Department of Energy Announces $57 Million for Small Businesses to Support Technology Commercialization
Posted Sep 14 2010 9:00pm
Projects to accelerate commercialization of clean energy technologies, increase American competitiveness and create jobs
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced $57 million, including nearly $11 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to support clean energy technology commercialization projects for 33 small businesses across the country. These projects, funded as part of DOE's Small Business Phase III Xlerator program, will help small businesses develop manufacturing processes to scale up production of their new, proven technologies, creating new markets and new jobs. Today's awards include funding for renewable energy resources, advanced vehicle technologies, industrial and building energy efficiency, a modernized electricity grid, cleaner fossil fuels, and the next generation of nuclear power.
"Small businesses are engines of job creation and innovation, and we need their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit to drive a clean energy economy," said Secretary Chu. "By helping America's small businesses bring these innovative technologies to market, we will spur economic growth and help reduce the country's energy use."
The 33 projects announced today are based in 16 states, with 100 percent of the projects led by small businesses in partnership with universities, national labs, and large businesses. These Phase III Xlerator awards are a first for the Department of Energy and build on the Department's existing efforts under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. Previously, the SBIR and STTR programs through the Department of Energy have only been funded through Phase II. Companies that had previously received DOE SBIR or STTR funding were eligible to apply for the Phase III grants. The awards range from $500,000 to $3 million and will provide small innovative companies with the "staying power" they need to develop the processes that are necessary to reduce the manufacturing costs for their products and enable manufacturing at scale. Overcoming cost and scale challenges is critical for small businesses to successfully bring their ideas to the marketplace.
Small businesses create around two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., and supporting America's entrepreneurs at this stage of the innovation development process will allow them to grow their companies at a critical juncture, leading to jobs and manufacturing in the clean energy economy.
The following projects have been selected for awards:
Biomass Technologies: Harvesting/Dewatering Technology for Algal Biofuels
Renewable Algal Energy, LLC (Kingsport, Tenn.) - Algal Biodiesel via Innovative Harvesting and Aquaculture Systems - $3,000,000
Buildings: Solid State Lighting Products made from Organic Light-Emitting Diodes