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A Boost for Small Business

September 15, 2010 - 3:24pm


Today is a first for the Department of Energy, as $57 million, including nearly $11 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is being awarded as part of our new Phase III Xlerator awards. This grant program builds off the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR), and gives qualified small businesses around the country the staying power they need to bring their clean energy technology projects to commercialization.

With these Phase III Xlerator awards, 33 small businesses in 16 states will lead projects that received SBIR or STTR funding, teaming up with universities, national labs and industry to bring their work to the commercial marketplace. By drawing upon the resources of universities, labs and industry, innovative small businesses will be able to develop the manufacturing processes needed to scale up production of their new and proven technologies.

The 33 small businesses receiving SBIR Phase III Xlerator awards are tackling big issues. These small businesses have demonstrated energy-efficient methods for harvesting algae to make a product that’s competitive with petroleum. They are introducing lighting products that can go toe-to-toe with linear fluorescent technology. They are improving fuel cell technologies, reducing size, changing fuel membranes, and even adding wood saw dust to bio oil for a new integrated power system.

The successes of these small businesses are just a glimpse of the innovation we can expect to see in the years to come. As these Phase III Xlerator companies bring their products to commercialization, thousands of additional small businesses across the country are working to develop new technologies and improve on existing ones. These projects are changing the equation of clean energy technology, and creating jobs for thousands of Americans.

To learn more about the Phase III Xlerator selected projects, read our comprehensive overview. For general information about the SBIR and STTR programs, visit

Kristina M. Johnson is the Under Secretary of Energy.