The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday announced awards totaling $54 million for diverse small businesses working on scientific, clean energy, and climate solutions for the American people. Of the 266 projects announced yesterday, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will award $22 million for 110 American small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop a range of American-made cutting-edge technologies to help accelerate the national transition to a clean energy economy.
The funding comes from DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, which to date has helped thousands of American small businesses and entrepreneurs test and prototype innovative clean energy breakthroughs with the potential toward commercialization.
Through the SBIR and STTR programs, EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports small business projects that spur research, development, and adoption of energy-related advanced manufacturing technologies and practices to drive U.S. energy productivity and economic competitiveness.
AMO projects were selected from the following topics:
Topic 9: Advanced Manufacturing
- Subtopic 9b: Novel Manufacturing Methods for Membranes and Desalination System Components
AMO will fund five projects to modernize our water infrastructure through improved automation with sensors as well as improved membrane materials and advanced manufacturing approaches for membranes used in water treatment. Selected projects aim to reduce energy and cost intensity for better performing and more sustainable water treatment systems. These projects support small businesses with opportunities to contribute innovative solutions for critical water infrastructure investments as highlighted in the American Jobs Plan.
Topic 11: Polymers Upcycling and Recycling
- Subtopic 11a: Improving Plastics Compatibilization for More Efficient Recycling
AMO and the Bioenergy Technologies Office will co-fund a total of five projects to develop new compatibilizers – materials or molecules that allow different types of plastics to be mixed – that may enable processing of plastic resins and the downstream recycling or upcycling of a mixed plastic stream. These projects support EERE’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, which aims to reduce plastic waste in oceans and landfills and position U.S manufacturers as global leaders in advanced plastics recycling technologies and in the manufacture of new plastics that are recyclable by design.
Topic 13: Advanced Building Construction Technologies
- Subtopic 13b: Low-cost, high-R Insulation
AMO will co-fund two projects with the Building Technologies Office to integrate energy-efficiency solutions into highly productive U.S. construction practices for new buildings and retrofits. Both projects support novel high-throughput and low-cost manufacturing methods for producing ultra-lightweight and formable aerogel insulation used in building and industrial applications, leading to significantly higher energy savings and operational carbon reductions.
Topic 20: Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and Thermal Applications (CABLE) Materials and Applications
AMO is collaborating with DOE’s Office of Electricity, Building Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office to fund six projects to improve the conductivity of materials that carry electricity under the CABLE initiative. Conductivity-enhanced materials can lower the costs and impacts of cabling to add renewables and electric cars to the grid, optimize next-generation energy storage technologies, and support electrification for industrial decarbonization.
AMO-led and co-led subtopics include:
- Subtopic 20a: Technology Transfer Opportunity (with Argonne National Laboratory): Metal-carbon Composition and Composites Manufacturing
- Subtopic 20b: Electricity Delivery System Applications
- Subtopic 20c: Non-metallic Heat Exchangers
- Subtopic 20h: Enhanced Conductivity EV Charging Cables and Couplers
For a full list of AMO-funded and co-funded projects, visit the AMO website.
Information on the DOE SBIR and STTR programs is available on the Office of Science SBIR website.