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Fort Collins small business receives EPA research contract

Release Date: 3/10/2005
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      Denver -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that IonEdge Corporation of Fort Collins, Colo., received $140,000 from the Small Business Innovation Research contracts. IonEdge, a Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Business, was chosen from a pool of 363 applicants from across the country.

IonEdge Corporation has developed an environmentally safe, decorative, chrome application for the automotive industry. The application method does not use liquid chemicals, eliminates the use of toxic hexavalent chromium, reduces the number of process steps, and simplifies operating procedures. The process has the potential to substantially reduce manufacturing costs but several technology issues must first be addressed. In this research, IonEdge will explore the feasibility of using their chromium coating method to meet commercial expectations. The improvements will simplify the method design, reduce equipment cost and complexity, improve process control, and allow technology scale up to the level desired. Typical applications will include wheels, bumpers, and automotive trim. If successful, this technology has the potential to make the U.S. chromium industry more competitive in the global marketplace.

The 22 million small businesses in the United States employ about 51 percent of the private work force and develop most of the country’s new technologies. Years ago, Congress recognized the need to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally funded research and development and passes a law creating the Small Business Innovation Research program for businesses with no more than 500 employees. EPA’s highly competitive SBIR program offers critical financial support to small businesses to develop the best, new, innovative technologies. EPA’s SBIR program focuses on important areas related to environmental protection, including clean air and water, hazardous and solid wastes, pollution prevention, remediation, and monitoring,. Recent issues include homeland security, clean-up technologies, and technology solutions for specific environmental needs.

To learn more about these research projects and EPA’s SBIR program, visit:

EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision-making. EPA’s laboratories, research centers, and grantees are building the scientific foundation needed to support the Agency’s mission to safeguard human health and the environment.