US DoE: National Labs Pilot opens doors to small businesses

US Department of Energy has announced the five Energy Department National Laboratories that will participate in $20 mln pilot project designed to help small businesses bring next-generation clean energy technologies to the market.

With this federal funding, the labs will be providing vouchers, starting later this summer, to more than 100 small businesses.

The vouchers can be used by small businesses to access considerable lab expertise and tools that can help them test, validate, and introduce new products, expand their businesses, and grow the clean energy sector, according to David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Individual vouchers will range from $50,000 to $300,000 per clean energy small business and can be used to initiate collaborative research projects or to access technical assistance with labs.

The $20 mln funding has been allocated to the following Energy Department National Laboratories:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory ($5.6 million),
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory ($4.9 million),
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ($4.2 million),
  • Sandia National Laboratories ($2.8 million),
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ($2.7 million).

The chosen laboratories will focus on assisting small businesses to develop specific clean energy technologies in the following areas: advanced manufacturing, buildings, vehicles, wind, water, bioenergy, fuel cells, geothermal and solar.

According to David Danielson, the Energy Department will launch the Small Business Central Assistance Platform, a web-based tool that will be used to exchange information between the labs and small businesses.

The platform will be used to market the labs’ core capabilities in the topic areas of interest and will be used to accept applications from small businesses who want to participate in the program.

Three cycles of competitions will be offered to interested small businesses in the 2015 and 2016.

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Image: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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