Source: FCW.com | Mark Rockwell | July 13, 2015

design_teamThe Energy Department will launch a Web-based tool later this summer to help small businesses with big ideas for renewable energy tap into the expertise of DOE’s national research laboratories.

David Danielson, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, said in a July 8blog post that five of the department’s national labs will share $20 million in funding for a pilot program aimed at encouraging development of renewable energy technology.

The goal is to help small companies bring new clean energy technologies to market faster by harnessing the science and engineering capabilities of DOE’s national laboratories, he said.

Under the Small Business Vouchers Pilot program, the labs can provide vouchers ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 to more than 100 small companies. The businesses can use the money to initiate collaborative research projects or access technical assistance from the labs to test, validate and introduce new products and expand their ability to develop clean energy technology for advanced manufacturing, buildings and vehicles via wind, water, bioenergy, fuel cells, geothermal and solar.

Danielson said an integral part of the program will be a Web-based Small Business Central Assistance Platform for exchanging information between the labs and the companies. The platform will also be used to market the labs’ core capabilities and to accept applications from companies that want to participate in the program.

The five participating labs are Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.