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EPA Awards $2.3 Million in Funding for 21 Small Businesses to Develop Innovative Environmental Technologies

New England projects to receive $200,000 in funding

07/18/2019
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $2.3 million in funding for 21 small businesses to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment by monitoring air quality, treating drinking water, cleaning up contaminated sites, and creating greener, less toxic materials. Two projects in New England will each receive $100,000 to develop methods to sequester PFAS from wastewater, and to develop a wearable, low-weight, high accuracy, air-quality measurement tool.

"These funds support small businesses that have developed new technologies to monitor air quality, test for PFAS, and address other pressing environmental challenges," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "Through EPA's Small Business Innovation Research program, we provide important assistance to entrepreneurs as they develop innovative solutions that will strengthen both environmental protections and economic growth."

"EPA congratulates these two companies for taking the initiative to develop products that may help protect people's health," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. "We eagerly anticipate seeing the innovative products and solutions that these small businesses develop."

These 21 small businesses are receiving Phase I 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 up to $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 up to $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.

SBIR Phase I recipients in New England include:

  • Creare LLC, Hanover, N.H., AirQAST Portable Automated Air Quality Monitoring
  • Anfiro, Inc., Woburn, Mass., Block Copolymer Membranes for Total Removal of Ionic and Nonionic PFAS from Industrial Wastewaters Optionally Co-Contaminated by Alcohols

Anfiro is manufacturing block copolymer membranes with uniformly sized, nanoscale pores. The technology's uniquely-sharp size-based separation mechanism should allow both ionic and nonionic PFAS to be sequestered from wastewater. Most current treatment methods remove only ionic PFAS. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don't break down and they can accumulate over time.

Creare has proposed to develop a wearable, low-weight, high accuracy, air-quality measurement tool. The device would integrate multiple sensors to monitor all major fire pollutants. Sampled data would be instantly broadcast to mobile devices, empowering fire managers with the capability to monitor real-time exposure levels for individual firefighters.

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.

For more information on EPA's SBIR Phase I recipients, visit https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/641/records_per_page/ALL

Learn more about EPA's SBIR program at www.epa.gov/sbir and learn about the current open Phase 1 SBIR solicitation, which closes on July 31, at www.epa.gov/sbir/sbir-funding-opportunities.