Your federal government was handing out money today, millions of US dollars went to a number of green tech ventures. Recipients included giants like Wsetinghouse, Michelin and Caterpillar. But the list was dominated by little companies we've never heard of.
The grantor is NIST. That's the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Their site includes links to all 56 of the projects funded. Many are in health or biotech, but a number involve green tech projects, especially in the area of energy efficiency.
Here are a few that caught my eye:
Caterpillar gets nearly five million to improve drive train efficiency for internal combustion engines.
Grandis gets a grant, in their own words: Develop spin-transfer torque-based random access memory (STT-RAM) with enhanced performance and lower cost for use as a scalable, non-volatile universal memory solution with low power consumption for both the embedded and stand-alone memory markets. [Couldn't have said it better myself]
Konarka Technologies, Inc. promises to develop high-performance, transparent photovoltaic cells and modules that will help establish solar technology as a vital part of the renewable energy industry.
Then there's my fav, Nano-C, Inc. gets almost 2 million to make better fullerenes. "Develop a novel manufacturing process for nanostructured carbon materials such as fullerenes and single-walled carbon nanotubes to dramatically increase yields and reduce costs, enabling wider application of these unique materials."
Any of the grantees could be a source of inspiration for innovation, a good place to look for green tech work, or simply a place to invest those spare dollars or yuan lying around your Swiss bank account.