3 Oregon Companies receive $1 million in Department Of Energy funding

Photo: Nick Cunningham
A wheat field planted close to the base of wind turbines.

DOE awards a total of $35 million small business funds earmarked for climate solutions

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Three Oregon companies —Paratools, Galois and Birch Bioscience — have received a total of $1 million in funding for clean energy projects funded by the U.S, Department Energy.

The projects are part of $35 million in funds announced last week to allow small businesses sustainable clean energy and climate solutions projects. 

According to the DOE’s release, the investment is intended to “create good-paying jobs, build a diverse climate workforce, and help achieve President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.”

The funding, which went to 158 projects in 29 states, is administered by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs to support small businesses, including startups, to develop technological breakthroughs and meet federal research and development needs, the agency says.

SBIR/STTR funds can also translate to commercial sales. According to the DOE, previous awardees have reported over $1.7 billion in sales resulting from projects funded by these awards. 

Here’s what Oregon’s award winners will be doing with the money:

Portland-based Birch Bioscience received $256,492 to pilot a new technology which uses synthetic biological organisms, or “enzyme cocktails,” to enable zero-waste recycling of mixed plastic products. 

Galois, a software company also based in Portland, received $249,945 to work on TRIFECTA, a program created to mine data and share information across governmental departments — but also ensure they’re secure against cyberattacks.

Eugene-based Paratools Inc received $500,000 for two projects. The first, called SALT, will develop new tools for evaluating scientific software to be better used by supercomputers. The second project, E4S, will help improve performance of machine learning applications in cloud computing environments. 

“This federal investment in Oregon small businesses can spark the creation of both jobs and opportunities for innovative approaches that help to solve urgent challenges produced by the climate crisis,” said Sen. Ron Wyden in the DOE’s release. “I’m gratified these small businesses in Eugene and Portland have earned these resources from the U.S. Department of Energy, and I’ll keep battling for other federal funds that help similarly creative small businesses in Oregon and nationwide.” 

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