As funding slows, DOE touts 38 awards for small business research collaboration

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Energy last week tapped 38 small businesses selected to work in eight national laboratories on projects ranging from fuel cells and solar development to bioenergy and building efficiency.
  • A total of 114 businesses were selected to work with a dozen DOE national labs in three competitive rounds of the program. 
  • The collaboration follows reports of funding opportunities slowing to a trickle at DOE for cutting edge energy projects. According to E&E News, the DOE previously only offered $117 million in three funding opportunity announcements so far in 2017, compared to $530 million during the same period last year under former President Obama. 

Dive Insight:

Funding opportunities out of the Department of Energy have slowed dramatically under the new administration, but Secretary Rick Perry used the Earth Day celebration to highlight public-private partnerships still being advanced.

"Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and those working on advanced energy technologies play an important role in ensuring our nation’s energy security and independence," Perry said.

DOE national labs can help businesses test, develop and validate their technologies, but accessing the labs is a challenge for most small businesses. The Small Business Voucher simplifies the contracting process, and makes lab practices transparent and facilities available.

In one award, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory was given $140,000 to work with Efficient Drivetrains on a lightweight, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle power train that will "help get the first heavy-duty Class 6 vehicle to the commercial market, offering consumers an option that provides significant fuel economy without limiting driving range or fuel options."

You can see a full list of the Round 3 winners here.

Other DOE labs participating in this round include: Argonne National Laboratory; Idaho National Laboratory; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Savannah River National Laboratory. 

Follow on Twitter

Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Distributed Energy Efficiency & Demand Response Regulation & Policy Technology Corporate News