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News & Press: Press Release

AWIS Partners with the Department of Energy Phase 0 Program

Tuesday, November 17, 2015  
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Contact: Richard Smerbeck

(585) 617-9484


Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Partners
with the Department of Energy Phase 0 Program


ROCHESTER, NY (October 23, 2015) – The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) has partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE) Phase 0 SBIR/STTR Assistance Program with the goal of helping more women-owned small businesses compete for federal funding. Each year, the federal government injects $2.5 billion into U.S. small businesses via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, and AWIS hopes that more women-owned science and technology firms will take advantage of this opportunity.

“On average, women start with half as much capital as men when launching a small business. That’s why we are encouraging small, women-owned high technology businesses to seek DOE SBIR/STTR assistance,” explains AWIS Executive Director and CEO Janet Bandows Koster. “By becoming the first group to support the Phase 0 program, we are hoping to spearhead additional interest across other organizations and small business development centers.”

AWIS is encouraging others to recommend the Phase 0 program to any company that might be eligible. These include women and minority owned small businesses, and those companies that reside in underrepresented states. For a full list of eligibility requirements, please visit

”We’re extremely excited about partnering with AWIS, because of their reputation among women-owned research and development firms within the technology sector,” says Richard Smerbeck, Program Manager for Phase 0. “This extended reach will allow many more companies to take advantage of specified services aimed to increase their chances of submitting a successful Phase I SBIR/STTR proposal.”

Services provided by Phase 0 are completely funded by the Department of Energy, and are free to eligible small businesses. Companies receive one or more specialized services following an initial assessment which may include Letter of Intent (LOI) writing assistance, market research assistance, small business development training, and intellectual property consultation. For more information, please visit



Founded in 1971, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is the largest multi-disciplinary organization for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. AWIS reaches more than 20,000 professionals in STEM with members, chapters, and affiliates worldwide. Membership is open to any individual who supports the vision and mission of AWIS.

© 2016 AWIS
Association for Women in Science
1667 K Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
202.588.8175  |