To foster innovation in clean energy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will channel $126 million into research and development grants for 90 small businesses across 27 states. The project targets many mission areas, including clean energy, cybersecurity, fusion energy, and nuclear nonproliferation.
Fueling Clean Energy Dreams
Small businesses, often the growth engine of the U.S. economy, have been handed a pivotal role in decarbonization, heightened national security, and the ambitious climate goals set by President Biden.
“Big ideas become realities in the labs, workshops, factories, and plants of America’s small businesses.”U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
These businesses, employing almost half of the private-sector workforce in the U.S., are poised to address monumental challenges, including climate change.
Small Business Innovation: Bridging Lab to Marketplace
Small businesses are a linchpin in transitioning breakthroughs from scientific labs to commercial success stories. The DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards serve as catalysts, transforming DOE-backed scientific discoveries into tangible products and services. Moreover, these awards foster the development of specialized technologies and instruments that advance scientific exploration.
Phase II Triumphs
The $126 million in grants, funded through the DOE’s SBIR/STTR program, target Phase II research and development projects. These projects either demonstrated feasibility during Phase I or built upon previous Phase II awards by advancing prototypes and processes. Notably, the median Phase II award is $1.1 million, spanning a two-year period.
Geographic Diversity, Holistic Impact
The 90 recipient companies span 27 states, reflecting a broad geographic reach that echoes the importance of clean energy and innovation throughout the nation. California leads with 22 grants, followed by Massachusetts (11), and several states receiving multiple grants. This geographic diversity underscores the national significance of the DOE’s investment in these forward-looking endeavors.
A Diversified Approach to Clean Energy
The DOE’s investment covers many project areas, each contributing to the broader goal of advancing clean energy and technological innovation. Examples of project topics include radiation detection, energy systems cybersecurity, advanced grid technologies, hydrogen and fuel cell technology, carbon capture and storage, fusion energy systems, high-energy physics, and quantum information science.
Bridging Science and Business
This ambitious initiative bridges scientific laboratory discoveries and real-world business impact. Small businesses are now poised to take these innovations to the next level, forging a path toward a cleaner and more secure energy future.