This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey Fitzpatrick

research_recap_250It’s March! Spring is right around the corner, though you wouldn’t know it from the snow on the ground here in Washington DC. Here’s something to read while you wait for it to get a bit warmer out.

Funding Small Businesses to Develop Environmental Technologies
This week EPA announced eight contracts to small businesses to develop innovative technologies to protect the environment through EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The Agency is one of eleven federal agencies that participate in the program, established by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982.

The Advance of Lucid and the Building Dashboard
One of our SBIR recipients is Lucid. The company got its start as a student team competing in EPA’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) grant competition. In 2005, the team won a P3 grant for their prototype, the Building Dashboard, which tracks how much energy and water is being used in a building and provides visual insights that can influence occupants to change their habits. Read their success story in the blog From Oberlin to Oakland: The Advance of Lucid and BuildingOS.

Furniture Giant Considers Switch to Green Packaging
Another SBIR company made big news when the furniture giant Ikea announced that it is considering replacing polystyrene packing with a biodegradable, fungus-based, green alternative produced by Ecovative, a growing small business  that in large part got its start from an EPA SBIR contract. Ecovative’s innovative process of utilizing mycelium, the vegetative growth stage of fungi, to commercialize custom molded protective packaging is proving that the development of sustainable products can spark economic growth. Read more in the article Ikea considers deal with Green Island-based Ecovative Design.

Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting
Attending the Society of Toxicology annual meeting this year? So are we! Advances in EPA’s toxicology research will be featured at sessions, symposia, workshops, platform discussions, informational sessions, poster sessions, and at EPA’s booth in the ToxExpo exhibit hall. Find more information on EPA’s Society of Toxicology page.

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.




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