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Two Utah companies have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for funding under Phase 2 of its Small Business Innovation Research program. The awards, presented to 63 other companies across the country, will average $495,000 over two years.

The two companies are Advanced Processing Technologies, Salt Lake City, which is working on the advanced design of an air-sparged hydrocyclone system for fine coal flotation, and Multilayer Optics and X-Ray Technology Inc., Provo, which is working on wavelength dispersive X-ray spectro-meters for analytical transmission electron microscopy.The department's SBIR program, now in its ninth year, implements the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. The objective is to strengthen the role of small, innovative firms in areas of research and development that are federally funded.

Last year, in phase one of the SBIR programs, 170 projects were funded out of the 1,172 grant applications submitted at about $50,000 each for preliminary feasibility studies. These firms were eligible to submit applications to continue their work in 1991 under phase 2.