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Federal Funding Opportunities for Research, Development & Commercialization . Robert G. Kispert Director of Cluster Development John Adams Innovation Institute. The Problem:.
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Robert G. KispertDirector of Cluster DevelopmentJohn Adams Innovation Institute
I have this great idea for an exciting new product. However, the three F’s are still recovering from the dot-bomb, the banks won’t let me use my credit cards for business expenses, and the only VC I know says to come back when I’ve got a working prototype, a management team, and a business plan.
May subcontract up to 30% of Phase 1 effort to others
PI must be employee of small business
2 ½% of agency extramural research budget
Must subcontract 30-60% of Phase 1 effort to research institution
PI can be employee of research institution
0.3% of agency extramural research budgetSBIR vs STTR
Current Department of Energy
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program
Advanced Solar Technologies
Advanced Thermoelectric Technologies
Geothermal Energy Technology Development
Production of Biofuels from Cellulosic Biomass
Advancements for Subcomponents Critical to Electric Drive Vehicle Power Inverters and Motors
Wind Energy Technology Development
Production of Biofuels from Cellulosic Biomass
a. Biomass Moisture Management and Drying
b. Least-Cost Biomass Format for Efficient Logistics
c. Separation Technologies for Biochemical Conversion of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks
d. Oil Extraction from Microalgae
e. Pyrolytic Conversion of High Moisture Content Biomass to Bio-Oil
f. Distributed Sorted Municipal Solid Waste Conversion to Biofuels
f. Distributed Sorted Municipal Solid Waste Conversion to Biofuels— In 2007, 137.2 million
tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) went to landfills in the U.S. Organic materials are the largest component of MSW. In 2007, paper and paperboard accounted for 33 percent, with yard trimmings and food scraps accounting for 25 percent. While significant improvements have been made in the amount of recycling and combustion for heat, significantly more could be done to reduce landfills and municipal solid waste. One such opportunity is to use the organic MSW as a renewable feedstock for thermochemical conversion to a fuel, thereby reducing dependence
on foreign oil while positively impacting landfills.
Thermochemical conversion processes, which include gasification and pyrolysis, are characterized by higher temperatures and faster conversion rates than typically observed in the biochemical conversion of feedstocks. Although thermochemical conversion is best suited for lower moisture feedstocks, it can readily convert the entire organic portion of various feedstocks to bio-intermediates and carbonaceous solids. Subsequently, the bio-intermediates can be converted to a range of biofuels such as mixed alcohols, Fischer-Tropsch fuels, green diesel, green gasoline, and green jet fuel. Therefore, grant applications are sought to develop a distributed thermochemical technology to convert several different compositions of sorted-MSW.
Proposed approaches must (1) identify which sorted-MSW materials would be most suitable for conversion; (2) deal with a myriad of impurities in the feedstock, which would require the development of extremely robust gasification and fuel synthesis catalysts (or pyrolysis and upgraded catalysts); (3) test the thermochemical conversion process and fuel synthesis catalysts with various sorted-MSW, in order to represent the variability of sorted-MSW in different regions of the country; and (4) ensure that emissions from the thermal conversion of sorted-MSW will meet all federal and local regulations. In Phase I, a small bench-scale system should be designed and tested with one type of sorted MSW to demonstrate feasibility. In Phase II, a demonstration modular unit should be tested with a markedly different sorted-MSW.
Subtopic f. Distributed Sorted Municipal Solid Waste Conversion to Biofuels
1. US EPA 2008 “Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2007.” (Full text available at:
2. California Integrated Waste Management Board “Conversion Technologies -
Thermochemical Conversion Processes.” (Full text available at : http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov)
3. Los Angeles County “Conversion Technology Demonstration Project – Overview: Conversion Technology Environmental Fact Sheet.” (Full text available at: http://www.socalconversion.org/pdfs/Conversion_Technology_Environmental_Factsheet.pdf)
4. Boerrigter, H. and H. den Uil. “Green Diesel from Biomass via Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis: New Insights in Gas Cleaning and Process Design.” Pyrolysis and Gasification of Biomass and Waste, Expert Meeting, Strasbourg, France, 2002. (Full text available at:
What questions would you ask yourself and your colleagues if you were considering developing this product and entering this market?
What resources/partners would you need if you wanted to be successful in developing/commercializing this technology and addressing the market opportunity?
What questions would you ask the company if you were a potential investor in a company pursuing this market opportunity?
a. Cover page – Provide company and project information including company name
and address, principal investigator, project title, topic number and subtopic letter.
b. Proprietary Data Legend – If applicable. See Part VIII, Sections D and F.
c. Identification and Significance of the Problem or Opportunity, and Technical
Approach – Define the specific technical problem or opportunity addressed by your
application. Provide enough background information so that the importance of the
problem/opportunity is clear. Indicate the overall technical approach to the
problem/opportunity and the part that the proposed research plays in providing needed
d. Anticipated Public Benefits – Discuss the technical, economic, social, and other
benefits to the public as a whole anticipated if the project is successful and is carried over
into Phases II and III. Identify specific groups in the commercial sector as well as the
Federal Government that would benefit from the projected results. Describe the resultant
product or process, the likelihood that it could lead to a marketable product, and the
significance of the market.
e. Technical Objectives – State the specific technical objectives of the Phase I effort,
including the questions it will try to answer to determine the feasibility of the proposed
f. Phase I Work Plan – Provide an explicit, detailed description of the Phase I research approach and work to be performed. Indicate what will be done, by whom (small business, subcontractors, research institution, or consultants), where it will be done, and how the work will be carried out. If the applicant is making a commercial or in-kind contribution to the project, please describe in detail here. The Phase I effort should
attempt to determine the technical feasibility of the proposed concept which, if successful, would provide a firm basis for the Phase II grant application. Relate the work plan to the objectives of the proposed project. Discuss the methods planned to achieve each objective or task explicitly and in detail. This section should be a substantial portion of the total grant application.
g. Phase I Performance Schedule – Briefly describe the important milestones and the estimated percentage of time for completing each task described in the work plan.
h. Related Research or R&D – Demonstrate knowledge of key recent work conducted by others in the specific area of the proposed project. If not already addressed, describe significant research that is directly related to the grant application, including any conducted by the Principal Investigator or by the applicant organization. Describe how it
relates to the proposed effort and any planned coordination with outside sources. Applicants should be or become familiar with the references provided following each topic description.
i. Principal Investigator and other Key Personnel – The Principal Investigator (PI) must be knowledgeable in all technical aspects of the grant application and be capable of leading the research effort and meet the requirements described in Part III, D. Describe the effort to be performed by the PI during the project.
Robert G. Kispert
Director of Cluster Development
MTC’s John Adams Innovation Institute
75 North Drive
Westborough, MA 01581