The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is announcing the release of its FY 2021 SBIR/STTR Phase I topics. Covering the research and development priorities of all EERE’s Technology Offices, these 12 topics comprised of 49 subtopics solicit innovative research across all three EERE Technology Sectors: Transportation, Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency.  

The topics document is accessible at the DOE SBIR/STTR Program Funding Opportunities Website ( Please note that each topic and subtopic may have unique requirements for responsive proposal submissions; interested applicants should review the requirements for each topic and subtopic carefully to ensure you are responsive to requirements where applicable.

Highlights of EERE’s FY 2021 topics include the following:

  • Joint topics across technology offices: To foster synergies across our research areas and develop innovative multidisciplinary energy solutions, EERE continues to sponsor joint topics for SBIR/STTR proposals where two or more technology 0ffices are collaborating to solicit proposals in an area of common interest. For FY 2021, EERE is sponsoring three joint topics:
  • The Advanced Building Construction Technologies joint topic seeks proposals that integrate energy-efficiency solutions into highly productive U.S. construction practices for new buildings and retrofits. (Advanced Manufacturing Office, Building Technologies Office)
  • The Plastics Innovation Challenge joint topic solicits proposals that accelerate innovations that will dramatically reduce plastic waste in oceans and landfills and position the U.S as global leaders in advanced plastics recycling technologies and in the manufacture of new plastics that are recyclable by design. VTO also is sponsoring a complementary subtopic on polymers within their topics. (Advanced Manufacturing Office, Bioenergy Technologies Office)
  • The Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and Thermal Applications (CABLE): Materials and Applications joint topic seeks projects that rely on breakthroughs in CABLE that support 1) technology transfer for the fabrication of enhanced conductivity materials and 2) affordable leapfrog applications for the design and use of enhanced conductivity materials to make their performance improvements and energy savings more accessible. For CABLE updates, please write to (Advanced Manufacturing Office, Building Technologies Office, Geothermal Technologies Office, Solar Energy Technologies Office, Vehicle Technologies Office and the DOE Office of Electricity)
  • Support for DOE Crosscutting Activities: Thirty-one of the subtopics released today support DOE-wide crosscutting activities and other Administration priorities, including activities in support of enabling the Industries of the Future. This includes the Plastics Innovation Challenge, Critical Minerals, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, Energy Sector Cybersecurity, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning. Refer to each of the topic narratives for information on how each of these activities is supported through SBIR/STTR topics.
  • Broadening Participation through Bioenergy Research: As a pilot for FY 2021, the Bioenergy Technologies Office is supporting two subtopics related to broadening participation. The goals of these topics are to serve as pilots for broadening participation in two main ways. The first is specific to innovation within bioenergy since potential biomass is in every part of the country and can provide benefits to multiple communities. The second is a pilot for broadening participation, specifically supporting the expansion of diverse representation in the bioenergy workforce, contributing to a more innovative and competitive scientific and engineering R&D field.
  • Opportunities for Commercialization of National Laboratory Innovations: EERE’s SBIR/STTR topics continue to promote the transfer of research to advance and create technologies important to its mission through soliciting proposals for Technology Transfer Opportunities. EERE’s FY 2021 topics include four different commercialization opportunities from research conducted at DOE National Laboratories. This includes an opportunity for commercialization of a conductivity-enhanced material developed at Argonne National Laboratories, two technologies developed at Sandia National Laboratory associated with renewable power, and a photovoltaic testing platform developed at National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

EERE also announced the following important dates for the FY 2021 SBIR/STTR funding opportunity, including dates for several informational webinars:

  • FY 2021 Phase I Release 2 Topics Webinar: Join us on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for the Topics Webinar. Registration information will be posted at This is an opportunity for participants to ask the DOE program managers questions about EERE topics; questions can be submitted with registration.
  • FY 2021 EERE SBIR/STTR Topic-Specific Webinars: In addition to the DOE-wide SBIR/STTR webinar, several EERE Technology Offices will be hosting their own webinars in the coming weeks to discuss SBIR/STTR topics sponsored by EERE.
  • Bioenergy Technologies: When available, information on time and registration will be posted here: /eere/bioenergy/webinars
  • Solar Energy Technologies: Thursday, November 19, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Pre-registration is required via
  • Water Power Technologies Office: Thursday December 3, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Pre-registration is required via  

Other EERE Technology Offices may also plan topic specific webinars, check /eere/calendars/events-calendar for more information.

  • FY 2021 Phase I Release 2 FOA: The SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is scheduled for release on Monday, December 14, 2020. Once posted, the FOA document will be accessible at the DOE SBIR website mentioned above.
  • FY 2021 Phase I Release 2 FOA Webinar: The FOA Webinar is scheduled to take place on Friday, December 18, 2020. Registration information will be posted on the DOE SBIR website mentioned above. The webinar will cover:
    • Federal SBIR/STTR Programs,
    • DOE SBIR/STTR Technology Areas,
    • DOE SBIR/STTR Application and Award Process as it relates to the FY 2021 Phase I Release 2 FOA, and
    • Questions & Answers 

Please note that the Registration link for this and the November 17, 2020 webinar will be posted on the DOE SBIR/STTR Website one week prior to the webinars. To receive this link automatically via email, please join the DOE SBIR Mail List at

Information on other critical dates for the FY 2021 SBIR/STTR competition can also be found at the DOE SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities website alongside other important information on this program.