DOE Announces Two Lab Funding Opportunities

DOE recently announced two lab funding opportunities, including the DOE’s Technologist in Residence program and The Manufacturing Innovation through Energy and Commerce pilot project.

The second round of funding for DOE's Technologist in Residence (TIR) program will provide up to $2.3 million to support DOE's national laboratories in teaming up with manufacturers to tackle technical challenges of interest to the participating company or consortium. Leveraging the expertise, resources, and capabilities of the national labs, TIR advances U.S. clean energy manufacturing competitiveness and unleashes innovations that participating manufacturers can use to save energy, increase productivity, and commercialize high-impact technologies.

TIR teams up senior lab technologists with industry professionals for a period of up to two years, to address identified challenges in industry-relevant technologies, such as developing advanced controls in smart manufacturing and other R&D to enhance manufacturing of clean energy technologies or to reduce energy intensity in any manufacturing process. Additionally, TIR created a Council of Technologists that will function as a network across the national lab system to promote labs' industry-relevant resources and help form partnerships. The Council of Technologists will also provide individual feedback for developing a clear, streamlined set of best practices to help other interested companies establish similar relationships with national labs.

The solicitation will be open and evaluated on a rolling basis, to give lab and industry pairs the opportunity to apply according to their business schedule. Interested national labs and companies will determine areas of mutual interest, identify technologist pairs, and apply to TIR through the Lab Call for Proposals. For more information or to apply, visit http://energy.gov/eere/cemi/technologist-residence-program.

The Manufacturing Innovation through Energy and Commerce pilot  project

The Manufacturing Innovation through Energy and Commerce pilot has been launched in four states: Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. The program will provide small businesses access to the advanced tools, technology transfer expertise, and research capabilities of DOE's national laboratories and to the technical assistance and business development resources of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which is a program within the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

This new interagency partnership strives to broaden the commercial impact of DOE's national labs and equip American entrepreneurs and businesses with the resources and support they need to develop new products, commercialize clean energy technologies, and expand into global markets. During the initial phase of the pilot, MEP centers in the four states will encourage small businesses that focus on sustainable energy to apply for and create collaborative research, development, and deployment partnerships with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The program will link participating companies with DOE lab engagement opportunities for small business, including the Small Business Vouchers Pilot and the Technologist in Residence program. A recent kickoff meeting at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory supplied MEP staff and select small businesses with an orientation to the DOE programs and the pilot. That meeting will be followed by a series of in-state boot camps to engage with local and regional businesses on industry-relevant manufacturing challenges and ongoing assistance opportunities. For more information, visit http://energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-and-commerce-departments-announce-lab-partnership-opportunities-us-small.

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