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DOE to award $89M for advanced manufacturing R&D, battery manufacturing a key focus

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $89 million to support innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development projects. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0001980) addresses priorities such as domestic manufacturing for energy storage.

The US manufacturing sector is growing; US manufacturers have created almost 500,000 jobs since 2017 and more than 250,000 jobs in the last year alone. The manufacturing sector also uses 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. 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.

—US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

Awards will be made at one of two funding levels:

  • Tier 1 - up to $500,000 for up to 2 years - concept definition and proof of concept projects are limited to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2 and TRL 3 activities.

  • Tier 2 - up to $4,000,000 for up to 3 years (up to $12,000,000 for Subtopic 1.2 and up to $10,000,000 for Subtopic 2.2) – Tier 2 projects can include activities in Tier 1, but must also include scope to bring the technology to later stage TRLs.

The FOA requests proposals in three areas:

  • Topic 1 - Innovations for the Manufacture of Advanced Materials:
    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 key focus is developing and scaling new, low-cost manufacturing processes to catalyze increased domestic battery manufacturing for vehicle and stationary applications.

    DOE expects that applications for the manufacturing processes for battery energy storage subtopic will be Tier 2 for a total of up to $12,000,000 over 3 years.

  • Topic 2 - Lower Thermal Budget Processes for Industrial Efficiency & Productivity:
    With 70% of all process energy use related to heating, this topic focuses on novel research on industrial process drying technologies that increase energy efficiency throughput and product quality. It also seeks new ideas on process intensification to reduce overall heating energy.

  • Topic 3 - Connected, Flexible and Efficient Manufacturing Facilities and Energy Systems: With recent advances in new, wide-bandgap semiconductors supported by DOE, this topic seeks application of more efficient industrial power conversion equipment and new opportunities for converting process energy to electrical energy and better integrating it with the electrical grid. It also seeks 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 making up to 55 awards for up to three years. A cost-share of at least 20% will be required for research and development projects.

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