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The Pilot

About Small Business Vouchers

Small businesses fuel the American economy, and small clean energy businesses are at the forefront of creating innovative clean energy solutions. But to succeed in commercializing their innovative energy technologies, businesses often need unique facilities and outside experts to help test, develop, and validate their products. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) national laboratories can provide this assistance, but getting in the door is a challenge most small businesses can't overcome.

DOE's Small Business Vouchers (SBV) program provides clean energy small businesses access to select national labs—making the contracting process simple, lab practices transparent, and access to the labs' unique facilities practical. Through SBV, selected small businesses receive access to the state-of-the-art facilities and experts at participating DOE national labs, while the labs expand their knowledge of and involvement with the private sector, helping small businesses with advanced technologies contribute to American competitiveness and economic growth.

Find out if your business qualifies.

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


Expertise for Clean Tech Businesses

Through SBV, eligible small businesses can tap into the intellectual and technical assets at select DOE national labs to overcome critical technology and commercialization challenges, including the following:

  • 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 to use at a participating DOE national lab. Vouchers are valued between $50,000 and $300,000. Businesses can apply for multiple rounds, but are capped at $300,000.


How Can SBV Help Me?

Lab assistance depends on the capabilities of the participating DOE national labs and the specific small business needs. To find out more about specific ways SBV can help your business, visit the SBV website or contact info@sbv.org.


SBV Administration and Leadership

There are five DOE national labs that administer SBV: 

Other participating DOE national labs can provide assistance. Visit the technologies page or contacts page to identify the DOE national labs participating in your tech area.

SBV is part DOE's Technology-to-Market program within EERE. Tech-to-Market strengthens the U.S. innovation ecosystem by eliminating common barriers that prevent market exploration of new energy technologies.


Get Started

Browse the SBV site to learn more about the DOE national labs and the SBV-supported technology areas.

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)

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