Energy Dept. awards released after inquiry from lead Democrat on Senate Small Business Committee

(Washington, DC) – After asking the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to explain the delay in millions of dollars of federal R&D grants to small businesses, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, announced the Energy Department has released the last of these delayed innovation grants.

According to the Department of Energy, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program grants totaling more than $200 million will be awarded to small businesses in 44 states (including delayed awards announced earlier this month).

Senator Shaheen said: “This is good news for small businesses developing innovative energy technologies, and I appreciate Secretary Perry and Administrator McMahon heeding our call to move forward with the release of these critical R&D grants to small businesses that have been subject to unnecessary delays.”

Among the companies in New Hampshire receiving innovation awards are:

  • Ground Energy Support in Durham ($150,000); proposal related to geothermal heat pumps.
  • Creare in Hanover ($1 million); proposal for technology to facilitate the monitoring of nuclear explosions.
  • Subsurface Insights in Hanover ($1 million); proposal to make Energy Department computer models available to commercial entities.

In April, small businesses raised concerns with the committee that the Energy Department was delaying award notifications to small businesses until “Secretary Perry has an opportunity to be briefed on research projects that will take place under his administration.”  The delays ranged from one and a half to three and a half months.  The department also made award notifications for 89 additional projects that at one time were in jeopardy of being delayed.

“SBIR and STTR provide a good return on investment for taxpayers and the programs have a proven track record.  I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to continue to support these vital programs and work to ensure that small businesses are notified of funding decisions in a more timely matter,” added Shaheen.

Senator Shaheen’s original request to Secretary Perry and Administrator McMahon is available here.