$549,898 Will Support Agricultural Research and Development

NEW HAVEN, CT—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) today applauded the news that Wallingford’s Proton Energy Systems and North Haven’s Precision Combustion have been awarded a total of $549,898 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant was competitively awarded through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

Proton Energy was awarded $100,000 and Precision Combustion $449,898. The grants were part of $18 million that was awarded to 100 small businesses across the country for research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture.

“Small businesses like Proton Energy and Precision Combustion are the backbone of our economy,” DeLauro said. “The SBIR program allows our innovative small businesses to compete for federal research dollars. Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and I will keep fighting to ensure we have a strong SBIR program that helps our up-and-coming companies innovate, grow and hire.

Precision Combustion will use their grant to develop and test a generator that can remove pathogens, pests and weeds from soil that is used for farming. Precision Combustion President Kevin Burns commented, “This technology has the potential to further grow crop productivity while reducing reliance upon chemical fumigants.  Beyond conventional applications, we’re hoping it may prove especially helpful to help organic growers expand their productivity.”

Proton Energy will use the funds to develop a new method of fertilizer production, which will seek to improve the farming process, as well as reduce energy consumption. Dr. Kathy Ayers, Director of Research at Proton OnSite said: "We're using our expertise in electrochemistry to find new solutions that will create more efficient and cleaner ways to help our agricultural industry make fertilizer. Connecticut is an established hub for cutting-edge, clean technologies and we hope we can continue to build on that expertise with exciting challenges in new fields of research."