DALLAS, TX, April 6, 2010 -- A Texas Company has been awarded $70,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to develop commercially viable technology to identify contaminants in drinking water and hazardous air pollutants.
Omega Optics Inc. of Austin, Texas, is one of 34 small businesses to receive a total of $2.38 million in funding to develop new technologies to protect human health and the environment.
"Small businesses are critical elements for technical innovation in the United States," said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. "EPA is helping small businesses make significant contributions to both the environment and the economy through the SBIR program."
The awards were given to businesses in 16 states under EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. SBIR was established to ensure that new technologies are developed to solve priority environmental problems. EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs, and promote technical innovation in the United States.
Today's awards focus on ten key environmental research areas: increasing the efficiency of green building materials and systems; manufacturing innovation; prevention, monitoring, and control using nanotechnology; reducing greenhouse gases; new treatment technologies for drinking water; improving water infrastructure; reducing emissions from small air pollution sources; reducing emissions from vehicles and biofuels production facilities; new approaches for cleaning up and monitoring hazardous waste sites; and new tools for homeland security systems.
There are approximately 25 million small businesses in the United States today. As the leading source of employment growth, these firms have generated 60-80 percent of net new jobs over the past decade and are responsible for developing most of the country's new technologies. To be eligible to participate in SBIR, a small business must have fewer than 500 employees, and at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens.
Starting on March 15, 2010, EPA is again requesting applications for the development of new environmental technologies. Visit EPA's SBIR web site at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir to learn more.
A list of all SBIR awards and more information about each project are available at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir/10awards/ .