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November 14, 2014

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Announces Small Business Awards


On November 12, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference to announce the recipients of the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. In her comments, Administrator McCarthy stated that "a strong, world-leading economy requires a clean environment," and noted that under the Obama Administration the production of wind energy has tripled, and solar energy has increased ten-fold. Joining Ms. McCarthy at the press conference were representatives from two of the nine companies receiving funding awards, Thomas Brooks of National Recovery Technologies, LLC (Nashville, TN), which is developing a technology that allows for the automated identification and sorting of rare earth elements in electronic waste (e-waste) recycling streams; Carol Ann Wedding of Imaging Systems Technology (Toledo, OH), which is developing Ultraviolet (UV) Plasma-shells with Titanium (IV) Dioxide (TiO2) to produce a low cost, rugged, lightweight, and highly efficient water purification system; and David Levine of the American Sustainable Business Council. In his comments, Mr. Levine noted that these grants from EPA catalyze new technologies, new applications, and new jobs, helping to scale innovation effectively and reduce the costs of technology.

Ms. McCarthy fielded several questions from reporters regarding the U.S. climate accord with China announced November 12, 2014. She stated "I think the targets are ambitious but achievable," and used the opportunity to re-iterate the goals and achievements of the Obama Administration's Climate Action Plan. When asked whether President Obama would veto any legislation coming from the newly Republican-controlled congress targeting the Clean Air or Clean Water Acts, Ms. MacCarthy stated she was confident of the President's support and that EPA would be able to explain to legislators and the public that "a healthy environment is not just good for our kids but for our businesses."

The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Grants are made via 11 federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and EPA. SBIR funding award solicitations are ongoing and small biobased companies are urged to apply. See the story below under the DOE heading for one current solicitation.