An idea for developing the Greylock region: Research and development in environmental technology

By Tela Zasloff

Secretary of State John Kerry said, in an interview to Rolling Stone last December preceding the Paris conference on climate change:

“We’re betting on the future here. We’re betting on 2020, we’re betting on 2025, 2030, 2050. There’s still time within that framework if we do the right things. And I’m betting that technology—some entrepreneur, the next Elon Musk, the next Steve Jobs—somebody’s out there who’s going to come up with the battery storage or the fusion or whatever it’s going to be, a cleaner nuke . . . So much energy is being concentrated in the context of America’s amazing allocation of capital and brilliant innovation that something’s going to break out at Berkeley or MIT or wherever the hell it’s going to be, and technology, hopefully, will save us on this . . . People are going to quickly see there’s money to be made here. This is the biggest market in the world.”

Why not search out entrepreneurs wanting to establish a small business or plant in our area that aims at developing innovative environmental technologies?  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program just announced last February awarding eight contracts to:

  • Aspen Products Group, Inc., Marlborough, MA. Developing a filtration device to control drinking water contaminants.
  • Environmental Fuel Research, LLC, Philadelphia, PA. Producing biofuel from grease trap waste.
  • ETSVP-JV, LLC, Roanoke, VA. Filters using nanomaterials to remove gaseous pollutants from contaminated air streams.
  • Lucid Design Group, Inc., Oakland, CA. Technology for energy savings in commercial buildings.
  • MesoCoat, Inc., Euclid, Ohio. Corrosion-resistant coatings on steel.
  • Precision combustion, Inc., North Haven, CN. Regenerable high efficiency filters to remove gaseous pollutants from indoor air.
  • Sustainable Bioproducts, LLC, Bozeman, Mont. Simple, low-cost, scalable microbial process for converting municipal solid waste to fuels using fungus.
  • Vista Photonics, Inc., Las Cruces, NM. High-performance, inexpensive, portable air pollution monitor to continuously measure atmospheric ammonia.

EPA funds many environmentally-minded small businesses so they can bring their innovative technologies to market.  EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, which was enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs and promote U.S. technical innovation. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees.



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