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U.S. EPA awards $600,000 to help two California small businesses develop environmental technologies

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (

SAN FRANCISCO Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a combined $600,000 in funding for Microvi Biotech Inc., of Hayward, Calif., and Hi-Z Technology Inc., of San Diego, Calif., to develop technologies that provide solutions for environmental issues. A total of $1.8 million was awarded to six small businesses nationwide.

“Small businesses are not only essential to the American economy, but they also produce some of our best, cutting-edge technologies,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Through this funding, these companies will create jobs and create value in the marketplace, all while developing innovations that protect the environment and human health.”

Hi-Z Technology will use the award to further research and develop a thermoelectric cook stove that operates with reduced emissions. The stove also provides a reliable energy source, generating up to eight watts of power for household use.

Microvi Biotech will use the funds to develop a method for treating phosphorous and other nutrients in wastewater. Removing nutrients from wastewater can help prevent water quality loss and the formation of toxic algae blooms. Microvi Biotech’s technology will recover phosphorus as a by-product of the treatment process, for use in products such as agricultural fertilizer.

Hi-Z Technology and Microvi Biotech are receiving Phase II contracts from EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (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. The recipients of these Phase II awards will now work to bring their products to market.

The following companies also received Phase II contracts:

  • TIAX LLC, Lexington, Mass., to develop a technology that simultaneously treats and decontaminates chemical and radiological hazards for homeland security applications.
  • XploSafe, Stillwater, Okla., to scale up and demonstrate a technology that recovers nutrients from wastewater and then reuses those nutrients as fertilizer.
  • Renuvix LLC, Fargo, N.D., to further develop their high-performance resin coating which has significantly lower levels of air pollutants than current technology.
  • ASAT Inc., Cottage Grove, Ore., to commercialize a clean-burning, biomass-fueled, integrated stove that can be used for cooking, heating, and as a source of power.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program. Enacted in 1982, the SBIR program was developed to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs, and promote U.S. technologies. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees.

For more information on EPA’s SBIR Phase II recipients, visit

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program at

Learn more about the federal SBIR program at

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) at Connect with us on Facebook (@EPAregion9) and Twitter (@EPAregion9).