WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has offered $37 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for clean energy research and development projects at small businesses. DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs target U.S. companies with fewer than 500 employees, with the goal of investigating ideas for clean energy technologies that appear to have commercial potential. About $8.5 million is expected to be available for new projects, which are designated as Phase I awards. Successful applicants may receive up to $150,000 for a Phase I grant, which gives awardees six months to demonstrate the feasibility of their ideas. Most of the remaining funds will go towards Phase II grants of up to $1 million to support the principal research and development of clean energy concepts developed under previous Phase I awards. The competition for the Phase II grants will be opened at a later date.

For now, DOE is accepting applications for Phase I grants to support projects in the following areas: advanced building air conditioning and refrigeration, thermal load shifting, and cool roofs; solar technologies; sensors, controls, and wireless networks; smart controllers for smart grid applications; advanced gas turbines and materials, including small, low-cost systems for distributed power applications; industrial technologies; advanced manufacturing processes; water power technologies; technologies to address water usage in electric power generation and industrial processes; and power plant cooling.

Small businesses with strong research capabilities are encouraged to apply for a Phase I grant by the Sept. 4 deadline. For more information, visit the SBIR/STTR Website at www.science.doe.gov/sbir/ and the grant opportunity site at www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?oppId=48927&mode=VIEW.

Publication date:08/31/2009