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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it will invest up to $5.2 million in basic research projects with 12 universities from across the country.  In an effort to ensure America remains the world leader in scientific research and innovation, universities selected will pair with a DOE national laboratory to maximize expertise.  These research projects, ranging from advanced solar cells to hydrogen energy systems, are a part of DOE's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a federal-state partnership program designed to lead the world in meeting the nation's growing energy needs through increased competition in energy-related research and development across the nation.

"The Department of Energy is pleased to provide the scientific strength and leadership of its laboratories to partner with the university community, contributing to the development of stronger academic research efforts and economic competitiveness under these awards," DOE Under Secretary for Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach said.

EPSCoR supports basic research activities spanning the broad range of science and technology programs within DOE, and seeks to increase the number of scientists and engineers in energy-related areas to support President Bush's goals of advancing our national, economic, and energy security.

The universities selected and the partnering DOE laboratories, are:

Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
DOE Lab: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Project: Effect of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Interconnect-Coating Interactions on Coating Properties and Performance

Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
DOE Lab: Savannah River National Laboratory
Project: New Fluoroionomer Electrolytes with High Conductivity and Low SO2 Crossover for Use in Electrolyzers Being Developed for the Hybrid Sulfur Process for Hydrogen Production from Nuclear Power Plants

Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS)
DOE Lab: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Project: Excitation Energy Transfer in Natural Photosynthetic Complexes and Chlorophyll Trefoils: Hole-Burning and Single Complex/Trefoil Spectroscopic Studies

Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
DOE Lab: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Project: Inhomogeneous Disordered Dirac Fermions: From Heavy Fermion Superconductors to Graphene

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Rapid City, SD)
DOE Lab: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Project: Lattice-Mismatched III-V Epilayers for High-Efficiency Photovoltaics

University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
DOE Lab: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Project: Exchange Interactions in Epitaxial Intermetallic Layered Systems

University of Alaska (Fairbanks, AK)
DOE Lab: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Project: Influence of Sea Ice on Arctic Marine Sulfur Biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model

University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE) - 2 awards
DOE Lab: Argonne National Laboratory
Project: Rational Design of Molecular Ferroelectric Materials and Nanostructures
DOE Lab: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Project: The Luminosity Measurement for the DZERO Experiment at DOE's Fermilab

University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
DOE Lab: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Project: Linking Ecosystem Scale Vegetation Change to Shifts in Carbon and Water Cycling: The Consequences of Widespread Pinon Mortality in the Southwest

West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV) - 2 awards
DOE Lab: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Project: Land Reclamation for Bioenergy: Genomics of Adaptation of Populus to Marginal Sites
DOE Lab: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Project: Hydrogen Absorption in Pd-Based Nanostructures

The projects are the result of a solicitation to promote or strengthen collaboration between academic and industrial researchers in EPSCoR states and researchers at DOE's National Laboratories on research areas supporting the Department's mission.  Negotiations for final awards will begin immediately.  Funding beyond the current fiscal year is subject to future Congressional appropriations.

For more information on today's announcement, visit the DOE EPSCoR website.

Media contact(s):

Jeff Sherwood, (202) 586-5806