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EPA Helps Small Businesses Bring Green Technologies to Market

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will award $1.75 million to 25 small companies to spur development of new environmental technologies through the Small Business Innovation Research program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will award $1.75 million to 25 small businesses to spur development of new environmental technologies.

The Small Business Innovation Research program focuses on technologies within the areas of nanotechnology and pollution prevention, biodiesel and ethanol, solid and hazardous waste, air pollution control and homeland security.

"There are huge new opportunities for profits in the booming green technology business sector," George Gray, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development, said in a statement. "Many large corporations are already investing heavily in environmental applications."

Each business will receive $70,000 for the program's first phase, or "proof of concept" award. The agency will accept submissions for next year's first phase through May 21. If successful in the first phase, companies can apply for the second phase to commercialize the technology.

Past winners include Edenspace Systems, which created plants that remove arsenic from soil. The plants make it possible to avoid digging up cast tracks of property and were used by the Army to clean contaminated parts of Spring Valley, Washington D.C.

The small business sector employs more than half of all U.S. workers and is responsible for the majority of new technologies developed in the country, the agency said. More than 600 small businesses have received funding through the program since its inception in 1982.

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