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EERE Small Business Innovation Research Diversity Initiative

EERE Small Business Innovation Research Diversity Initiative

Why Focus on WOMAN- and MINORITY-OWNED SBCs?

EERE SBIR seeks to increase the diversity of our applicant pool in general. We focus on Women-Owned and Minority-Owned small business concerns (SBCs) because they are an excellent diversity indicator. Together, women and minorities--These underserved community-- now comprise ⅔ of the population. In our initial outreach, however, we discovered low awareness of this program among woman- and minority- owned firms. It's almost as if EERE SBIR grants have been kept secret from many minority- and woman-owned SBCs. Thus, we are more actively encouraging such businesses to apply and move great ideas from cleantech and other cutting-edge industries into action.

SIX Great Reasons to Apply to SBIR/STTR

Increased SBIR and STTR grants to the underserved population will:

  • Fund entrepreneurs with what is essentially undiluted capital—project funding is $2.2 million to $2.7 million over five years;
  • Offer funds with no cost-share requirements and virtually no strings attached;
  • Award grants with the strongest Intellectual Property rights for small businesses in the federal government;
  • Provide application support (e.g. Phase 0 for small businesses from underrepresented groups) and commercialization assistance for all awardees;
  • Serve as a tangible alternative to VC backing, licensing, joint ventures or early acquisition;
  • Offer support and validation from 11 federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and panels of expert reviewers they employ.

The first step to apply for a cleantech SBIR grant is to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). Learn more about the application process today.

Already have a Phase I SBIR grant?

If you have a Phase I grant and your research is going well, you should apply for the Phase II grant in the same topic area. Be advised, however, that the 2011 SBIR Reauthorization has added new requirements and expanded the commercialization focus required. You should take advantage of DOE-SBIR's commercialization assistance and explore whether EERE's Commercialization team has initiatives that might be helpful.

Finishing your Phase II (or Phase II sequential) SBIR grant and wondering what next?

DOE-SBIR's commercialization assistance can help you get started. But you also should explore EERE's Funding Opportunities. In addition, EERE's Commercialization team can help you link to other private and nonprofit funding sources and or licensing and joint venture options.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) SBIR Team

An SBIR goal since 1982, has been to "foster and encourage" innovation with underserved populations in a sustainable way. Our specific goal is to research, test and validate innovative interventions that promise to increase the applications and other participation of underserved populations such as women and minorities.

To reach our specific goals we have developed the application tool for ALL potential applicants. While past topics and awards are no guarantee of future topics and awards, they do provide a good general sense of what EERE is looking for.

Past topics and awardees and other information to determine if this is right for you.

Recent webinars focused on Topics to help you navigate the application process at DOE and in other parts of the federal government (SAMs, Grants.gov etc.)