Small Businesses Get Funding to Develop Technologies

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $2.38 million to small businesses to develop innovative, sustainable technologies to protect human health and the environment. These efforts will help improve air quality, protect our water, work to decrease the effects of climate change, and support green jobs.

“Innovation is the lifeline of progress ─ and scientific and technological innovation are essential to the progress we seek to make in protecting people and the planet,” said Paul T. Anastas, Ph.D., assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. “These small businesses are key to helping us reach that goal.”

The awards were granted to :

  • Air Quality Design, Inc. of WheatRidge, Colo.;
  • Aspen Products Group, Inc. of Marlborough, Mass.
  • Eltron Research & Development, Inc. of Boulder, Colo.;
  • IntAct Laboratories, LLC of Cambridge, Mass.;
  • Lynntech Inc. of Bryan, Texas;
  • Technology Specialists of Fort Wayne, Ind.;
  • Coating Systems Laboratories, Inc. of Chandler, Ariz.;
  • AquaBioChip, LLC of Lansing, Mich.;
  • Fusion Coolant Systems, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich.;
  • Interdisciplinary Design Collaborative, LLC of Rolla, Mo.;
  • Lao K, LLC of Albany, Ore.;
  • AdvR, Inc. of Bozeman, Mont.;
  • IntelliMet, LLC of Missoula, Mont.;
  • Omega Optics, Inc. of Austin, Texas;
  • AlburtyLab, Inc. of Drexel, Mo.;
  • Light Curable Coatings of Valley View, Ohio;
  • Cbana Labs, Inc. of Champaign, Ill.;
  • Defiant Technologies, Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M.;
  • Enchem Engineering, Inc. of Newton, Mass.

Some companies received more than one award.

Examples of new technologies include NEI Corporation, based in Somerset, N.J., which will develop a self-healing nanocomposite to protect drinking water pipes from corrosion. The $69,996 grant awarded to the company and collaborator Kennedy/Jenks Consultants focuses on metal pipeline rehabilitation.

Dissolved constituents of alternate water sources, such as reclaimed and produced waters, make the pipelines more susceptible to corrosion. The purpose of the proposed R & D program is to develop environmentally benign self-healing anti-corrosion coatings. The self-healing, or damage response, properties of the proposed materials will use only environmentally benign materials. Currently, chromium is used to impart self-healing characteristics, but its toxicity has raised significant health concerns. Chromate coatings were never used in potable water systems and have been phased out in industrial applications. In addition to increasing the service life of existing pipe infrastructure, the anti-corrosion properties of the coatings will enable the transport of water sources that are high in corrosive agents for non-potable applications.

"The EPA's SBIR program is very competitive, and we are pleased to have been awarded this research and development grant” said Ganesh Skandan, Ph.D., chief executive officer of NEI. “Our experience developing self-healing, anti-corrosion coatings and commercializing them through our American Nanomyte subsidiary positions us as a strong candidate to both find and implement solutions that address our country's aging water infrastructure".

To be eligible to participate in Small Business Innovation Research, a small business must have fewer than 500 employees, and at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens.

EPA is also requesting applications for the development of new environmental technologies. The application deadline is May 11.

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