dept of energy

Energy provides $123 million for manufacturing innovation projects

The U.S. Department of Energy announced more than $123 million across 46 awards to projects supporting manufacturing innovation. About half of the funds are going to efficiency improvements in manufacturing processes, with the remainder split between improving chemical manufacturing and supporting more efficient facilities and systems. SSTI members included among the project awardees include Argonne National Lab, Sandia National Lab, University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, and the University of Tennessee.

Innovation bills pass Congress at end of session

Near the end of 2020, Congress passed the FY 2021 defense authorization (overriding a presidential veto) and folded multiple policy bills into the joint appropriations and coronavirus relief bill. This legislation includes new authorizations for semiconductor research facilities, clean and renewable energy innovation, and new studies of assets for critical research areas.

Innovation-related policies within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021 include the following:

$1 billion awarded for 12 quantum information services and artificial intelligence research institutes

Over $1 billion has been awarded for the creation of 12 new quantum information services (QIS) and artificial intelligence (AI) research institutes across the country over the course of the next five years, according to an announcement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation.

Advanced manufacturing projects in 25 states share $140 million from DOE

The Advanced Manufacturing Program within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy awarded nearly $140 million to companies and universities in 25 states and the District of Columbia to support 55 advanced manufacturing research projects. Recipients are contributing an additional $47.8 million toward project costs. Projects received an average of $2.5 million, but range from $400,000 to $12 million. The accompanying map presents the distribution of awards across the country and brief details on each recipient.

Report identifies novel approaches to supporting energy hardware innovation

Emerging over the past five years, novel approaches to supporting early-stage cleantech development have the potential to ease the transition from invention to marketplace, according to new research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center for the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis. The report provides a comparison of some of the nation’s most notable cleantech incubators and accelerators, finding that each organization fills a unique niche and competition among them is not an issue.

DOE announces $70 M for cybersecurity institute for energy efficient manufacturing

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $70 million for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency, and innovation. This institute will focus on early-stage research for advancing cybersecurity in energy efficient manufacturing.

Solar solutions can compete for $3 M in solar prize contest

American Made Solar Challenge is seeking teams of creative individuals and entrepreneurs to compete for prize money and strategic support in accelerating ideas and solutions. In a three-part series of contests, $3 million will be awarded in cash prizes and up to $525,000 in vouchers, which can be used at national laboratories and other voucher facilities to develop, test and validate ideas in the energy marketplace.

DOE report highlights importance of 40 years of research support

A new report from the Department of Energy (DOE) highlights examples of major scientific accomplishments emerging from 40 years of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) research support, including how these discoveries have helped fulfill DOE’s mission and have led to new technologies and industries that contribute to American innovation and prosperity.

DOE considering competition to address water issues

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is calling on Americans’ competitive spirit to help solve critical water issues. Perry led a roundtable discussion last week on the use of federal prizes and challenges to drive innovation in dealing with water issues such as alternative water supplies, reducing water treatment costs, greater efficiency in usage, and advancing market-based solutions that incentivize innovation and cooperation.

DOE publishing fewer funding opportunites, SSTI finds

The Department of Energy’s annual portfolio of federal funding opportunities (FFOs) — an announcement for the solicitation of research applications on a specific technical area — published on grants.gov declined by more than 45 percent between 2012 and 2017 from 81 FFOs in 2012 to 44 FFOs during the last calendar year. The decline had the most significant impact on the number of FFOs published in technical areas related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and storage/other energy-related systems. 

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