Sens. Carper and Kaufman Announce Up to $4 Million for Small Businesses in Delaware

Companies will develop innovative technologies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sens. Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman (both D-Del.) announced that two Delaware businesses have been selected to receive up to nearly $4 million in federal grants for innovative research projects. Compact Membrane Systems, Inc., (CMS) in Newport and Elcriton, Inc., in Newark were selected for the awards on the basis of the scientific and technical merit of their proposals.
“The key to getting our economy up and running again is jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Carper and Kaufman. “Today’s announcement is welcome news to Delaware because it supports small businesses as well as develops important projects that could break new ground in the clean energy sector. Delaware has long been known as a major player in innovation and the success of CMS and Elcriton is further evidence that the First State will continue to lead the way in the 21st century.”
The businesses will receive the funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Four projects in Delaware – three at CMS and one at Elcriton – were among 201 recipients selected for the awards. Nearly 500 applications were submitted. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will fund some of the awards.
The funding amounts are what the businesses have requested but award negotiations with the individual companies have not been finalized. CMS has requested $996,265 to produce a cost- and energy-efficient process to remove water from ethanol for fuel grade applications. CMS has also requested $989,128 to develop a better system for removing undesirable compounds from bio-oil, which will improve the fuel’s quality and stability.
The Recovery Act will fund two of the selected programs. CMS has requested $998,192 to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas generation by 95 percent during the manufacturing of organic chemicals. Elcriton has requested $1 million to develop genetic-engineering tools for bacteria that will accelerate our nation’s efforts towards renewable biofuels and chemicals.
“We are both excited and pleased in the support that we have received from the Department of Energy,” said Dr. Stuart Nemser, chairman of CMS. “This represents a significant interim milestone for CMS based on the hard work of a number of people. These financial resources will be targeted over the next two years to develop and commercialize new CMS membrane systems in a number of applications. The majority of commercialization will be focused on developing more efficient energy supply systems by drying both oils and newly developed renewable energy fuels.”
“Elcriton is very appreciative of this financial support from the Department of Energy, and inspired to make an immediate commercial impact,” said Dr. Bryan Tracy, CEO of Elcriton.  “We engineer bacteria to cost-effectively convert waste biomass into biofuels and petrochemical replacements.  By introducing these bacteria into industrial processes, we can potentially eliminate green house emissions, curb our country’s consumption of fossil fuels, and create numerous US jobs.  In addition to the DOE, we are grateful for the State of Delaware’s support, and are committed to maintaining the First State’s reputation for leading innovation.”
The SBIR and STTR programs’ objective is to increase the commercialization of federally funded research and development by small, innovative businesses.  Each of the projects selected for this phase of funding has already received funding ranging from $100,000 to $150,000, for preliminary feasibility studies.  The principal research and development will be conducted in this next phase.