Utah SBIR Center Clients Awarded Over $1 Million from U.S. Department of Energy

Pete CodellaArticles

The Utah SBIR Center is pleased to announce that six Utah companies received U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Phase I grants totaling over $1M in non-equity position funding through the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs.

Five of the six Utah winners were Utah SBIR Center clients from across Utah to include Cache, Salt Lake and Utah counties. 

“It has been our pleasure to work with each of these companies through one or more of our offerings workshops, one-on-one consultations and working directly on the proposals,”  said Mary Cardon, director of the Utah SBIR Center. “We are honored to help Utah companies win non-dilutive funding that will serve as a launching pad for these ground-breaking technologies.” 

The companies who worked with the Utah SBIR Center acknowledged the role that the Center played in winning the grants.

The award companies include: 

Coreform (Orem, Utah) Nuclear Energy; Advanced Technologies for Nuclear Energy 
“Coreform is experienced at winning federal grants and contracts, but we always ask the Center to review our documents, and they always make them better,” notes Matt Sederberg, Coreform CEO.

“We are grateful to the entire Center team for helping us secure these funds. We are thrilled to work on this SBIR project. It will benefit the nuclear energy community to help democratize the use of Idaho National Laboratory’s MOOSE simulation code by integrating it with the Coreform Trelis software,” Sederberg said.

Nielson Scientific (Lehi, Utah) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Solar
Dr. Greg Nielson, CEO of Nielson Scientific, has taken advantage of the Center workshops and materials to guide the proposal writing process. This DOE grant allows this revolutionary silicon wafer technology, which significantly reduces the amount of costly silicon required for solar photovoltaic panels, to move forward.  

“The Center’s resources make it easy for me to make certain I am following the requirements for the grant submission. They are lifesavers,” said Nielson.

Seerstone Development (Provo, Utah) Fossil Energy; Carbon Utilization Program
Randall Smith, principal investigator at Seerstone Development, said, “This funding will allow us to work towards reducing U.S. dependence on foreign supplies of high purity graphite. Thank you to Mary and her team for their support. Because of the workshops, we had a deep understanding of the work ahead, and it paid off.”  

Sequent Logic (Logan, Utah) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Wind
“Sequent Logic has secured over $3M in SBIR funding since 2017 to develop distributed fiber-optic sensing technology,” said Ryan Seeley, managing member at Sequent Logic. “We want to say a huge thank you to the Utah SBIR Center team for providing guidance whenever asked.” 

“Winning this funding helps us prove new sensing technologies while creating high-paying jobs in Utah,” said Seeley.  

Visionary Products, Inc. (Draper, Utah) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Water
VPI Technology Group (VPI) has attended workshops and also had their proposal reviewed by the Center staff. 

“The prompt feedback we received from the Center was very helpful,” said Dr. Wyatt Felt, principal investigator. “We are always looking for ways to strengthen our proposals. We know that proposals reviewed by the Center have twice the win-rate. With this award, VPI looks forward to developing new technology that has the potential to significantly reduce trash and plastic in our waterways and keep it from ending up in the oceans or in Utah’s own Great Salt Lake.”

The SBIR/STTR programs are highly competitive federal grants and contracts for U.S small businesses to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for future commercialization. The funding does not take equity or intellectual property (IP) from the company. Upon successful completion of their Phase I project, companies can then apply for Phase II funding up to $1M for a two-year project, and the Utah SBIR Center will be there to assist. 

Companies that work closely with the Utah SBIR Center increase their chances of winning these funds to more than 25%, compared to national averages that range from 14% to 17%. The Center supports companies that are considering applying, as well as those experienced in the grant process.

Funded through the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah SBIR Center offers Utah companies assistance with a full range of free or low-cost services, including workshops, consultations and grant writing assistance.  The Utah SBIR Center has helped Utah companies win over $41M to add to their research and development efforts since opening in 2008. 

For more information on the Center and its services, visit its website.