U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced $100 million in funding for 42 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to strengthen U.S. economic leadership and energy security.
"America's continued energy security and global competitiveness will depend vitally on a sustained effort in science and discovery," said Secretary Perry. "By mobilizing the talents of our nation's top scientists and forging them into powerful, pro-active teams, the EFRC program will help ensure America's leadership in the development of critical energy technologies and innovations."
Established by the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science in 2009, the EFRC program brings together researchers from multiple disciplines and institutions—including universities, national laboratories, and nonprofit organizations—and combines them into synergistic, highly productive teams.
The current cohort of EFRCs, selected by competitive peer review, includes 22 new centers and the renewals of nine existing ones. All of the centers will be funded for up to four years. In addition, based on favorable peer review evaluations, another 11 existing centers were awarded two-year extensions to support the completion of valuable research that is still in progress.
The centers will help to accelerate scientific understanding in diverse energy-relevant fields including catalysts, electro- and photo-chemistry, geoscience, quantum materials, and nuclear and synthesis science.
The knowledge generated by the EFRCs will lay the scientific groundwork for future advances in solar energy, nuclear energy, energy conversion and storage, electronics and computation, production of fuels and chemicals, carbon capture, and control of the earth's subsurface.
Since 2009, the EFRCs have produced over ten thousand peer-reviewed scientific publications and generated hundreds of inventions at various stages of the patent process, fostering a wide range of new technologies that have benefitted multiple private sector companies, both large and small.
The four-year centers will receive on average approximately $2 million to $4 million per year. Total funding for the 42 centers will be $100 million in FY 2018, with outyear funding contingent on Congressional appropriations.
The full list of the EFRCs can be found HERE.