The US Department of Energy (DoE) has issued $115 million in funding to support small businesses in conducting research and development of clean energy technologies.
The funding will be administered by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programmes.
The aim is to encourage the participation of small businesses in technological innovation, a key aspect to improving the digitisation of the US grid and accelerating the energy transition.
The funding also supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build the American economy back better.
Projects to benefit from the funding will range from grid modernisation and carbon removal to renewable energy and energy storage.
Under this funding opportunity, eligible small businesses can apply for supplemental funds for research experiences for undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups, including women and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
This funding opportunity is open to small businesses that have previously received SBIR or STTR grants to provide additional opportunities to compete for funding to develop working prototypes of their discoveries.
Previous SBIR and STTR awardees have developed technologies to aid in saltwater desalination, energy-efficient building design, and cloud connectivity for electric vehicles.
Small businesses make up 99% of all firms in the US and create two out of every three new jobs in the private sector hence their vital importance in revolutionising the US grid.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, said: “Through this programme, DOE can support small businesses with seed money they desperately need to develop and deploy cutting-edge clean energy technologies that will help America fight climate change and create jobs.
“Importantly, by investing directly in small businesses, including diverse entrepreneurs, we can foster the creative ideas that will transform our nation’s energy sector, address the climate crisis, and build an equitable clean energy economy.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, adds: “The SBIR programme is one of the most important tools the federal government has in its arsenal to invest in and empower our small businesses, allowing them to engage in exciting, cutting-edge research and development that keeps America at the forefront of innovation and meets the critical needs of our nation.”