DOE announces new round of SBIR/STTR awards for SSL technology

The DOE has simplified the submission process for this new round of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards, which include specific SSL topics. In addition, $150 million in funding is available to technologies that transform energy use.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science has announced that it will sponsor another round (Phase 1, Release 3) of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding opportunities. Separately, the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) announced a $150 million funding opportunity available to parties that propose transformation energy technologies.

Regarding the small business awards, specific topics pertaining to solid-state lighting (SSL) for this final round of FY12 funding can be found here (topic 3a, page 3). The full funding opportunity announcement is expected on April 3, with pre-applications due May 1.

Program improvements

The DOE has made two important changes from previous SBIR and STTR releases. Firstly, the published topics for SSL are intentionally broad and general in order to promote maximum participation and innovation, but have performance goals and metrics based on the DOE SSL Multi-Year Program Plan that will be used for evaluation purposes. Secondly, the proposal submission process has been simplified using a staged procurement methodology. Applicants submit a very short pre-application that may result in an invitation to respond with a full proposal, which will be due in July.

The DOE is hosting a webinar on Monday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. EDT to share details of this new process along with eligibility requirements for US small businesses. For more information, visit the registration page.

Previous small-business awards

In 2010, the DOE awarded six SBIR and one STTR awards, all Phase I awards designed to explore the technical merit or feasibility of an innovative concept or technology. Recipients included Orbitec, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Sinmat, Luminus Devices, and Universal Display Corporation (UDC). UDC received three Phase I awards in 2010 as well as a Phase II award in 2011 to design and build large-area white OLED panels.

Transformational energy funding

ARPA-E has announced a $150 million funding opportunity, which is designed to fund breakthrough energy technologies that are too risky for the private sector. The DOE expects to divide the award into 60-80 awards of $250,000 to $10 million each. Eligible parties include for-profit entities, nonprofits, and educational institutions. Foreign entities may also apply, but work must be performed by affiliates incorporated in the US. Notices of intent are due by March 30, and concept papers are due by April 12.

For more information on solicitation number DE-FOA-0000670, please visit the website.

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