Businesses in the clean-energy sector have a new opportunity with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory through the DOE Small Business Vouchers Pilot (SBV).
Following the successes of the SBV Pilot’s first two rounds of funding over 76 small businesses from 25 states, awarding nearly $15 million in vouchers, the third and fourth rounds will award businesses that are willing to collaborate with the DOE national labs.
Small businesses are strongly encouraged to submit requests for assistance to the DOE. Individual vouchers range from $50,000-$300,000 per small business and may be used to conduct collaborative research or access lab instrumentation or facilities. Companies selected must also provide a 20%, in-kind cost share for completing voucher work.
“The business voucher program helps small businesses access the world-renowned expertise and instrumentation at ORNL and other DOE labs,” says Moe Khaleel, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environmental Sciences at ORNL. “Companies can take advantage of high-tech resources that they may not have realized were available, whether it is collaborating with our researchers or gaining assistance from top engineers or facilities.”
Businesses interested in SBV funding must be based and owned in the U.S. and consist of no more than 500 full-time employees worldwide. A total of $12 million is available for vouchers in rounds three and four. Round three is closed, but the impending round four is set for a deadline in the 2017 fiscal year.