Small businesses in the clean energy sector can now apply for assistance from the Department of Energy’s national laboratories through the department’s new Small Business Vouchers Pilot.

The $20 million pilot program aims to help small businesses bring next-generation clean energy technologies to the market faster by enabling them access to world-class researchers, facilities, and expertise at DOE’s national laboratories across the country.

The pilot focuses on assisting small businesses developing clean technologies in the areas of advanced manufacturing, buildings, vehicles, wind, water power, bioenergy, fuel cells, geothermal, and solar.

“I encourage San Diego’s strong community of clean energy innovators and entrepreneurs to seize this opportunity to maximize our region’s commitment to building solutions that benefit the economy and the environment,” said Cleantech San Diego President and CEO Jason Anderson.

More than 100 small businesses selected through the pilot’s merit review process will receive $50,000 to $300,000 vouchers to exchange for national lab technical assistance or initiate collaborative research projects. The assistance will focus on a specific technical challenge identified by the small business.

Businesses are invited to apply at the Small Business Vouchers Pilot website. To be eligible, businesses must be U.S.-based and -owned with no more than 500 full-time employees worldwide.

Initial applications are due October 23 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.