Grants Will Support Innovation and Job Creation

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will award 256 grants totaling $53 million to 211 small businesses in 35 states and the District of Columbia. These awards include eight in Tennessee totaling $1,598,908. Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, today’s selections are for Phase I research and development.

“A cornerstone of the American economy, small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs throughout the country. I applaud our Department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for awarding over two hundred small businesses across 35 states and the District of Columbia a total of $53 million dollars for research and development projects. Now more than ever, we want to lend support to our country’s small businesses to ensure they are thriving again soon,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

The Phase I grants will allow small businesses to research technical feasibility of new innovations that advance the mission of the Department. Phase I grants are 6-12 months in duration with a median award amount of $200,000. Successful Phase I grantees will be eligible to apply for Phase II awards in fiscal year 2021 that will allow them to develop novel prototypes or processes to validate their Phase I research findings. Phase II grants have a median award amount of $1,100,000 and a duration up to 2 years.

Below are the grants for Tennessee:

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $199,648 for Reduction of Tungsten in Cemented Carbide Manufacturing Tooling. Millennitek will develop a material that can be used as a direct replacement for Tungsten carbide in many diverse industrial applications such as hard tooling, mining and construction, and metal machining. The new material has the potential to reduce the use of tungsten by 50% in many wear applications. This will reduce reliance on the strategically critical materials Cobalt and Tungsten.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $199,994 for Icephobic Heat Exchange for Efficient, Resilient Building Cooling. People want (in homes, offices, and schools) or urgently need (in hospitals and nursing homes) to stay cool and safe, even if the power is out. Our endeavor will develop low-cost, efficient thermal energy storage to provide long-duration resilient cooling when the electric grid is down.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $200,000 for Conductive Carbons by Design: Electrochemically Tailored Carbon Nanotube Conductive Additives for High Rate Battery Electrodes. SkyNano will team with Dr. David Wood’s laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop a cathode architecture that employs advanced carbon additives to increase energy density and lower charging time for batteries that have a direct impact on the deployment of electric vehicles.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $199,782 for Value of Information and Data Management Platform Promoting Modern Data Analysis Utilization. Streamflow forecasts provide valuable guidance for hydropower operators, but uncertainty and multiple data sources make it difficult to make decisions based on the forecasts. This research will develop a forecast verification framework that includes machine learning tools to identify the ‘best’ forecast guidance for a given set of conditions.

Nuclear Energy, $199,859 for Online Cable Condition Monitoring and Aging Management of Nuclear Power Plant Cables and End Devices. The sustainability of the current fleet of nuclear power plants depends on the performance of key components such as cables that cannot easily or economically be replaced. This project will develop technology to continuously monitor cable systems to identify faults and age related degradation.

Nuclear Energy, $199,936 for Online Monitoring System to Support Autonomous Remote Microreactor Operations. The safe and efficient operation of autonomous microreactors for remote off-grid applications depends on the performance of critical sensors, processes, and components within the system. This project will develop online monitoring technologies that will improve the safety and economy of microreactors and also support other advanced nuclear energy applications.

Nuclear Energy, $199,705 for VERA Software Validation using In-Plant Data. This project involves the validation and implementation of the Virtual Environment for Reactor Analysis simulation software for assessing reactor health. Implementation of this software will improve plant safety, minimize operation and maintenance costs, and reduce the potential for unplanned maintenance outages in current and next generation reactors.

Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, $199,984 for Fabrication of Low-Cost Large-Volume Ceramic A2HfX6 (A= Cs or Tl, X = Cl, Br, or I) Scintillators for Gamma Ray Detection. High energy physics and homeland security applications require bright scintillating materials that are low cost and environmentally stable, with a high stopping power (Zeff), fast response time, and good proportionality, low cost and environmentally stable highly efficient inorganic transparent ceramic scintillators of various dimensions by hot uniaxial pressing and investigate   their scintillation properties in comparison to the single crystal counterpart.02.

Small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs in the U.S. economy.  The SBIR and STTR programs were created by Congress to leverage small businesses to advance innovation at federal agencies. Additional information on the DOE SBIR and STTR programs is available HERE.

More information about the projects announced today is available at the following link: