by Ray Hayes

The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that it will be awarding $95 million in grants to 80 small business in 26 states. The recent initiative is a part of the DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Transfer programs. The SBIR program is intended to help US small businesses conduct research and development while also supporting STEM innovation in efforts to further the US economy.

The DOE awards companies based off a three phase program.

  • Phase I – The startup phase makes awards of up to $150,000. The award goes to startups who have shown “technical feasibility for innovation.”
  • Phase II – $1 million in awards are granted for a minimal of two years. Research and development is performed during this time with an evaluation for commercialization potential.
  • Phase III – During the final phase, the company is expected to move from the lab into the marketplace. “The small business must find funding in the private sector or other non-SBIR federal agency funding which has no time limit or dollar amount

One of the companies that received funding from the DOE is Grid7, an energy tech company based out of Colorado. The company was originally awarded the phase I funding of $150,000 in 2017 and will now receive phase II funding in the amount of $999,363. As reported by, Grid7, “will develop a novel software platform to address critical cybersecurity threats for power plant control systems, industrial control systems, and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) by leveraging blockchain and other patent pending cybersecurity technologies developed in this project. Other applications will enable secure energy transactions to increase grid reliability and integrate a more decentralized energy infrastructure.”

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