The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) National Laboratory Impact Initiative has started a Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot program, which aims to increase small business access to the expertise, competencies and infrastructure offered by DOE’s national labs.
In order to successfully and effectively research and commercialize technologies, DOE’s national laboratories partner with companies around the country that are committed to expanding clean energy in the United States. Large companies often have the capabilities and resources to engage and collaborate with DOE’s national labs, but this type of engagement can present challenges for small businesses.
The SBV pilot will connect private sector needs with corresponding laboratory science and technology capabilities and target small businesses where engagement with the labs can add significant value.
EERE will provide $20 million in funding for three to five national labs selected to participate in the SBV pilot in fiscal year 2015. Funds for the SBV pilot will be provided directly to the labs; no funds will be transferred to the small businesses participating in the pilot.
The Lab Impact Initiative recently released the SBV Lab Call to invite DOE’s national labs to participate in the pilot. By this summer, a competitive process will be open to small businesses from across the country seeking to work with the national labs on their most pressing cutting-edge research and commercialization challenges to bring the next generation of EERE technologies to market.