DOE opens FOA for $37M in new research, development grants

By Erin Voegele | December 19, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a second funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs for fiscal year 2019. Approximately $37 million is available through the FOA, with much of that funding expected to support projects related to the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

According to the DOE, the funding will be awarded to innovations that address multiple research and development programs throughout the agency, including those related to the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response; Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation; Office of Electricity; Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Office of Environmental Management; Office of Fossil Energy; Office of Fusion Energy Sciences; Office of High Energy Physics; and Office of Nuclear Energy.

“U.S. small businesses are a crucial aspect in driving innovation and creating jobs in our economy,” said Secretary Perry. “The SBIR and STTR programs are an excellent way for small businesses and the federal government to team up to advance scientific research and development, creating a more secure energy future for America.”

Phase I grants are 6-12 months in duration with maximum award amounts of $200,000. Small businesses that successfully complete their research in Phase I will compete for funding in fiscal year 2020 to carry out prototype or processes research and development during Phase II. Phase II grants are up to two years in duration with maximum award amounts varying from $1.1 million to $1.6 million.

The EERE is expected to fund more than 100 new projects under the FOA, totaling approximately $20 million. According to the DOE, nine EERE technology officers will fund and manage proposals, including Advanced Manufacturing, Bioenergy, Buildings, Fuel Cells, Geothermal, Solar, Vehicles, Water and Wind.

The fiscal year 2019 EERE SBIR and STTR topics under bioenergy include:
- cell-free biochemical platforms to optimize biomass carbon conversion efficiency
- Reshaping plastic design and degradation for the bioeconomy, and
- algae engineering incubator

The FOA was issued Dec. 17. The DOE is scheduled to hold a webinar on the FOA on Dec. 20. Letters of intent are due Jan. 7, with the submission deadline for applications set for Feb. 25.

Additional information is available on the DOE website.