US DOE Releases New Round Small Business Funding for SSL Devices

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science has announced new round of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding opportunities. Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Devices and Packages have involved in the topics for this final round of fiscal 2012 funding.

Specifically, improvements in SSL devices suitable for existing and future domestic building use are sought that will increase package efficacy beyond the SSL 2015 Multi-Year Program Goals of 224 lumens per watt (LPW) for packaged LEDs or 125 for organic LED (OLED) panels, while simultaneously improving light quality by increasing the color rendering index (CRI) above 90, reducing color variations by 10x (i.e. Duv < 0.0014) and by reducing manufacturing costs by 10x for both OLED and LED packaged products and components.
 
The DOE says that these goals may be achieved by solving technical barriers such as light extraction and panel production for OLEDs, or by improving the efficiency of LED monochromatic light production in the red, green and amber regimes or by creating entirely novel geometries or materials systems for both LEDs and OLEDs.

In contrast with previous SBIR and STTR releases, there are two key changes: the published topics for SSL are intentionally broad and general in order to promote maximum participation and innovation, but have performance goals and metrics based on the DOE SSL Multi-Year Program Plan that will be used for evaluation purposes. In addition, the proposal submission process has been simplified using a staged procurement methodology, in which prospective applicants submit a very short pre-application that may result in an invitation to respond with a full proposal, which will be due in July. Details of the new process, along with eligibility requirements for US small businesses, will be issued in a webinar on 19 March at 2pm EDT.

The full funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is expected on 3 April, with pre-applications due 1 May.

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