Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | April 19, 2012

Energy Department Announces Funding for Small Business Innovation Research in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Energy Department has announced up to $9 million available this year to fund approximately 50 small businesses to advance innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. This initiative will help small businesses with promising ideas that could improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, reduce reliance on oil, and generate electricity from renewable sources to bring new clean energy solutions to market faster. The funding opportunity includes 8 broad topics and 30 subtopics in areas including advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, hydrogen and fuel cells, solar energy, and wind and water power technologies. This funding is offered through the Department’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The Energy Department announced up to $9 million available this year to fund approximately 50 small businesses to advance innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. This initiative will help small businesses with promising ideas that could improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, reduce reliance on oil, and generate electricity from renewable sources to bring new clean energy solutions to market faster. This effort is part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to drive innovative clean energy technologies into the market and help spur economic growth, diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and create skilled jobs for American workers.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is offering this funding through the Department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which allow federal agencies with large research and development budgets to set aside a fraction of their funding for competitions among small businesses. 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.

The funding opportunity  includes 8 broad topics and 30 subtopics in areas including advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, hydrogen and fuel cells, solar energy, and wind and water power technologies. The Energy Department will fund selected small businesses with one-year awards of up to $150,000 to explore the feasibility of innovative clean energy concepts. Awardees with successful projects will have the opportunity to compete for more than $1 million in follow on funding.

Detailed application instructions, including eligibility requirements, can be found on EERE’s Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000715.    https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/

Additional details are available on the DOE SBIR home page. Register for the DOE SBIR/STTR mailing list at the bottom of the DOE SBIR home page in order to receive a webinar invitation. On March 19, 2012, a webinar focused on the topics of the funding opportunity was held and material from that webinar, as well as other SBIR information, is also available on the DOE SBIR home page.

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.


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