Photo: Illustration/Azura wave energy device (Courtesy of DOE)

US lines up marine energy research funding for small businesses

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the upcoming research and innovation funding opportunity for small businesses that are developing marine and hydrokinetic energy solutions.

A photo illustration showing Azura wave energy device (Courtesy of DOE)
Illustration/Azura wave energy device (Courtesy of DOE)

The funding opportunity is part of DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs that will provide up to $ 200,000 in first phase research funding to developers looking to progress marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) industries in the United States.

Under the programs, two subtopics relating to marine energy have been identified as available for funding, and cover device prototyping and the development of monitoring tools for MHK sites.

The first subtopic, Co-Development of Marine Energy Technology at Smaller Scales, seeks proposals for the development and design of new marine energy prototypes specific to the needs of an identified end user in the blue economy.

Specifically, this subtopic seeks to support the development of industry projects that link marine energy technologies together with blue economy energy end users to co-develop solutions specific to energy constraints.

The second subtopic, Low-Cost, User-Friendly Monitoring Tools for MHK Site, will support the development of novel methods for environmental monitoring and/or resource characterization at MHK sites that are very low cost and very easy to use. This may include hardware/sensing packages, methodologies, and/or software/analysis tools.

DOE plans to issue the SBIR/STTR funding opportunity announcement on 14 December, 2020.

Small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs in the American economy, according to DOE.

The SBIR/STTR programs were created by the U.S. Congress to leverage small businesses to advance innovation at federal agencies.