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SBIR Seed Funding Helps Create Jobs
EPA's SBIR program issues small funding contracts through an annual research competition which opens in March. The small companies in turn use this seed funding to advance their research and leverage that investment to bring in other sources of funding such as venture capital. Companies are then able to grow by hiring new scientists, engineers and other employees needed to develop and sometimes manufacture their technology.
Cambrian Innovation is just one example of a young company which has turned its EPA SBIR award into a positive impact on the economy. Cambrian developed a bio-electrochemical system to treat wastewater from ethanol distillation while also generating electricity - this self-powered wastewater treatment plant earned the company the Ignite Clean Energy Prize in 2009. This in turn allowed Cambrian to leverage venture capital funding which allowed them to increase their workforce from four to 12 employees.
For more information see: Innovating for a Green Economy