Today, Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced $89 million to support innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development projects. This Department of Energy (DOE) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) tackles key Departmental priorities such as domestic manufacturing for energy storage.
America’s 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. 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,” 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.”
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The FOA requests proposals in three areas that will improve the global competitiveness of the U.S. by catalyzing innovation around manufacturing of key energy technologies and by reducing industrial process energy intensity.
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.
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.
For additional details, see the full news release at energy.gov.