111 Grants Will Primarily Focus on Clean Energy Research and Development

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced awards totaling $24 million for small businesses in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The 111 projects funded by DOE’s Office of Science include the development of computing, advanced materials, and scientific instrumentation that will help advance the department’s clean energy mission. 

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of America and contribute significantly to the growth of our economy,” said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “The companies selected today to receive awards under DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs have a pivotal role in creating new technologies, solutions, and instruments that will help us achieve our scientific research goals and advance toward a net-zero emissions future.”

American small businesses play a critical role in facilitating the transition from discovery to innovation, helping create a bridge between the scientific laboratory and the commercial marketplace. DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards strive to transform DOE-supported science and technology breakthroughs into viable products and services. The awards also support the development of specialized technologies and instruments that aid in scientific discovery. 

Funded through DOE’s SBIR and STTR programs, today’s selections are for Phase I research and development. Small businesses that demonstrate technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants will compete for funding for prototype or processes development during Phase II. The median Phase I award is $200,000 for a period of 6 to 12 months.   

Projects selected for awards include: 

Caporus Technologies, LLC (Columbia, MO) – Engineered Substrates for Radiation-Hard Sensors in High Energy Physics. The next generation high-energy colliders will require high-resolution detectors that can output data at high speeds and survive high radiation levels. This effort will develop new silicon-based detector technologies to enable next-generation detectors for high energy physics.

EnviTrace LLC (Sante Fe, NM) – UrbanAI: Urban Energy Solutions Using Artificial Intelligence. Urban areas pose unique energy and environmental challenges because they consume 78% of the world's energy on less than 2% of the earth's surface. The data representative of urban processes is vast, diverse, and challenging to interpret. The project team will develop cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning software for near-real-time data streaming, analysis, interpretation, and mapping of urban socioeconomic, demographic, health, energy, environmental, and infrastructure data to better understand urban processes and reduce urban energy and environmental impacts. The work will support the adaptation of urban infrastructure to address climate change and promote energy and environmental justice, especially in underrepresented and underprivileged communities.

Greenpath Systems LLC (Austin, TX) – Development of a Novel and Robust Virtual Flow Meter (VFM) for Geothermal Applications. Geothermal energy is an effective and reliable resource for relieving the environmental concerns caused by fossil energy. The oil and gas industry has developed techniques and technologies to drill in sedimentary basins that have experienced significant improvements in drilling performance in recent years. These new developments can be leveraged for geothermal applications. This proposal aims to explore, develop, and validate a robust virtual flow metering system specifically tailored for geothermal applications.

SkuTek Instrumentation (Rochester, NY) – High Speed Digital Processing Electronics. This project will advance digital signal processing electronics that support the development of technologies essential to experiments in basic research. Future applications of the company’s products will include nuclear physics, high energy physics, nuclear astrophysics, homeland security, and education.

SkyVision Sciences, LLC (Steamboat Springs, CO) – Low Temperature Plasma Production of Hydrogen. A new process is being developed to efficiently convert the nation’s abundant supply of natural gas into hydrogen without emitting carbon dioxide emissions. This process will enable cleaner fuels and chemicals to be subsequently produced, all while mitigating the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Veracity Nuclear, LLC (Lenoir City, TN) – High Fidelity Nuclear Reactor Core Simulation for Efficient Microreactor Design. The nuclear industry's speed of design and deployment of new microreactors is hampered by low fidelity and high computational resources that characterize existing simulation tools, resulting in significant lost opportunities for climate-friendly, safe, and efficient advanced nuclear energy. The proposed methodology and software product suite leverages substantial government investment in high-fidelity reactor analysis tools and advanced computing to accelerate the design, licensing, and deployment for all classes of microreactors under development by the nuclear industry.

To learn more about these programs, visit the SBIR and STTR website, and for more information about the projects announced today, visit the SBIR and STTR awards webpage.