan State University collaboration, will help support the development of a whole new class of diamond semiconductors with a range of potential applications. Staying on the cutting edge of this technology is crucial for our small businesses and for our national security, so I’m thrilled to see this federal support for our companies’ innovation and hard work.”
For more information about DOE’s SBIR and STTR programs, visit the Programs Office website.