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The Pilot

About the Small Business Vouchers Pilot

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is putting the world-class resources of the national labs at your fingertips with the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot. In Fiscal Year 2017, EERE will provide $12 million in vouchers so that small businesses can request technical assistance from national labs to help bring the next generation of clean technologies to market.

Expertise for Clean Tech Businesses

Through the SBV Pilot, eligible small businesses can tap into the reserve of National Laboratory intellectual and technical assets to overcome critical technology and commercialization challenges such as:

  • Prototyping
  • Materials characterization
  • High performance computations
  • Modeling and simulations
  • Intermediate scaling to generate samples for potential customers
  • Validation of technology performance
  • Designing new ways to satisfy regulatory compliance

Eligible small businesses can request a voucher for use at a National Laboratory valued between $50,000 and $300,000.

How can SBV help me?

Assistance from labs will vary depending on lab capabilities and the small business needs related to specific products and services, but could include examples similar to those that follow.

Engage with a DOE lab to scale a material:

Example: A company that would like to engage with labs on scaling up of materials for fuel cell applications, for example, would have access to the material synthesis capabilities at the molecular foundry, synthesis equipment, wet and dry deposition equipment, electrode assembly and device testing equipment, and access to scientists with expertise in areas related to the device operation.

Engage with a DOE lab to utilize a set of mixed equipment for testing with expert advice from a scientist and/or engineer:

Example: A company that would like to engage with labs in the area of battery assembly and testing would have access to mixing equipment, casting of slurries on current collectors under aqueous and non-aqueous conditions, drying equipment, calendaring equipment, device assembly via coin and pouch cells and testing of devices.

Find out if your business qualifies.

It's easy to apply — if you're ready, start here!

SBV Pilot Administration and Leadership

The U.S. Department of Energy selected five labs to administer the SBV Pilot. Lead labs include: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. Many other DOE labs can provide assistance under the SBV Pilot. To learn more, visit the technologies pages or the contacts page.

The pilot will foster a strong partnership between the labs and clean tech small businesses, benefiting both. While small businesses receive access to state-of-the-art facilities and experts, the national labs broaden their service to private-sector technological development, supporting small business development, job creation and American competitiveness.

The Inspiration for the Small Business Vouchers Pilot comes from EERE's National Laboratory Impact Initiative, harnessing the entire national lab system to help U.S. businesses and universities lead the clean technology revolution.

Get Started

Browse our site to learn more about the labs, the technology areas covered.

Important Dates

Round 1: CLOSED

Round 2: CLOSED

Round 3: CLOSED

Important Information

  • Download the Notice of Opportunity: Request for Assistance (RFA)
    (PDF | MS Word)
  • Download the Request for Assistance (RFA) Template
    (PDF | MS Word)
  • Download Round 3 fact sheet (PDF)
  • Download Round 3 infographic (PDF)
  • Download Summary Slide (PPT)
  • Download Additional Questions (Excel)