Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced on Tuesday that Next Energy Technologies in Goleta has been awarded two separate Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grants totaling $1.75 million to support its research and development of solar technology.
One grant for $1 million is part of a strategic investment by the Department of Energy into small businesses to accelerate clean energy innovation.
The project from Next Energy Technologies was one of only 17 chosen out of nearly 1,000 projects submitted.
The $750,000 award comes from the National Science Foundation to support research and development of new materials and devices to increase the power conversion efficiency of Next proprietary organic photovoltaic technology.
“Next Energy Technologies is yet another example of Central Coast businesses leading the way in clean energy innovation,” Capps said. “This federal funding will not only help Next create quality local jobs, but it will also help them develop and commercialize new cutting edge technologies that will help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and drive economic growth on the Central Coast.”
The solar technology Next is developing seeks to make solar cells that are lightweight, flexible, and inexpensive by removing development and manufacturing barriers that previous solar technologies have faced. The technology can be coated as ink in a high-yield process that can be integrated directly into windows, facades and roofing materials.
“We are extremely honored to be awarded these two Phase II SBIR awards from the NSF and DOE,” said Daniel Emmett, CEO of Next. “These grants are an important validation of Next’s technology and approach, and will help the company meet key technical milestones on the path to commercialization of what we expect will be a transformative new solar technology.”
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.