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U.S. EPA awards $500,000 in innovative technology contracts to Bay Area small businesses

Southern California company also included among 15 winners nationwide

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (

SAN FRANCISCO Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a combined $499,880 to four local companies to develop pioneering technologies that address environmental issues, including air quality and drinking water safety. A total of $1.6 million was awarded to 15 small businesses nationwide.

“EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program is awarding funding to these small businesses because they have demonstrated the potential to create technologies that will improve our environment and our economy,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These technologies are focused on creating cutting-edge products that can help solve today’s complex environmental problems and enhance economic growth.”

The following local businesses received funding:

  • BioInspira, Inc., in Berkeley, received $100,000 to develop an inexpensive, color-based sensor to monitor methane emissions.
  • iSense, LLC, in Mountain View, received $100,000 to develop a low-cost, portable sensor to monitor indoor chemical levels.  
  • KWJ Engineering, Inc., in Newark, received two awards, totaling $199,954. They will develop an inexpensive, low-power sensor for measuring methane emissions. They will also create a simple, low-cost test that people can use at home to check their drinking water for lead. 
  • SPEC Sensors, LLC, in Newark, received $99,926 to create a low-cost, low-power sensor to reduce chemical exposure in the home.

An additional awardee is Instrumental Polymer Technologies, LLC, located in Westlake Village in Southern California. They will receive $99,990 to develop a sustainable and recyclable polycarbonate plastic intended to biodegrade faster than other plastics.

EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding boosts local economies by creating jobs and promoting collaborations among small businesses through product testing and research. The funding also supports technologies aimed at creating cleaner manufacturing materials and better infrastructure in communities.

Companies compete for SBIR Phase I awards of up to $100,000 by submitting research that addresses key environmental issues. After receiving a Phase I award, companies are eligible to compete for Phase II awards of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR Program established by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. 

For more information on EPA’s SBIR Phase I recipients, visit

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program at

Learn more about the SBIR Program across the federal government at