U.S. Energy Department awards nLight $1M grant

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The U.S. Energy Department has awarded nearly $1 million to Vancouver-based nLight Photonics as part of a nationwide $102 million grant program intended to help companies continue development of technologies that have a strong potential for commercialization and job creation. The grants are being given to 104 small businesses nationwide, including five in Washington.

The company, which designs and manufactures high-power semiconductor lasers for commercial use, received funding for continued work on new designs "to significantly improve price, power, efficiency, and reliability as an essential step towards making fusion energy a practical reality," according to the Energy Department.

All of the grants are funded through the department's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. They are for Phase II work on projects now in the conceptual stage, with the funds available over two years.

Other Washington companies receiving funding, all in the $1 million range, are Power Info LLC, of Bothell; Hummingbird Precision Machine Co., of Lacey; Vista Clara Inc., of Mukilteo; and Eagle Harbor Technologies Inc., of Seattle.