SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that SimpleWater LLC in Berkeley and Lucid Design Group Inc. in Oakland will receive $200,000 in green technology contracts. The contracts are part of $2 million awarded to 21 small businesses nationwide to advance sustainable and innovative products and processes under EPA’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.
“EPA’s small business innovation contracts are growing California’s economy and green technology industry, helping companies like these develop new solutions to some of our biggest environmental challenges,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
In California, 3.4 million small businesses make up 99 percent of the state’s employers, employing more than 6 million workers, over half of the state’s workforce. California is also a major green job-producing state with over 26,000 jobs announced from 38 projects in 2012.
SimpleWater LLC of Berkeley, Calif., in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, received a $100,000 SBIR contract for their proposal to market a water treatment project using electrochemical arsenic removal technology. Arsenic contamination in public drinking water affects as many as 56 million Americans and often requires expensive and energy-intensive treatment. The technology is designed to allow small and very small drinking water systems to sustainably and affordably remove arsenic and other contaminants.
Lucid Design Group Inc. of Oakland, Calif. received a $100,000 SBIR contract for their proposal to develop a software system to encourage behavior-based energy conservation in commercial buildings. Commercial and residential buildings contribute over 70 percent of U.S. electrical load and 38 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. While electricity used by lighting, water heating, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning are projected to remain relatively flat by 2030, individual energy use is projected to increase from 18 percent of electricity in commercial buildings in 2001 to as much as 38 percent in 2035. The company is developing software designed to help people easily see and reduce their personal energy usage through immediate feedback using a cost-effective remote sensor and LED lighting color response system.
EPA’s SBIR program funds small businesses to develop and commercialize innovative, sustainable technologies to address current environmental issues. Annually, EPA releases a new funding opportunity for small businesses in a competitive two phase process. In Phase I, small businesses can receive up to $100,000 for “proof of concept” of their technology. Successful Phase I companies can apply to develop and market their technology with Phase II funding up to $300,000. Many of the SBIR recipient companies go on to leverage EPA’s funding to bring their designs to reality, expand business, and create products that help protect human health and the environment.
EPA SBIR Phase I awards: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir/14awards
EPA’s SBIR Program: www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir