Small Business Efficiency, Renewable Research Funding: Energy Department

April 25, 2012

The Energy Department on April 9 announced that up to $9 million is available this year to fund about 50 small businesses to advance innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. This initiative will help businesses with promising ideas that could improve manufacturing processes, boost building efficiency, cut oil reliance, and generate renewable electricity.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is offering the funding through the department's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. These allow federal agencies with large research and development budgets to set aside a fraction of their funding for competitions among small businesses. Small businesses that win awards in these programs keep the rights to any technologies they develop and they are encouraged to commercialize them.

This broad topic research solicitation gives small business broadly framed problems to work on and goals to achieve, and gives them the freedom to innovate. It also encourages small businesses with groundbreaking concepts to become part of the EERE programs' research teams. The funding opportunity includes 8 broad topics and 30 subtopics in areas including advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, hydrogen and fuel cells, solar energy, and wind and waterpower technologies. The Energy Department will fund selected small businesses with one-year awards of up to $150,000. Awardees with successful projects will have the opportunity to compete for more than $1 million in follow-on funding. See the EERE Progress Alert and the funding opportunity announcement on the Funding Opportunity Exchange website.