DoE to Fund Small Business RE Innovations

DoE funding can help small businesses develop improved manufacturing techniques. Abound Solar photo.
DoE funding can help small businesses develop improved manufacturing techniques. Abound Solar photo.

The Energy Department will make up to $9 million available this year to fund approximately 50 small businesses working on innovative energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technologies.

The program is aimed at accelerating advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, hydrogen and fuel cells, solar energy, and wind and water power technologies. Selected small businesses will get one-year awards of up to $150,000 to explore the feasibility of innovative clean energy concepts. Successful projects may compete for more than $1 million in follow-on funding.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) offers these funds through DoE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Small businesses that win awards in these programs keep the rights to any technologies they develop and are encouraged to commercialize them.

Inspired by meetings with hundreds of small businesses around the country, this funding opportunity includes ambitious cost and performance targets to elicit outside-the-box approaches. Used by DOE’s SBIR/STTR programs for the first time, this “broad topic” research solicitation gives small business broadly framed problems to work on and goals to achieve—and gives them the freedom to innovate—instead of providing narrow or prescriptive technological solutions to be improved. It also encourages small businesses with groundbreaking concepts to become part of the EERE programs’ research teams.

Detailed application instructions, including eligibility requirements, can be found on EERE’s Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000715.

Click here for the full DoE press release.

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