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Research & Development

This section introduces a number of links to organizations and databases that can assist technology developers, investors and remediation contractors advance the research and development (R&D) stages of their environmental technologies. Assistance in this area can take a variety of forms, including technical advice, access to laboratory facilities or test sites, databases of existing technologies, conduct of R&D, opportunities to publish, network, and otherwise communicate in specialized technology areas, and funding of R&D. Some of the same sources also pertain to demonstration, testing, and evaluation, which is addressed more comprehensively in the next section of this web site.

Often, a given organization, such as a government or university research center can provide assistance in several of these areas. For example, some university research centers assist the U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) or Defense (DOD) in evaluating grant proposals, and also make their laboratory facilities and technical experts available to technology developers. Universities or other organizations may take a financial interest in a company or technology and also provide technical, marketing, or business planning assistance.

The organizations listed in this section are divided into three types:

  • R&D Institutions: U.S. organizations that coordinate, sponsor, direct and advise on the disposition of R&D resources. These organizations include national laboratories and universities that award grants, establish cooperative agreements, provide expert advice, conduct workshops and conferences, and provide facilities or testing sites, among other things. Some of these organizations also conduct R&D in-house.
  • Other domestic R&D resources: Resources such as potential partners, consultants, databases and other information sources, and mechanisms for networking opportunities.
  • Overseas R&D resources.

R&D Institution Resources

These links are to organizations that coordinate, sponsor, direct and advise on the disposition of R&D resources. These organizations include national laboratories and universities that award grants, establish cooperative agreements, provide expert advice, conduct workshops and conferences, and provide facilities or testing sites, among other things. Some of these organizations also conduct R&D.

The Federal Lab Consortium
The Federal Lab Consortium (FLC) offers a wide variety of services to support federal labs by promoting technology transfer success, facilitating connections and partnerships between federal labs and the private sector, and developing professional development programs to advance tech transfer skills and the profession.

Related Links:

EPA and the Federal Technology Transfer Act
Under the Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA), EPA scientists collaborate with "external parties" on research projects, and share research materials. Examples of EPA partners include companies, universities, trade associations, state and local governments, foreign governments and businesses, and individual researchers. Also under the FTTA, businesses can license patented EPA technologies for further development and sale in the marketplace. Under the FTTA, EPA can also protect its research partners' confidential business information.

Through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), non-federal partners can have access to EPA's research facilities. The EPA cannot provide any funding for the project, although external parties may. The FTTA does not act as a demonstration or verification program, therefore projects under it must involve research and development, as well as a truly collaborative effort. The FTTA program prefers to work with small companies/businesses and typically issues between 10 and 20 CRADAs per year.

Potential partners can take advantage of opportunities to create or further develop solutions to environmental problems.

Related Links:

EPA's Small Business Innovation Research Program
The EPA, along with 10 other federal agencies, participates in the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Program to help small businesses develop environmental technologies. A small business is defined as an independently owned and operated for-profit firm with fewer than 500 employees. Fifty-one percent of the business must be owned by U.S. citizens, or lawfully admitted resident aliens. Joint ventures and limited partnerships are also eligible.

EPA runs a yearly, two-phase process for awards. Every spring, EPA issues a solicitation for research proposals for specific topics. For Phase I, EPA awards firm-fixed-price contracts of up to $100,000 for 6 months for "proof of concept" of the proposed technology. Companies who have received the Phase I can submit a proposal for a Phase II award of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.

Through this phased approach, EPA can evaluate: whether the research idea is feasible, if the firm's research is high-quality, and if sufficient technical and commercial progress has been made to justify a larger Phase II effort. EPA also offers a "Commercialization Option" of up to $100,000 and one additional year for firms with third-party financing for accelerating commercialization.

Related Links:

National Center for Environmental Research
EPA's National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) supports funding for high-quality research by the nation's leading scientists and engineers that will improve the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues. NCER supports leading-edge extramural research by managing funding competitions through the following agency programs: Science to Achieve Results (STAR), People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3), STAR and Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships, and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Programs.

EPA's National Homeland Security Research Program
The National Homeland Security Research Program (NHSRP) website contains reports, technical briefs and other information about technologies developed for the purpose of restoration and remediation of contaminated land and buildings. The Program provides science and technology needed to effectively respond to, and recover from natural or man-made disasters that can result in pollution that threatens human health, the environment, and our economy.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) provides environmental support mainly to the Navy and Marine Corps in the areas of conservation, protection and restoration of the environment. The technology transfer portion of the program publishes newsletters and abstracts of current innovative technology projects and broad agency announcement (BAA) program projects. Access to site remediation contracts for the navy and other government agencies must be granted by a technical support representative. The site currently posts many of the Navy's solicitations and will eventually contain them all.

Related Links:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hazardous Waste Research Center
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Hazardous Waste Research Center (HWRC) is located at the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center's (ERDC's) Environmental Laboratory (EL) in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Opened in 1988, the HWRC is a full-service research and development laboratory. Under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Superfund Program, and the Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments Program under the Clean Water Act, the HWRC has provided research and development and innovative technology demonstration support to USACE districts and divisions, the 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions, and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) installations.

Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is DOD's environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in partnership with DOE and EPA, with participation by numerous other federal and non-federal organizations. Designed to address issues common across all of the Armed Services and DOE, SERDP invests across a broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development, with a focus on development and application of innovative environmental technologies that will reduce the costs, environmental risks, and time required to resolve environmental problems while at the same time enhancing and sustaining military readiness.

SERDP issues an annual solicitation for proposals from the federal government, academia, and industry, and employs a competitive selection process. SERDP manages projects in five program areas: Environmental Restoration, Munitions Response, Energy and Water; Resource Conservation; and Weapons Systems and Platforms. It supports the development and demonstration of innovative technologies to characterize, remediate, and scientifically manage contaminants in soil, sediments, and ground, surface and waste water.

Summaries of each project are posted on the website, along with summaries of each of the five program areas, information about an annual Environmental Technology Technical Symposium and Workshop, periodic webinars, and design and decision tools for various environmental restoration challenges. The website also contains a searchable document library system and a Funding Opportunities page.

"CORE" solicitations (provides funding opportunities for basic and applied research and advanced technology development) can provide large amounts of funding for multi-year projects. "SEED" (SERDP Exploratory Development) solicitations provide funding opportunities for work that will investigate innovative environmental approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept. Funding is limited to not more than $200,000 and projects are approximately one year in duration. Both kinds of solicitations contain federal and non-federal proposals.

SERDP is jointly managed with DOD's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) (addressed in the Demonstrations section of this website), DOD's environmental technology demonstration and validation program. The joint office is located in Alexandria, VA., a free portal that showcases New Jersey's expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including the professional profiles of some 3,500 academic researchers, references to research projects, research output, types of equipment and departments and research units from five research universities in the state: New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, Princeton University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Rowan University.

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
In 2008, the former Illinois Waste Management and Research Center was renamed the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). Since 1985, the Sponsored Research Program, with funds from the state's Hazardous Waste Research Fund, has supported over 235 projects since 1985 to advance the state of knowledge and practice in areas of sustainability, contaminants, pollution prevention, energy generation and conservation, resource recovery, and other environmental issues of importance to the state. Support has been provided to universities and colleges, industries, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and government entities. Usually three to six new projects receive funding each year, depending on funds available, the strength and relevance of the proposals, and the most pressing current sustainability problems in Illinois. Each of ISTC's new funding cycles begins with a focused solicitation identifying issues of special interest to the State.

Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
The Center coordinates research, training, and service activities relating to waste management. The Center's research program is designed to meet two major objectives: develop and test innovative, low-cost, and environmentally sound methods and strategies for managing Florida's solid and hazardous wastes; and transfer research results to the public and private sectors for practical solutions to Florida's waste management problems. Principle research areas include: Construction and Demolition Debris, Hazardous Waste Management, Incineration, Landfills, Medical Waste Management, Municipal Solid Waste Management, Pollution Prevention, Recycling and Reuse, Socioeconomic Issues, Special Wastes, and Waste Reduction. Each year the Center issues a Request for Proposals for research that addresses the issues on the research agenda.

Other Domestic R&D Resources

Other R&D resources include potential partners, consultants, databases and other information sources, and mechanisms for networking opportunities. provides an electronic vehicle to find and apply for federal grants. stores grant information for over 1,000 programs.

Federal Business Opportunities
Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) not only serves as the single government point of entry for federal government procurement opportunities of more than $25,000—many government agencies also use the website to advertise their R&D funding opportunities.

Related Links:

U.S. Small Business Administration
SBA's R&D efforts primarily involve the SBIR program, which is addressed in the previous subsection.

Related Links:

DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information
The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) makes DOE R&D findings available and useful to Department of Energy researchers and the public. A unit of the Office of Science, OSTI fulfills agency-wide responsibilities to collect, preserve, and disseminate both unclassified and classified scientific and technical information (STI) emanating from DOE-funded (R&D activities at DOE national laboratories and facilities and at universities and other institutions nationwide. OSTI's website contains over 3 million records, including citations to 1.5 million journal articles and more than 445,000 full-text DOE-funded STI documents. OSTI provides access to this information through a suite of web-based, searchable discovery tools and through other commonly used search engines, offering its continually-expanding source of R&D information to DOE researchers, the research community, and the public.

USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program (TSHP) supports specialized teams of hydrologists, geologists, and chemists who develop and apply advanced laboratory methods and field investigations to understand how contaminants and pathogens enter and move through the environment. In collaboration with USGS' Contaminant Biology Program (CBP), TSHP works with other stakeholders within and outside U.S. Department of Interior, including other government agencies, industry, non-governmental organizations, academia and others. The CBP seeks to understand how contaminants and pathogens in the environment affect the health of insects, fish, wildlife, and domestic animals. These combined efforts (called the Environmental Health Mission Area (EHMA)) help USGS determine whether contaminants and pathogens in the environment are risks to the health of humans and other organisms and help support science supporting various environmental health programs.

The EHMA supports a nationally connected network of scientists with specialized expertise in hydrology, geology, chemistry, and biology; a nationally connected network of laboratories with specialized capabilities in analytical chemistry, geography, geochemistry, geophysics, toxicology, organism disease, genetics, and microbiology; long-term field measurement sites chosen to answer nationally significant questions such as how long contaminants can persist in ground water, among other resources. Data, tools and publications are available through the USGS website.

Entrepreneurship Support Organizations
Business and technology incubators, accelerators and other forms of entrepreneurship support organizations provide a wide range of critical support to many businesses. The type of support, which varies from one organization to another, can include technical assistance and mentoring for R&D as well as other types of activities. Other types of support can include physical space, such as laboratories and offices, and networks of mentors and business partners which can provide consulting, financial, legal and marketing assistance. Factors to consider when selecting an appropriate entrepreneurship center are discussed in the Resources for Selecting an Appropriate Entrepreneurship Support Organization in the previous section of this website.

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