This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 09, 2013

Energy Department Announces Over $16 Million for Innovative Small Businesses Focused on Energy Technologies

To highlight President Obama's focus on small businesses as leaders in an economy built to last, Acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman today announced that the Energy Department will award 88 grants to small businesses in 28 states to develop clean energy technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation. These awards, totaling over $16 million in investments, will help small businesses with promising ideas that could improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, reduce reliance on foreign oil, and generate electricity from renewable sources.

"Small businesses form the backbone of our economy, employing half of our workers and creating two out of every three new jobs in the U.S.," said Acting Secretary Poneman. "The grants announced today are just the latest step in the Energy Department's efforts to support the critical role that small businesses are playing in creating jobs for American workers and expanding our country's clean energy economy. These businesses are helping to reduce our dependence on imported oil and to protect our air and water, while ensuring that the United States leads in the global clean energy race."

Companies competing for these grants were encouraged to propose outside-the-box innovations to meet ambitious cost and performance targets. The small businesses receiving the awards are located in 28 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. See the full list of projects.

Technologies among the 88 projects receiving awards include:

  • A project to develop advanced power plant instrumentation to provide 3D imaging of flow characteristics in high temperature reacting systems to help increase efficiencies and lower emissions of power generation processes.
  • A project to develop printable organic LED lighting panels (OLEDs) that could significantly reduce the manufacturing costs and enable cost-effective production of larger lighting panels.
  • A project to develop a compact and portable laser ultrasound visualization tool for nondestructive evaluation of nuclear reactor components.
  • A project to develop extremely high pulse rate laser welding that could dramatically improve defect detection, increase efficiency, and lower the cost of manufacturing automobiles and other goods.

Funded by the Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Office of Environmental Management, Office of Fossil Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy through the Energy Department's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, today's selections are for Phase I and Fast Track (combined Phase I and II) work. That means that the new projects will go toward exploring the feasibility of innovative concepts that could be developed into prototype technologies.

Seventy-nine awards will go to SBIR projects, and another nine will go to STTR projects. For more information on the Department's SBIR/STTR program, visit the SBIR/STTR website.