Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will award 235 small businesses, across 42 states, with $54 million in critical seed funding. Accordingly, this grant comes as those companies currently develop 266 proof-of-concept prototype projects to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Read more of our news content, here; Air Products to build Net-Zero Hydrogen Complex
According to the DOE, these awardees are designing novel solutions; for instance, advanced grid technologies, solar and hydrogen power, carbon capture and storage, artificial intelligence, electric vehicle batteries, and more.
DOE comments on the topic
In this regard, Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm commented in a statement; Indeed, “small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy, the heart of our communities. Also, they are a well of ingenuity, driving America’s leadership in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power.“
Thus, “with this round of federal funding, we’re going one step further to tap this homegrown resource to help bring the next generation of clean energy innovation to market. In fact, this will happen while creating good-paying jobs across the private sector.”
Similarly, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden noted; “Small businesses are the lifeblood of Oregon’s economy, supporting jobs in our communities and tackling the big challenges faced by our nation. As the climate emergency persists, I’m happy to see the DOE investing in small businesses that will help kick America’s carbon habit and move us toward a clean energy future.”
Worth noting, DOE’s SBIR/STTR programs seek to increase the private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D funding. Besides, they are designed to foster and encourage socially or economically disadvantaged people’s participation in innovation and entrepreneurship.
About the program and awardees
Therefore, DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer administers the awards. These programs include 29 women-owned businesses; 31 business owners who self-identified as socially disadvantaged or low income; and 37 states identified as HUBZones.
Moreover, selected projects include workforce development and experiential bioenergy learning tools. Also, Grid-smart building controls. And finally, solving laser distortions.
Earlier this year, DOE announced an additional 102 small businesses that received over $100 million in funding. Particularly to pursue advanced manufacturing of wind turbines and batteries. Also, of new instruments for atmospheric measurement and particle accelerator technologies that can power next-generation scientific discoveries.
Finally, as part of today’s announcement, DOE released an Inclusive Innovation Request for Information (RFI). In fact, this RFI is set to understand the current barriers and actions needed to make its funding opportunities more inclusive. Particularly, this aim is in line with the Administration’s climate and Justice40 goals.