DOE to award $120M to team led by Argonne National Lab for joint research hub on batteries and energy storage; 5-5-5 goal

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected a multi-partner team led by Argonne National Laboratory for an award of up to $120 million over five years to establish a new Batteries and Energy Storage Hub. (Earlier post.) The award, based on results, is renewable for another 5 years. The... Read more →


Nissan and Tsinghua University’s Suzhou Automotive Research Institute sign MOU on cooperative research

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Suzhou Automobile Research Institute at Tsinghua University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in which the two parties have agreed to promote a cooperative effort regarding the research of future automotive technology. Aiming to solidify the strategic joint research efforts between Nissan and Tsinghua University,... Read more →


GM looking to combination of internal R&D and external investments for new technology; focus on five key areas; the importance of generational change

General Motors is leveraging two separate organizations—its internal R&D group and the recently formed GM Ventures—to accelerate innovation and to introduce new technology to keep the company on the forefront of the technology revolution now taking place in the automotive industry, according to John Lauckner, GM’s Chief Technology Officer; Vice... Read more →


The F12 electric sports car research vehicle looks like an R8 but features a new electric powertrain. Click to enlarge. Audi’s e performance research project has wrapped up. (Earlier post.) In addition to the development of a technology platform for electromobility and a drivable F12 e Sport research car, the... Read more →


DOE awards $62.5M to accelerate development of exascale supercomputers

Under an initiative called FastForward, the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have awarded $62.5 million in research and development (R&D) contracts to five leading companies in high performance computing to accelerate the development of next-generation exascale supercomputers critical for national defense,... Read more →


China publishes plan to boost fuel-efficient and new energy vehicles and domestic auto industry; targeting 500K PHEVs and EVs in 2015, rising to 2M by 2020

China’s State Council has published a plan to develop the domestic energy-saving and new energy vehicle industry, which includes battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. The central government’s plan, posted on its website, is targeting the production of 500,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2015, with... Read more →


U-M and Shanghai Jiao Tong University fund 6 energy and biomedical projects; batteries, policy and fuels

Six research teams from the University of Michigan (U-M) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) have won a share of $1.16 million in funding for renewable energy and biomedical technology projects in the third year of a joint program that teams up investigators from both schools. The energy projects chosen... Read more →


EUCAR calls for targeted support for automotive initiatives in €80B Horizon 2020 program; targeting €5B budget

The European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR) is calling for a number of priority automotive research and innovation (R&I) initiatives in Europe’s Horizon 2020 program to support competitive and sustainable road transport and for these initiatives to be supported by a substantial €5-billion budget. Horizon 2020 is the EU’s proposed... Read more →


Google’s technology campaign for autonomous driving

by Bill Cooke Search engine giant Google is looking for partners within in the auto industry to help launch one of the most significant applications of artificial technology over the next several years, the self-driving car. In a keynote address to the SAE 2012 World Congress on 25 April 2012,... Read more →


Venn diagram summarizing the core research competencies of each of the three agencies. Click to enlarge. The US Departments of Energy (DOE) and of the Interior (DOI), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a formal partnership to coordinate and align all research associated with development of the US’ unconventional... Read more →


DOE to award up to $9M for Small Business programs in broad range of technologies including vehicles, biomass and hydrogen and fuel cells

The Department of Energy (DOE) is making available up to $9 million (DE-FOA-0000715) for roughly 50 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through the Department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The Funding Opportunity (FOA) marks the first time that DOE has issued three... Read more →


Obama Administration launches $200M Big Data Research and Development Initiative

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in concert with several Federal departments and agencies, launched a $200-million “Big Data Research and Development Initiative” to improve greatly the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. The Big Data... Read more →


NSF to award up to $17.9M for research in catalysis and bio-catalysis, bio-engineering, and process and reaction engineering

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued three separate solicitations for up to a combined $17.9 million in awards for research projects in Catalysis and Bio-Catalysis ($4.8 million, 16 awards); Biotechnology, Biochemical, and Biomass Engineering ($8.2 million, 34 awards); and Process and Reaction Engineering ($4.9 million, 47 awards). Catalysis... Read more →


China team outlines 5 key areas of future research to realize Li-air batteries

In an open access paper published in the International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials, researchers from the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences review significant developments and remaining challenges of practical Li–air batteries and the current understanding of their chemistry. The energy density of the lithium–air... Read more →


ARPA-E issues open call for transformational energy technologies

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) issued a $150-million funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0000670) open to all transformational energy technologies. The agency had issued an RFI on the open call at the beginning of February. (Earlier post.) Areas of research responsive to this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) include (but are... Read more →


ARPA-E releases two RFIs: Draft $150M Open Funding Opportunity and accelerating commercialization of Electrofuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) released two Requests For Information (RFIs). The first (DE-FOA-0000663) concerns a draft Open Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). ARPA-E intends to formally issue a revised version of this Open FOA in early March 2012. The Open FOA is... Read more →


SARTRE multiple vehicle platoon on the test track. Click to enlarge. The SARTRE project (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) (earlier post) has recently completed the first successful test demonstration of a multiple vehicle platoon, with Volvo Car Corporation as the only participating car manufacturer. The test fleet included a... Read more →


Ford opening up Silicon Valley research lab

Ford Motor Company plans to open a Silicon Valley-based Research Lab—its first dedicated R&D office on the west coast—to scout for new technology and to find new partners to innovate personal mobility solutions for the future. Ford Research and Innovation, the company’s advanced engineering arm, will open the new Silicon... Read more →


Former and realigned EPA research programs and strategic goals. Credit: ACS, Anastas 2012. Click to enlarge. In a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, Dr. Paul Anastas, Science Advisor to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the Agency’s Assistant Administrator for Research and... Read more →


Global R&D spending 2011. Size of circle reflects the relative amount of annual R&D spending by the country noted. Source: 2012 Global R&D Funding Forecast. Click to enlarge. The Battelle-R&D Magazine annual Global R&D Funding Forecast concludes that global research and development (R&D) spending will grow by about 5.2% in... Read more →


Minimum, mean, and maximum allocation amount per innovation stage and technology, as well as 25th and 75th percentiles. B = basic research; A = applied research, E = experiments and field pilots; D = commercial demonstration. Source: Transforming US Energy Innovation, Appendix A. Click to enlarge. The Belfer Center at... Read more →


Study recommends $10B/year US federal investment in energy RD&D and a substantial price on carbon emissions; leveraging the national labs and encouraging the private sector for a clean energy future

As a result of a three-year project, researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School are recommending that the US federal government increase its annual investment in Energy Research, Development, Demonstration & Deployment (ERD3) to $10.0 billion, a 92% increase over the FY 2009 appropriations. This includes about $5 billion annually for... Read more →


DOE ARPA-E awards $156M to projects to 60 projects to accelerate innovation in clean energy technologies

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has selected 60 research projects for up to a combined $156 million in funding from the Fiscal Year 2011 budget. The new ARPA-E selections focus on accelerating innovations in clean technology while increasing US competitiveness in rare earth alternatives and breakthroughs... Read more →


The QTR frames 6 strategies to adress US energy challenges. Source: QTR. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy released its inaugural Quadrennial Technology Review report (DOE-QTR)—an assessment of the Department’s energy technology research and development portfolios. The DOE-QTR establishes a framework for the Department’s energy technology activities, including... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched US DRIVE, a cooperative partnership with industry to accelerate the development of clean, advanced, energy-efficient technologies for cars and light trucks and the infrastructure needed to support their widespread use. The announcement of US DRIVE marks the addition of two new members... Read more →


Conceptual sketch of future metabolomics challenges and opportunities from May 2010 NSF-JST workshop on metabolomics. Click to enlarge. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (NSF-JST) have launched a joint program, Metabolomics for a Low Carbon Society (METABOLOMICS), and are soliciting research projects. The goal... Read more →


US DOE soliciting fuel cell R&D projects for up to $74M in new funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting applications for a total of up to $74 million to support the research and development of fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications (DE-FOA-0000360). The solicitations include up to $65 million over three years to fund continued research and development (R&D) on... Read more →


Renewable energy targets and energy priority areas in the BRIMCS countries (not listed in order of importance or emphasis). Data: Kempener et al. Click to enlarge. A team of Harvard Kennedy School researchers has found that the governments of six key developing countries—Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa,... Read more →


Electric motor efficiency targets within the FOA. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), on behalf of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies (VT) Program is soliciting projects for funding awards of up to $184 million over... Read more →


Earlier work by the PATH project found all vehicle geometries average a decrease in fuel consumption with platooning. Credit: PATH report. Click to enlarge. The EU SARTRE project (Safe Road Trains for the Environment, earlier post)—which aims to develop, test and validate technology for vehicles that can drive themselves in... Read more →


Overview of PCAST recommendations. Click to enlarge. The United States should craft a government-wide Federal energy policy and update it regularly with strategic Quadrennial Reviews similar to those produced regularly by the Department of Defense, according to a report on energy challenges released by the President’s Council of Advisors on... Read more →


Ford Awards 13 University Research Program (URP) Grants for 2010

This year, Ford has awarded 13 University Research Program (URP) grants to 12 different universities around the world, including Wayne State University in Detroit; Stanford University in Palo Alto, California; RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany; and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The newly added three-year collaborative research projects are... Read more →


Diagram of the proposed closed-loop fuel cycle. CO2 is recycled into hydrocarbon fuels in a process based on: capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, high-temperature co-electrolysis of CO2 and H2O in a solid oxide cell to yield syngas (CO/H2 mixture), and catalytic fuel synthesis from the syngas. Source: Lenfest Center. Click... Read more →


GM China Breaks Ground for Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai; Advanced Propulsion Research, Electric and Alt-Energy Vehicles, New Materials

GM China broke ground for the GM China Advanced Technical Center. The new facility, which will be adjacent to the GM China International Operations and GM China Headquarters in Shanghai, will develop advanced vehicle designs and technology solutions for GM on a domestic and global basis. Part of GM’s global... Read more →


Renault and French Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission Sign R&D Agreement on Cleaner Vehicles and Sustainable Mobility

Renault and the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, le Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) have signed a cooperative research and development agreement that encompasses work on electric vehicles, new energies, and cleaner combustion engines. Under the terms of this agreement, cooperation between Renault and... Read more →


Illustration of the representative US cumulative GHG emissions budget targets:170 and 200 Gt CO2-eq (for Kyoto gases). The exact value of the reference budget is uncertain, but regardless, illustrates a clear need for a major departure from business-as-usual. Source: NRC. Click to enlarge. A report issued today by the National... Read more →


One of GM’s innovations involves the creation of a shape memory alloy (SMA) heat engine for power generation from waste engine heat. Source: GM. Click to enlarge. More than half of the 1,300 patents filed by General Motors Co. in 2009 are green innovations, evidence of the rapid development by... Read more →


ARPA-E Selects 37 Projects for $106M in Funding in Second Round; Electrofuels, Better Batteries and Carbon Capture

The US Department of Energy is awarding $106 million in funding for 37 research projects selected in the second round by the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). (Earlier post.) ARPA-E’s first solicitation awarded $151 million to 37 projects aimed at transformational innovations in energy storage, biofuels, carbon capture, renewable... Read more →


DOE Seeking Comments on Report on Research Strategy for Developing Unconventional Fossil Energy Resources

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking comments from industry and academia on a draft report outlining domestic unconventional fossil energy resource opportunities and associated technology applications, in support of an overall strategy for the further development of these resources. The report, Unconventional Fossil Energy: Domestic Resource Opportunities and... Read more →


Electrification of the vehicle is one of six key research areas identified by EUCAR. Click to enlarge. The European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR) is recommending that the EU 8th Research Framework Programme (FP8) covering the period 2014 to 2020 declare sustainable mobility a key priority for research funding and... Read more →


NIST Launches 2010 TIP Competition; Focus on Materials and Process Advances for Manufacturing and Biomanufacturing

The US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has launched a new competition for high-risk, high-reward research funding under the Technology Innovation Program (TIP). The new TIP competition offers cost-shared funding for innovative research on “Manufacturing and Biomanufacturing: Materials Advances and Critical Processes.” Approximately $25 million is... Read more →


$3.8 Trillion FY 2011 US Budget Proposal Boosts Department of Energy Spending

President Obama today transmitted the proposed $3.8-trillion FY 2011 Budget to the US Congress. The President’s 2011 Budget provides $28.354 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE) in discretionary budget authority—an 8.9% increase over FY 2009 actuals and a 7.4% increase over FY 2010 estimates— to support scientific innovation, develop... Read more →


NIST Awards $123M in 12 Recovery Act Grants for New Research Facilities; Univ. of Ky CAER to Expand Capacitor and Battery Manufacturing Research with its $11.8M Award

The US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded more than $123 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to support the construction of new scientific research facilities at 11 universities and one non-profit research organization. With ultimate research targets ranging from off-shore wind power... Read more →


NIST Technology Program Announces Up To $71M in Funding for 20 Research Projects; New Silicon Nanowire Electrode Project and A123Systems Project on Second-Generation Electrodes and Manufacturing

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced up to $71 million funding for 20 new research projects under its Technology Innovation Program (TIP). Selected projects range from unmanned, hovering aircraft for inspecting bridges to a high-speed sorting system for recycling aerospace metals to nanomaterials for advanced batteries,... Read more →


ARPA-E Awards $151M to 37 Projects for Transformative Energy Research

The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 37 energy research projects for $151 million in funding through the recently formed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). This is the first round of projects funded under ARPA-E, which is receiving total of $400 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Among... Read more →


The EPORO robot cars. Click to enlarge. In 2008, Nissan unveiled the Biomimetic Car Robot Drive (BR23C)—a robotic micro-car that recreates bee characteristics with the goal of producing a system that prevents collisions altogether. (Earlier post.) Now, Nissan is introducing the “EPORO” (EPisode O (Zero) Robot (Episode aiming to be... Read more →


US House Passes $2.85B Bill for Advanced Technology Vehicle R&D from 2010-2014

The US House yesterday passed by a vote of 312-114 a bill that would authorize additional appropriations totalling $2.85 billion over the 2010-2014 period for the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support a broad range of research activities for advanced technology vehicles. H.R. 3246, the “Advanced Vehicle Technology Act... Read more →


DOE Awards $377 Million in Funding for 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the delivery of $377 million in funding for 46 new multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) (earlier post) located at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms across the nation. The mission of the EFRCs is to accelerate the rate of scientific breakthroughs... Read more →


US DOE to Award More Than $327M in Recovery Act Funding for Science Research; Includes Support for Biofuels, Smart Grid and Fusion Energy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $327 million for scientific research, instrumentation, and laboratory infrastructure projects including biofuels, smart grid and fusion energy research, among others. Of the $327 million in Recovery Act funding, $107.5 million is slated to go to universities, nonprofit organizations, and private... Read more →


Interim Report from National Research Council Urges DOE to Continue Support of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Research

An interim report by the National Research Council (NRC) assessing the strategy and structure of the Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership concluded that although the Obama Administration’s focus on nearer-term vehicle technologies to reduce petroleum fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is on the right track, there remains... Read more →