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Energy Department Awards $116 Million to Small Businesses for Innovative Research

July 31, 2006 - 4:46pm

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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $116 million in grants to small businesses for innovative research that will help meet the department's diverse energy, environmental, science and national security missions.  The awards were made under the department's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 

"High-technology small companies, many of whom started in business as a result of SBIR and STTR awards, have become a valuable resource for solving high risk, high technology problems. Solving these problems will continue to be essential to meeting the nation's current and future energy challenges," said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, DOE Under Secretary for Science.

The research projects are in 49 technical topic areas ranging from developing new sensors that monitor the electric transmission grid and help reduce blackouts to developing ground-penetrating radar in order to see contaminated groundwater and help clean up pollution.

One hundred ninety-three companies in 33 states were selected to receive a total of 291 Phase I grants worth up to $100,000 each to explore the feasibility of their proposed innovation.

The department also selected 113 SBIR projects and 15 STTR projects for Phase II awards to continue their research and development effort.  The SBIR Phase II awards average $719,000 each and the STTR awards average $750,000 each for a period of up to two years.

The winning projects were selected from among 1,387 Phase I grant applications and 253 SBIR/STTR Phase II grant applications. This year's Phase II winners were among the successful Phase I winners in last fiscal year's SBIR/STTR competition.

The SBIR and STTR programs are U.S. government programs where federal agencies with large research and development budgets set aside a small fraction of their funding for competitions among small businesses only.  Small businesses that win awards in these programs keep the rights to any technology developed and are encouraged to commercialize the technology.  The SBIR and STTR programs are very similar, except in the STTR program the small business must collaborate with a non-profit research institution.  The Office of Science administers the programs for DOE.

The list of companies receiving grants and their research projects may be found at http://www.science.doe.gov/sbir/.

Media contact(s):

Jeff Sherwood, (202) 586-5806

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