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Posted: April 7, 2010
EPA awards $2 million to small businesses to develop ground-breaking technologies
(Nanowerk News) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $2.38 million to 34 small businesses to develop innovative, sustainable technologies to protect human health and the environment. These efforts will help improve air quality, protect our water, work to decrease the effects of climate change, and support green jobs.
“Innovation is the lifeline of progress -- and scientific and technological innovation are essential to the progress we seek to make in protecting people and the planet,” said Dr. Paul T. Anastas, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. “These small businesses are key to helping us reach that goal.”
Today’s awards to businesses in 16 states focus on ten key environmental research areas: increasing the efficiency of green building materials and systems; manufacturing innovation; prevention, monitoring, and control using nanotechnology; reducing greenhouse gases; new treatment technologies for drinking water; improving water infrastructure; reducing emissions from small air pollution sources and vehicles and biofuels production facilities; new approaches for cleaning up and monitoring hazardous waste sites; and new tools for homeland security systems.
Examples of new technologies include NEI Corporation, based in Somerset, N.J., which will develop a self-healing nanocomposite to protect drinking water pipes from corrosion. Lao K, LLC, based in Albany, Ore., will develop a new soy-based adhesive that can be used to produce plywood without using toxic materials.
EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established to ensure that new technologies are developed to solve priority environmental problems. EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs, and promote technical innovation in the United States.
There are approximately 25 million small businesses in the U.S. today. As the leading source of employment growth, these firms have generated 60-80 percent of net new jobs over the past decade and are responsible for developing most of the country’s new technologies. To be eligible to participate in SBIR, a small business must have fewer than 500 employees, and at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens.
EPA is also requesting applications for the development of new environmental technologies. The application deadline is May 11.