Department of Energy

Department of Energy Advances Artificial Intelligence

October 2, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hosted its fourth InnovationXLab Summit in Chicago, Illinois. Secretary Perry instituted the collaborative model of the InnovationXLab to connect the private sector with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Laboratories. Today’s Summit focused on existing and potential opportunities for partnerships between the Department and the private sector in the Artificial Intelligence space. Surrounding the Summit, Secretary Perry, Deputy Secretary Brouillette and other senior DOE leadership announced several new developments in the Department’s ongoing efforts to advance AI.

$50 MILLION IN NEW FUNDING FOR AI RESEARCH

  • The Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $35 million in new funding for the development of tools and systems that will enable reduced expense and increased flexibility in the operation and maintenance at nuclear power plants with their Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) program.
  • In addition, DOE’s Office of Science announced $13 million in funding for five research projects aimed at improving AI as a tool of scientific investigation and prediction. The projects involve scientists at nine research institutions, including both DOE national laboratories and universities.


“AI can impact people’s lives through our innovation and ingenuity in ways the world has never seen before,” said Secretary Rick Perry. “The Golden Age of AI is here to advance human progress and achievement at a record breaking pace.”

AI IN THE LAB PARTNERING SERVICE

The Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) this week announced the creation of the Artificial Intelligence portal for its Lab Partnering Service (LPS) tool. The AI portal presents a customized array of AI-related content, including DOE expert researchers, technology areas and laboratories. The Laboratory Partnering Service is a free online resource providing intuitive and multifaceted search capabilities across numerous technology areas within the DOE portfolio of innovations. LPS informs investment decisions, increases marketplace competitiveness, and enables technology transfer by connecting investors to preeminent experts, competitive technology, world-class facilities, and streamlined partnering opportunities 

“The new Artificial Intelligence portal is just another example of the Administration’s dedication to connecting the private sector with the transformative talent and technology at our National Labs,” said Deputy Secretary Brouillette. “There is no limit to what the two can do together.”

CONTINUED AI PROJECTS AT DOE LABS


To help drive improved patient outcomes, Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago has recently announced its commitment to become the newest member of the Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) consortium, a public-private partnership between national laboratories, academic institutions and private industry building a preclinical drug discovery platform that uses artificial intelligence supplemented with selective experimentation to design and identify drug candidates that could more effectively and safely treat cancer.

By pairing high-performance computing with advanced machine learning algorithms, researchers have the potential to rapidly create and make predictions on conceivably billions of drug candidates, which substantially reduces the time and expense of making and testing them in the laboratory.

“As one of our world class National Laboratories, Argonne continually goes above and beyond by making breakthrough discoveries that change lives,” said Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar. “They have given this nation better engine performance, identified new materials in solar cells, advanced biomedicine to battle cancer, and so much more.”

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), in partnership with Siemens Corp., announced a new project that will leverage AI technologies for more efficient, long-lasting and reliable gas turbines to meet America’s growing energy needs. As advanced energy systems move toward higher temperatures to boost efficiency and reduce emissions, monitoring their performance under such harsh conditions becomes a challenge.

NETL, Siemens, and partners will use artificial intelligence to develop smart sensor systems that provide real-time monitoring of gas turbine components, thereby enabling condition-based maintenance and prediction of each component’s remaining useful life.  

“DOE’s National Laboratories are doing incredible work to strengthen national security and cyber security, raising energy efficiency, improving energy exploration and environmental sustainability, and enhance grid resiliency and emergency response,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “AI truly will touch every aspect of our lives as it helps predict earthquakes, boost crop yields, and accelerate new medical treatments.”

 

To learn more about DOE’s comprehensive work in AI, visit the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office webpage.

 

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