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Biopico Systems, Irvine, CLEW, Pasadena, and AquaNano, Monrovia Win $300,000 in Green Technology Contracts from EPA

Release Date: 07/15/2014
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi, 213-244-1815,

LOS ANGELES – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Biopico Systems of Irvine, Calif., CLEW of Pasadena, Calif., and AquaNano LLC of Monrovia, Calif. will receive $300,000 in green technology contracts for their innovative water testing and treatment system proposals. The contracts are part of $2 million awarded to 21 small businesses nationwide to advance sustainable and innovative products and processes under EPA’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.

“EPA’s small business innovation contracts are growing California’s economy and green technology industry, helping companies like these develop new solutions to some of our biggest environmental challenges,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

In California, 3.4 million small businesses make up 99 percent of the state's employers, employing more than 6 million workers, over half of the state’s workforce. California is also a major green job-producing state with over 26,000 jobs announced from 38 projects in 2012.

Biopico Systems, Inc. of Irvine, Calif. received a $100,000 SBIR contract for their proposal to develop a portable testing system for water borne pathogens. Biopico Systems, with the University of California, Irvine, proposes to develop an inexpensive, remotely operated system to rapidly detect and identify waterborne pathogens. These innovations will provide opportunities for developing automated high­ performance pathogen detection as part of a comprehensive effort to provide safe drinking water worldwide.

CLEW of Pasadena, Calif. received a $100,000 SBIR contract for their proposal to develop a cost effective household wastewater treatment and nutrient removal system. Coastal communities have seen algal blooms and fish die-offs due to nitrogen loading and phosphate pollution from densely populated areas with limited access to centralized sewage systems. CLEW proposes to develop an inexpensive and efficient household wastewater treatment system that will reduce nitrogen loading to surface water, while producing valuable by-products such as hydrogen and fertilizers. The wastewater treatment unit can be powered by solar panels or connected to regular electrical grid.

AquaNano LLC of Monrovia, Calif. received a $100,000 SBIR contract for their proposal to develop a high capacity perchlorate filter for drinking water treatment. Perchlorate is a major contaminant of drinking groundwater sources in the US. Currently the best available technology for treating perchlorate-contaminated drinking groundwater sources can be cost prohibitive in groundwater sources with high perchlorate levels or high levels of other contaminants. AquaNano has developed a cost-effective high capacity perchlorate filter and will explore the commercialization of this new treatment.

EPA’s SBIR program funds small businesses to develop and commercialize innovative, sustainable technologies to address current environmental issues. Annually, EPA releases a new funding opportunity for small businesses in a competitive two phase process. In Phase I, small businesses can receive up to $100,000 for “proof of concept” of their technology. Successful Phase I companies can apply to develop and market their technology with Phase II funding up to $300,000. Many of the SBIR recipient companies go on to leverage EPA’s funding to bring their designs to reality, expand business, and create products that help protect human health and the environment.

EPA SBIR Phase I awards:

EPA’s SBIR Program: