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Small businesses are the life blood of the American economy, and these risk takers are absolutely essential for innovating energy technology in America. To support their efforts, the Department of Energy (DOE) awards grant funding to small businesses through its Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The purpose of these programs is to provide backing for companies with unlimited potential. Under the Trump Administration, our goal with these grants isn’t to pick winners and losers like previous administrations – it’s to fund promising research and development not available anywhere else in the world.

A state that stands out as an incubator for the bold and daring entrepreneurs that have come to define the American dream is Pennsylvania.

So far in 2020, 17 Pennsylvania small businesses received over $6.2 million in research funds to promote innovation and ingenuity, advancing several promising energy technology projects. As mentioned earlier this year, the Keystone state has been at the vanguard of the energy revolution under President Trump’s Administration.

Pennsylvania small businesses have received $6.2 million in SBIR grants in 2020.

Here are a handful of SBIR- and STTR-selected companies in 2020 that suggest Pennsylvania will maintain that spot for years to come.

  1. Amorphic Tech, Ltd based out of Allentown received $206,000. They will use the grant to develop their patented technology on existing water streams to increase the efficiency of the water purification process and reduce energy consumption by up to 40%. These processes are generally energy intensive but are critical for sustainable water supplies and national security.
  2. Grid Fruit, LLC in Pittsburgh received $200,000 and will create data-driven controls technology which uses artificial intelligence to improve the energy efficiency and resiliency of commercial refrigeration systems, protecting them (and their food) during potential outages. Commercial refrigeration currently wastes 20% of its energy making it the highest energy consumer in food retail.
  3. Thar Energy, LLC, also in Pittsburgh, seeks to design an advanced coupler for power systems. They were awarded $250,000 to design these advanced power systems that will lower manufacturing and operating costs which will ultimately lead to a lower cost of electricity for consumers.
  4. Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc received $256,000 aimed at developing more dynamic models for the critical components in coal-fired plants, which will help fortify them against disruptions in order to provide customers with an uninterrupted supply of energy.
  5. Lupine Materials and Technology in State College will use their grant award of $200,000 in an effort to revolutionize the energy market through its new generation of fusion reactors which allow for unlimited energy production with minimal environmental impact. Their high temperature superconductors will have an unprecedented level of protection against failures.

DOE is proud to partner with these and so many other small businesses in communities across the country to help advance cutting-edge energy technologies. And these funding awards couldn’t come at a better time, as businesses struggle to keep their doors open amid a global pandemic. We look forward to what these ideas bring to the energy market.