The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced more $2 million to 25 small businesses nationwide to develop new environmental technologies that will help protect people’s health and the environment. California leads the nation with six companies selected for the award; four are located in Southern California, and two are in Northern California.
EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funds innovative research resulting in new commercial products, processes and services that protect the environment, benefit the public, and promote the growth of small businesses. This year’s projects focus on drinking water, wastewater, manufacturing, green building, waste monitoring and management, air quality, sustainable use of biomass and homeland security.
“Over the past 30 years, EPA has funded more than 900 small businesses that develop unique environmental technologies,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With nearly one quarter of the funding coming to California companies, this state is leading the nation in developing innovative technologies and more sustainable solutions that protect our health and the environment while creating jobs and increasing economic competitiveness.”
Each of the 25 companies will receive an SBIR Phase I contract of up to $80,000 to further develop their technology over the next six months. Once the project has been demonstrated to be commercially viable, then companies are eligible to compete for a Phase II award of up to $300,000 to commercialize their technology. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized for-profit U.S. business, and have fewer than 500 employees.
The selected California companies and their projects are as follows:
- HJ Science & Technology, Inc. (Berkeley) — Demonstrate the feasibility of an integrated “lab-on-a-chip” technology capable of rapid and real-time detection and identification of a variety of toxins in drinking water
- Instrumental Polymer Technologies, Inc. (Westlake Village) – Develop tough, sustainable water-based wood coatings using nanotechnology, soy-based biodiesel, and amino acids
- RegeneMed, Inc. (San Diego) – Develop three-dimensional human breast tissue model for screening human mammary carcinogens
- ACEA Biosciences, Inc. (San Diego) – Research and develop cell lines, protocols and data analysis methods to assess the toxic effects of environmental pollutants
- KWJ Engineering, Inc. (Newark) – Develop an ultra-low power and low-cost CO2 sensor for intelligent building ventilation system controls
- Verrix (Los Angeles) – Develop an automated, rapid method for evaluating the efficiency of wastewater treatment systems
U.S. EPA, press release, 2013-06-13.