The award will boost the DOE’s existing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programmes.
Small companies awarded Phase II grants under either programme will now be eligible to apply for Phase III funds to take forward technologies that have strong potential for commercialisation.
Grants will be up to $3 million over three years to research, develop and deploy new technologies in areas such as algal biofuels, advanced fuel cells such as biofueled solid oxide technologies, materials for lightweight vehicles and organic light emitting diodes.
Projects aiming to improve generation technologies such as lowering the cost of photovoltics, advanced wind technologies and clean fossil fuels will also be eligible.
Smart grid technologies, energy storage materials and superconducting technology for power equipment will also be of potential interest to the programme.