On December 13, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released $54 million in new funding for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I program for Fiscal Year 2022. SBIR/STTR provides American small businesses and entrepreneurs the opportunity to conduct high-risk, innovative research and technology development and accelerate the national transition to a clean energy economy.

SBIR/STTR funding enables small businesses to achieve their goals in two phases: Phase I provides up to $205,000 to prove an idea’s feasibility. If successful, awardees can then receive up to $1.15 million in Phase II to develop a prototype. Additional Phase II awards are available for technologies with longer development and commercialization times.

Through the SBIR and STTR programs, the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) collaborates with industry, small businesses, universities, national laboratories, state and local governments, and other stakeholders on emerging manufacturing technologies to drive U.S. industrial decarbonization, energy productivity, and economic competitiveness.

AMO seeks proposals in the following topics and subtopics:

  • Advanced Manufacturing: AMO-funded topic supporting proposals focused on the following subtopics including developing novel technologies to decarbonize industry.
    • Industrial Heat Pumps (IHP): are an electric decarbonization technology that can replace low and medium temperature fossil fuel combustion in manufacturing by transforming thermal energy from a low-temperature source into a higher-temperature.
    • High Operating Temperature Storage (HOTS): energy storage systems that can extract and store waste heat from high operating temperature industries such as steel, glass, and cement manufacturing for medium and lower-temperature applications such as process heating, electrical power generation, or district heating.
    • Advanced Packaging for High Voltage Power Electronics: supports electro-physical packaging solutions, built-in monitoring and control capabilities, extended module lifetime, and manufacturing innovations in power conversion modules that efficiently process and condition power for applications including renewable generation and high-voltage electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
    • Analog Semiconductor Devices for Sensing and Communications in Manufacturing: analog semiconductor devices, or systems that utilize such components, to improve sensor systems and/or wireless communication systems in manufacturing. These sensor systems can optimize processes, improve efficiency, and more effectively monitor emissions across the manufacturing sector. 
    • Affordable Technologies for Controlled Environment Agriculture: engineering innovation and integration strategies that optimize and increase U.S. adoption of advanced controlled environment agriculture (CEA), or indoor facilities that grow plants using efficient electric lighting, HVAC, building controls, and automation. CEA can produce high-quality food year-round in underserved communities with greater productivity on less land using potentially less water and fewer pesticides compared to traditional on-field farming.
    • Broad-based subtopic on Industrial Decarbonization: AMO invites applicants with novel ideas and technologies to accelerate industrial decarbonization, support the AMO mission, and move us closer to a clean energy economy.
  • Diversifying Sustainable Sources of Critical Materials: joint topic between AMO and DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) to develop new technologies to responsibly extract raw critical minerals and materials (CMM) in the U.S.
    • Producing CMM Byproducts and Other Value-Add Materials from Domestic Operations
    • Advanced Mining Techniques that Increase Environmental and Material Stewardship
  • CABLE Characterization and Modeling for Fabrication: joint topic between AMO and other EERE technology offices, along with DOE’s Office of Electricity and Office of Science’s Basic Energy Sciences Office, to increase experimental and theoretical understanding of Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and Thermal Applications (CABLE). These conductivity-enhanced materials will accelerate the transition to electric energy and support a decarbonized economy. 
    • Enhanced Electrical Conductivity in Metals
    • Enhanced Thermal Conductivity in Non-Metals
  • Community-Driven Solutions for Just and Equitable Energy Transition: joint topic between AMO and seven other EERE technology offices to develop equitable and inclusive innovative technology solutions for current and future energy challenges and needs. AMO’s subtopic is seeking proposals that enable underserved communities to overcome systemic barriers to employment at new materials, clean energy or industrial decarbonization oriented manufacturing facilities.
  • Thermal Energy Storage (TES): joint topic between AMO and the Building Technologies Office (BTO) to advance thermal energy storage technologies (TES) in all buildings, including industrial buildings.
    • Simplified Sizing and Selection Tool for TES
    • Advanced Building Controls for Managing and Controlling TES
    • Integrated TES in HVAC&R Systems
  • Developing Subsea Wet-Mateable Connector Technologies: joint topic between AMO, Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), and Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) to develop manufacturable, commercially-viable wet-mateable connectors for marine energy and offshore wind energy applications.

Mandatory letters of intent are due on January 3, 2022, and full applications are due on February 22, 2022. Learn more about the AMO topics and download the Funding Opportunity Announcement document. View an informational webinar about SBIR/STTR Phase I funding opportunities.