Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced that the U.S. Department of Energy is offering $89 million in funding to support innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development projects. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is intended to fund key departmental priorities including domestic manufacturing for energy storage. (image above ID 130901084 © Leowolfert | Dreamstime.com).
The United States’ manufacturing sector is booming. U.S. manufacturers have created almost 500,000 jobs since 2017 and more than 250,000 jobs in the last year alone.
However, the manufacturing sector also uses about 25% of the nation’s energy.
“Embracing new technologies that drive innovation in American manufacturing is the key to creating real-world progress that significantly improves energy efficiency in manufacturing,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “By focusing on energy-related advanced manufacturing technologies, we are building a new era of manufacturing that will stimulate the economy, create jobs and build American energy independence.”
The FOA seeks proposals in three areas that will improve the global competitiveness of the U.S. by driving innovation related to the manufacturing of key energy technologies and by reducing industrial process energy consumption.
Topic 1-Innovations for the Manufacture of Advanced Materials
Topic 1 focuses on employing machine learning to develop better batteries, phase change storage materials for heating and cooling applications, and new semiconductors that convert temperature differences into electricity. A primary goal is developing and scaling new, low-cost manufacturing processes to mobilize increased domestic battery manufacturing for vehicle and stationary applications.
Topic 2-Lower Thermal Budget Processes for Industrial Efficiency & Productivity
With 70% of all process energy use related to heating, this topic targets novel research about industrial process drying technologies that increase energy efficiency throughput and product quality. It also seeks new ideas on the use of process intensification to reduce overall heating energy.
Topic 3-Connected, Flexible and Efficient Manufacturing Facilities and Energy Systems
With advances in new, wide-bandgap semiconductors supported by DOE, this topic investigates the application of more efficient industrial power conversion equipment and explores new opportunities for converting process energy to electrical energy and better integrating it with the electrical grid. It also seeks proposals for advancements in combined heat and power that result in higher electrical efficiencies.
The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will lead this initiative. DOE anticipates proffering up to 55 awards for up to three years. A cost-share of at least 20% will be required for research and development projects.
View the funding application and submission requirements HERE. Concept papers are due on June 20, 2019.
This FOA follows Secretary Perry’s March 26, 2019 announcement calling for proposals to address cybersecurity for energy efficient manufacturing. Up to $70 million, subject to appropriations, is available for the Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to address cyber-security issues related to energy efficient manufacturing. Concept papers are due May 15, 2019.