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ORNL to collaborate with five small businesses to advance energy tech


OAK RIDGE, Tenn., April 21, 2017 — Five small companies have been selected to partner with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to move technologies in commercial refrigeration systems, water power generation, bioenergy and battery manufacturing closer to the marketplace.

The firms are among 38 selected to participate in the third round of DOE’s Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot. SBV facilitates access to the DOE national labs for American small businesses, enabling them to leverage the world-class capabilities of DOE’s national laboratories and bring their next-generation energy technologies to the marketplace faster.

“Innovation drives American competitiveness and creates new jobs for a stronger economy and a brighter, cleaner future for our nation. ORNL is helping small businesses tackle fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace,” said Moe Khaleel, associate lab director of energy and environmental sciences at ORNL.

DOE has connected 12 of its national labs with 76 small businesses since the first round of SBV, a Technology-to-Market program launched in September 2015. With today’s announcement, 114 small businesses have been partnered with the labs enabling them to tap into the intellectual and technical resources needed to overcome critical technology challenges for their advanced energy products and gain a global competitive advantage. 

SBV is a collaborative, national effort that provides small American businesses access to the unique capabilities and expertise available within the national laboratory system. Following open calls for “Requests for Assistance,” businesses are competitively selected to work with a national lab to address their needs.

ORNL will negotiate collaborative agreements with the following small businesses:

FluxTeq, located in Blacksburg, Virginia, will work with ORNL to develop an inexpensive and non-invasive BTU meter providing accurate thermal energy measurements in commercial and industrial buildings.

Redux Power, located in Rochester, New York, will work with ORNL to develop an integrated, lower cost roll-to-roll manufacturing process for battery cells.

SkyCool Systems, located in San Francisco, California, will work with ORNL to improve the efficiency of fluid-cooling panels used in commercial refrigeration systems such as walk-in freezers in a range of climate zones.

Synvitrobio, located in San Francisco, California, will work with ORNL toward development of analytical tools to convert renewable biomass to higher-order chemicals mevalonate and vanillin.

Telluride Energy, located in Telluride, Colorado, will work with ORNL to identify new opportunities for hydropower at existing non-powered dams and water treatment plants.

ORNL continues to collaborate with 15 companies awarded vouchers in the first two rounds of SBV. 

Small Business Vouchers (SBV) is part of the Tech-to-Market Program within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Tech-to-Market is focused on strengthening the innovation ecosystem by eliminating common barriers that prevent market exploration of new energy technologies. 

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit