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EPA Awards $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research funds to ZILA Works of Renton, Washington

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Suzanne Skadowski (

SEATTLE Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $1.6 million in funding for ZILA Works, in Renton, Washington, and 14 other small businesses across the United States to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment by detecting chemicals in the air, ensuring cleaner water, and creating greener materials.

“EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program is awarding funding to these small businesses because they have demonstrated the potential to create technologies that will improve our environment and our economy,” said Administrator Pruitt. “These technologies are focused on creating cutting-edge products that can help solve today’s complex environmental problems and enhance economic growth.”

These fifteen companies are receiving Phase I contracts from EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research or SBIR program, which awards contracts annually through a two-phase competition. Companies compete for a Phase I award of $100,000 by submitting research that addresses key environmental issues. After receiving a Phase I award, companies are eligible to compete for a Phase II award of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.

EPA selected ZILA Works, in Renton, Washington, to receive $100,000 in SBIR Phase I funding. ZILA Works will use an oil derived from hempseed to create an eco-friendly epoxy resin for use in manufacturing sporting goods. Epoxy resins are typically created using bisphenol A or BPA, an endocrine disrupting chemical. In addition, over 90 percent of plastics are derived from petroleum, equivalent to about 6 percent of global oil consumption. This project proposes to develop an innovative bio-epoxy resin based on the fatty acids of hempseed oil. Epoxy resins are used as the matrix for composites in products ranging from outdoor recreational equipment to aircraft parts.

EPA’s SBIR funding boosts local economies by creating jobs and promoting collaborations among small businesses through product testing and research. This funding also supports technologies aimed at creating cleaner manufacturing materials and better infrastructure in communities

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 U.S. technical innovation. To be eligible, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees.

More information about the ZILA Works proposal:

More information on all of the SBIR Phase I recipients:

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program: