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Department of Energy Supports Tech Startups Focused on Energy Technology

U.S. Department of Energy
Small businesses focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy technology can look to the U.S. Department of Energy for financial support. In fact, the Department of Energy (DOE) has shown support for such initiatives for the past 30 years.

The DOE recently awarded grants to 17 small businesses through their Small Business Innovation Research grant program. The grants were substantial -- $1 million each -- indicating how important energy is to the U.S. government. Projects can include many areas of technology which improve the ways in which we utilize our energy resources.

Many of the projects that were awarded grants featured smart solutions for buildings that saved energy through improved technology in things like water heaters and windows. Six companies designed systems to reduce fuel consumption in automobiles and trucks. Still others created ways to create clean power through wind turbines.

Energy grants are competitive. Nearly 1,000 grant requests resulted in 17 grant awards during the 2012/2013 grant time period. The DOE is required to allocate 2.5 percent of their research and development budget to small businesses. Early research projects can get up to $150,000 in research grant funding; follow-on awards can be up to $1 million; and final tier (so-called Phase III) awards have no monetary limits.

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