Funding Supports Innovative Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build the American economy back better, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a plan to provide $54 million for small businesses pursuing climate and energy research and development (R&D) projects as well the development of advanced scientific instrumentation through a funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Areas of interest include renewable energy, carbon management, fusion and nuclear energy, advanced grid technologies, and cybersecurity.

 “The SBIR program plays an important role in fueling U.S. innovation to answer the pressing challenges we face as a society,” said Under Secretary for Science and Energy Geraldine Richmond. “Small businesses are critical players in our innovation ecosystem and we must enable their contributions towards tackling the climate crisis, deploying next generation clean energy technologies, and leading the research breakthroughs at the core of America’s scientific leadership.”

Small businesses are the backbones of our communities and neighborhoods, making up 9% of all firms in the U.S. and creating two out of every three new jobs in the private sector.

This funding will be administered by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which were established to encourage participation of diverse communities in technological innovation, as well as to increase technology transfer between research institutions and small businesses. Partnerships with disadvantaged communities to ensure an equitable energy future are also encouraged under this FOA.

The SBIR and STTR programs fund a diverse portfolio of startups and small businesses across technology areas and markets to stimulate technological breakthroughs, meet Federal research and development (R&D) needs, and increase commercialization to transition R&D into impact.

Previous SBIR and STTR awardees have developed technologies such as photonic materials for solid state lighting, advanced membranes for biofuel production, portable gamma ray spectrometers for the nuclear industry, and software infrastructure to support community solar.

This funding opportunity is open to small businesses that seek initial SBIR or STTR grants to establish proof of concept of their proposed innovations. Awardees will be eligible to compete for future funding to develop working prototypes of their discoveries.

More details on this funding opportunity can be found HERE.