Research will Tackle Rapidly Growing Data Output, Aid in Facility Operations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to provide up to $40 million over three years for new research in data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to address the challenges of producing and managing data at DOE scientific user facilities.

“Major scientific facilities at our DOE national laboratories are generating vast and growing amounts of data for researchers every day,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning hold out new promise for managing this wealth of data as well as improving facility operations and aiding in experimental design.”

Proposals are expected to focus on each of a range of different challenges, including extracting information from complex data sets, managing facility operations in real time, and optimizing experiments through the creation of virtual laboratory environments, among other topics.

“Artificial intelligence’s ability to analyze and divine insights from massive data sets has the power to transform the world around us,” said Cheryl Ingstad, Director of DOE’s Artificial Intelligence & Technology Office. “DOE is determined to lead by example in AI application by turning this power on ourselves to optimize the way we operate facilities and push the boundaries of scientific discovery.”

The funding opportunity focuses on 18 DOE Office of Science user facilities, including particle accelerators, accelerator test facilities, x-ray light sources, neutron scattering sources, and nanoscale science research centers, overseen by three major program offices:  Basic Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics.

The facilities are invited to submit proposals and encouraged to find partners at universities, national laboratories, and other institutions. 

Awards are expected for both small groups and larger multidisciplinary teams.

Applications will be due on May 1, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  Planned funding for Fiscal Year 2020 will be up to $13 million, with outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

The announcement for DOE laboratories can be found on websites of either Basic Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, or Nuclear Physics under the heading “National Laboratory Announcements.”