As part of President Obama's broad efforts to support American small businesses and help advance cutting-edge clean energy innovations, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Energy Department will award new funding to 104 small businesses nationwide. The grants totaling more than $102 million will support businesses in 26 states, helping companies to continue to develop promising technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing half of all workers in America and creating two out of every three new jobs in the U.S.," said Secretary Chu. "Bringing these innovative technologies to market is 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 protect our air and water, while ensuring that the United States leads in the global clean energy race."
Funded through the Energy Department's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, today's 104 selections are for Phase II work. In Phase II, companies will build on the conceptual work undertaken in Phase I and pursue next steps in bringing the technologies to market. The Phase II awards are up to $1 million for work over two years. Phase I included grants of up to $150,000.
The 104 awards are going to developing technologies in areas ranging from large wind turbine towers to particle accelerators with medical applications, from more energy-efficient data centers to advanced imaging and X-ray technologies.
Small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs in the U.S. economy. Between 1993 and 2008, small business created 64 percent of all net new jobs, totaling 14.5 million new jobs. They also employ nearly 40 percent of the U.S. science and engineering workforce.