A whole lot of energy is currently being lost due to inefficient manufacturing processes in the U.S.–President Obama would apparently like to change that, as he recently announced a new program through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designed to develop transformational manufacturing technologies and innovative materials that could give industrial facilities the power to dramatically increase their energy efficiency.
This new Advanced Manufacturing Partnership will make up to $120 million in DOE funding available to over three years to projects from the very earliest stages to those nearing completion. Projects associated with innovations in the earlier stages of development (such as applied research projects or those that establish a proof of concept) will be eligible for awards up to $1 million, and must be completed within two years. Projects associated with innovations further along in development (such as lab testing or prototype verification) will be eligible for awards up to $9 million. To be eligible, these later stage projects should not exceed three years in duration.
Those projects that make the cut will emphasize new processes and materials that are “revolutionary in their design or impact” and capable of being commercialized within the next five to seven years. The program will also give preference to collaborative teams comprised of large and small companies, universities and academic institutions, trade organizations, national laboratories, and other research institutions.
The DOE expects to fund 35 to 50 cost-shared projects under the initiative; applications are due by August 25, 2011, and more information is available online.