The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 6, 2019, DOE announced that the applications currently being accepted for free assistance preparing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) FY 2020 Phase I Release 2 applications. There are a variety of eligibility criteria, and because space is limited, DOE Phase 0 applicants are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Each small business, however, is evaluated for selection to receive administrative and technical assistance based on the following selection criteria:

  • The small business offers technology innovations relevant to the current and open DOE SBIR/STTR research topics and subtopics (topics can be accessed at science.osti.gov/sbir);
     
  • The small business is or will be prior to award an eligible small business per 13 CFR Section 121.702;
     
  • The small business has not previously applied for an SBIR or STTR award from the DOE; and
     
  • Small business and/or owner has not received any Phase 0 technical assistance from DOE.

Qualified small businesses can submit an application at www.dawnbreaker.com/doephase0/apply.php.

Tags: DOE, SBIR, STTR

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On November 12, 2019, DOE published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for topics for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I Release 2 funding. Participating in this FOA are the following DOE program offices:

  • Office of Cyber Security, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER);
     
  • Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NNSA);
     
  • Office of Electricity (OE);
     
  • EERE;
     
  • Office of Environmental Management (EM);
     
  • Office of Fossil Energy (FE);
     
  • Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES);
     
  • Office of High Energy Physics (HEP); and
     
  • Office of Nuclear Energy (NE).
     

Interested applicants may register for one or more of DOE’s FY 2020 Phase I Release 2 SBIR/STTR Topics webinars. Presented by DOE Topic Managers, a series of three 90-minute webinars will be available:

For those unable to participate in the live webinars, they will be recorded and made available online.

In addition to the aforementioned webinars, a fourth one will be held to discuss the FOA and application process. This webinar will be held on December 19, 2019.

Tags: DOE, Funding, SBIR

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 30, 2019, DOE’s Smart Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Office announced the opening of applications for Cohort of Innovators through October 31, 2019. Three DOE National Laboratories are accepting such applications: (1) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) Chain Reaction Innovation; (2) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Innovation Crossroads; and (3) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) Cyclotron Road program. Each of the programs recruits a cohort of entrepreneurial scientists and engineers from around the world for two years. The goal of the programs is to allow innovators to mature their ideas until they can align with the most suitable commercial partners to take their technology to scale. Selected participants will receive a two-year fellowship, which includes a stipend depending on education and experience, along with health insurance and a travel allowance. Research funding and access to research facilities, equipment, and expertise are also provided, accompanied by a startup curriculum and a community of peers. The startup curriculum includes intensive entrepreneurial training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Again, applications are due by October 31, 2019, and can be found in the National Laboratories’ respective websites: ANL, ORNL, and LBL.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Phase I Release 1 funding opportunity for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. In its announcement, DOE encourages small businesses with strong research capabilities in science or engineering to apply. DOE’s Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) includes participation from its Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, and Nuclear Physics program offices. On August 19, 2019, DOE will host a webinar to provide an overview of the SBIR/STTR technology areas, application process, and award process. Interested parties can register for the webinar here. Additional important dates are listed below.

  • September 3, 2019 -- Letters of Intent (LOI) Due
     
  • September 24, 2019 -- Non-responsive LOI Feedback Provided
     
  • October 15, 2019 -- Full Applications Due
     
  • January 6, 2020 -- Award Notification
     
  • February 18, 2020 -- Project Grant Start Date

The full FOA and its topics can be accessed on DOE’s Office of Science webpage.

Tags: DOE, SBIR, Funding

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 17, 2018, DOE issued the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Phase I Release 2 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. Encouraging qualified small businesses with strong research capabilities in science or engineering, the following DOE program offices are offering funding opportunities:

  • Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response;
  • Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation;
  • Office of Electricity;
  • Office of Environmental Management;
  • Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy;
  • Office of Fossil Energy;
  • Office of Fusion Energy Sciences;
  • Office of High Energy Physics; and
  • Office of Nuclear Energy.

Phase I Release 2 topics can be found here and the FOA, here. First-time applicants are required to complete a number of registrations prior to submitting an application. DOE recommends candidates start applying at least six weeks prior to application submission.

Tags: DOE, Funding, SBIR

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On November 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the topic areas for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) for research and development (R&D) proposals for funding by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  The topics include:  advanced manufacturing; bioenergy; buildings; fuel cells; geothermal; solar; vehicles; water; and wind.  They also include the following joint topics:  advanced manufacturing and solar energy technologies offices; advanced manufacturing and geothermal technologies offices; and advanced manufacturing and fuel cell technologies offices.  DOE EERE, emphasizing its support of early-stage research and the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, plans to fund $20 million for over 100 new projects.  Letters of intent for applying for funding in any of the aforementioned topics are due by December 17, 2018.  Applications will be due on February 4, 2018.

Tags: DOE, SBIR, EERE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Grow Bioplastics, a University of Tennessee student start-up, a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.  The funding will support research and development on new biodegradable plastics from lignin.  The biobased plastic will be used for agricultural applications, such as plastic mulch.  Grow Bioplastics’ biodegradable film can be plowed into the soil after each use, offering a solution to the additional labor costs and environmental impact of current nondegradable films.  According to Tony Bova, Grow Bioplastics co-founder and CEO, the “funding will help [Grow Bioplastics] validate the fundamental science behind our lignin-based plastic technology, allow us to hire our first employees here in East Tennessee, and bring us one step closer to realizing our vision for a socially and environmentally driven business model to support a circular economy.”


 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On December 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the release of a request for applications (RFA) for Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects.  The SBIR program is comprised of three phases. During Phase I, applicants determine the scientific or technical feasibility of their proposed ideas. Phase II requires a more comprehensive application, outlining the proposed effort in further detail. The purpose of Phase III is to stimulate technological innovation and return on investment from research carried out in the prior two phases.  Applicants must have successfully completed a USDA Phase I project before applying for a Phase II grant. 
 
NIFA is soliciting applications under 13 topic areas, including Biofuels and Biobased Products.  Projects dealing with agriculturally-related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies are encouraged across all 2018 SBIR topic areas. 
 
Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on March 8, 2018.  More information on the RFA is available on the NIFA website.

Tags: USDA, SBIR

 

By Kathleen M. Roberts

On November 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued an announcement for its second funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for fiscal year (FY) 2018.  The Phase I Release 2 FOA will provide funding for innovations that address multiple research and development programs throughout DOE, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).  Phase I grants are six to 12 months in duration with maximum award amounts of $150,000 or $225,000, depending on the research topic.  Successful Phase I projects will compete for Phase II funding in FY 2019 to carry out prototype or processes research and development.  More information on the FOA is available here.

Tags: DOE, SBIR, STTR

 

By Kathleen M. Roberts

On May 24, 2017, DOE announced that 68 small businesses across 24 states will receive a total of $72 million in grants to support innovative R&D.  The funding was provided by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  The 68 small businesses received Phase II R&D awards after demonstrating technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants and competed for funding for prototype or process development during Phase II.  Two of the 73 proposed projects involve the production of biobased products, specifically:

  • Visolis, Inc received $1,010,000 to produce C5 hydrocarbons from organic waste biomass; and
  • Trash2Cash-Energy LLC received $999,909 to convert landfill gas to drop-in renewable fuel.

Additional awards may be announced as additional appropriated funds become available to the DOE SBIR and STTR programs.  More information on the recipients is available at the DOE Office of Science website.


 
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