Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that with support from the Department of Energy, 142 small businesses around the nation are starting work this week on 180 innovative research projects ranging from designing better wind turbines to developing a chemical-free approach to killing bacteria in power plant cooling water and from developing instruments to improve nanomaterials to making new coatings to improve the efficiency of gas turbines. These grants to small businesses - totaling $26.4 million -- are developing new energy technologies that will help to grow America's economy, create new jobs around the country and improve American competitiveness around the world. The Energy Department's Small Business Innovation Research program is part of the Obama Administration's broader support for job-creating small businesses and startup companies nationwide.
"These small businesses are working to develop new technologies to bring to the marketplace, creating new jobs and potentially new industries here in America," said Secretary Chu. "As part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative, these innovative small businesses are helping the Department improve America's energy security, grow our economy, and ensure U.S. companies can compete in the global economy." .
The companies will use their awards -- in amounts up to $150,000 -- over the next nine months to explore the feasibility of their innovative concepts. They will then be eligible to compete for awards up to $1 million under a two-year, Phase II of research and development.
DOE selected the 180 projects from among nearly 1,000 Phase I proposals submitted under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
This year's Phase I awards to date were made in 36 technical topic areas for research supporting the Department's diverse energy, scientific and environmental missions. Under the STTR program, 23 of the companies are partnering with a university or DOE national laboratory to do the research. In addition, DOE is planning on at least one more Phase I competition with another round of awards later in the year.