In December 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed plans to devote nearly $3.1 million in funding to 30 small businesses for the creation of innovative technologies to combat environmental and public health issues.
The companies selected — all U.S.-based — are working to develop new solutions to age-old problems — i.e., an automated waste sorting system at the point of disposal and a monitoring system that can map methane concentrations and emissions over large areas.
Awardees’ technologies fell into a number of categories, including clean and safe water, air quality, homeland security, sustainable materials management, safer chemicals, and risk assessment.
Small Business Innovation Research Program
This initiative is part of the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program, an annual two-phase competition for funding. For Phase 1, each of the 30 small businesses selected will receive up to $100,000 in funding for six months for “proof of concept” of their planned technology.
Upon successful completion of Phase 1, companies will then be eligible to apply for Phase II funding of up to $400,000 for additional work on their technology.
Presently, 11 other federal agencies participate in the Small Business Innovation Research Program. This includes the Small Business Administration, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
Another SBIR Funding Initiative in the Works
In January 2022, the EPA announced plans to invest nearly $3.6 million more in nine small businesses to create and commercialize technologies that will safeguard the environment and public health. The selected technologies center on combating a variety of issues, including PFAS destruction, ethylene oxide monitoring, water reuse, and sustainable construction materials.
All nine businesses are currently receiving Phase II funding of up to $400,000 each. Like the businesses noted above, they all previously received $100,000 in support through Phase I of the SBIR program.
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