The US Department of Energy (DoE) is to invest $72 million (£56m) in innovative research and development projects.
Earlier this week, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced his department would award 73 grants to 68 small businesses across 24 states.
The funding forms the second phase of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programmes.
Small businesses that demonstrated their innovations were technically feasible during Phase I of the scheme have now received Phase II finance to continue developing a prototype and their process.
The average Phase II award is $1 million (£780,000) spread over a period of two years.
The proposed projects include the development of a silicon photonics parallel processor for high performance computing and sensor networks, the ceramic-metal joining of industrial components and the direct conversion of natural gas to high value petrochemicals.
Another project is developing pixel array germanium detectors for use in nuclear physics and energy.
The DoE recently awarded 21 contracts to provide efficient energy and water infrastructure improvements to federal facilities.