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DOE opens $7 billion funding opportunity for regional clean hydrogen hubs

Representing one of the largest investments in the agency’s history,  the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has opened applications for the clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) program. These regional hubs will be spread out across the country and receive $7 billion in funding. The H2Hubs Program will be managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations with support from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

DOD awards $30M to six Defense Manufacturing Communities

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) recently announced the six winners under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP), with funding of approximately $30 million. Each organization received close to $5 million for long-term investments in critical skills, facilities, workforce development, R&D, and more with the goal of strengthening the national security innovation base. The six awards are listed below, while more information can be found on the OLDCC’s website.

Treasury releases RFI and clarifications on SSBCI technical assistance

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released clarifications and a request for information (RFI) related to its $500 million pool for State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) technical assistance.

Inflation provides big boost to crowdfunding limits

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently published statutorily-required five-year inflation adjustments for various limits placed on crowdfunding, and the increases are substantial.

New report highlights federal bioeconomy policy considerations in R&D, regional promotion, and workforce development

On the heels of President Biden’s recent announcement of a Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative to boost the United States bioeconomy, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released The Bioeconomy: A Primer, which examines the future of the bioeconomy, explores the United States’ competitiveness in global bioeconomy efforts, and notes the current lack of federal coordination on building the bioeconomy. To address this lack of coordination, the report urges Congress to develop a more comprehensive national strategy for establishing the bioeconomy.   

Congress advances three-year SBIR/STTR reauthorization

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to extend the SBIR, STTR and related pilot programs through Sept. 30, 2025. The House is expected to act on the legislation next week, just ahead of the current expiration at the end of this month. In addition to reauthorizing the programs, the legislation makes changes to performance standards for companies with numerous awards, foreign risk management, topic solicitations, and requires several new reports by SBA and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Gender and racial makeup of startup's founding team impacts funding

A recent report by DocSend Inc., a subsidiary of DropBox, surveyed over 300 pre-seed startups, finding that on average, in terms of gender alone, mixed teams raise the most funds, while all-male teams raise the least. In terms of both gender and race, on average, mixed gendered teams with minority members raise the most funds while all-male teams with no minority members raise the least. These findings are consistent with prior studies in terms of reflecting the levels of access to funding opportunities, relative lack of investment in diverse teams, and systemic gender bias.

California governor announces $1.1 billion from SSBCI

Gov. Gavin Newson of California announced that the state is approved for $1.1 billion of funding from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which represents the largest funding amount that has been approved in the SSBCI program. The funding will support the launch of a new $200 million venture capital program and and will help fund small business credit support programs. The allocated amount will be equally split between the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) and the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.

Job Quality Toolkit aims to move dialogue on quality jobs and retaining workers

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at NIST recently released the Job Quality Toolkit which outlines eight “drivers of job quality.” The toolkit aims to enhance the discussion around job quality, becoming an “actionable tool… to improve the quality of every job,” which will improve employee recruitment and retention.

New Office on Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation established to coordinate historic initiative

The White House announced a new Office on Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation to coordinate the policymaking process for the energy and infrastructure provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, legislation that has been called the single biggest climate investment in U.S. history. The executive order also established a National Climate Task Force that will be chaired by the head of the new office and consist of the heads of a number of agencies, offices and departments.

DOE announces $540 million for research in clean energy tech and low-carbon manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $540 million in awards for research into clean energy technologies and low-carbon manufacturing at 54 universities and 11 national laboratories. More than $400 million will go to the latest round of Energy Frontier Research Centers, which includes 43 new and continuing centers. Managed by the Office of Science’s Basic Energy Science program, the four-year awards will support research at over 100 institutions and addresses a broad spectrum of scientific challenges. The projects will study everything from energy storage to quantum information science. Since the program launched in 2009, it has funded 88 centers.

Pennsylvania governor awards $246 million for small businesses through SSBCI

Gov. Tom Wolf awarded $246.8 million to Pennsylvania local economic development partners through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) this week. The money is expected to help small, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses grow. The Pennsylvania Department of community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to partners who will administer the funding to qualifying businesses. The funding is divided between the Direct Venture Investment program ($123 million), which provides funding to economic development organizations that disburse it as seed and later-stage capital for companies, and the Revolving Loan fund program ($123.8 million), which provides funding to economic development organizations to create or capitalize loan funds to support small businesses.

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