Projects funded through the Accelerator will validate and prototype innovative solutions to establish secure and sustainable critical material supply chains necessary for key clean energy technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) issued a $10 million funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for a Critical Materials Accelerator. Projects funded under the FOA, led by EERE’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO), will validate and prototype technologies and processes that address critical materials challenges by developing alternatives, diversifying and expanding supply, increasing manufacturing and material efficiency, and establishing a circular economy.

Critical materials are building blocks of the clean energy transition and support decarbonization of the energy, manufacturing, and transportation economies. This FOA solicits proposals that advance innovation to realize the Department’s critical minerals and materials vision of reliable, resilient, affordable, diverse, sustainable, and secure domestic supply chains for the clean energy economy.

This FOA supports the recently established Critical Materials Collaborative (CMC) to de-risk innovation and mature technology development in partnership with industry. Each topic area of the FOA addresses priority technologies and supply chain gaps identified by the CMC. The critical materials of interest include the 18 critical materials identified through the 2023 Critical Materials Assessment.

“The Accelerator projects will feature innovation and foster industry partnerships that build and transform domestic critical materials supply chains,” said AMMTO Director Dr. Christopher Saldaña. “In particular, this FOA will fund multiple solutions, including reducing demand through alternative materials or technologies, extending the lifetime of critical materials, and advancing secure and sustainable critical materials manufacturing technologies.”

Topics include: 

Topic 1 – Use of Magnets with Reduced Critical Materials Content 

Topic 2 – Improved Unit Operations of Processing and Manufacturing of Critical Materials 

Topic 3 – Critical Material Recovery from Scrap and Post-Consumer Products 

Topic 4 – Reduced Critical Material Demand for Clean Energy Technologies 

This FOA intends to speed up the adoption of innovation while promoting safe, sustainable, economic, and environmentally just solutions to meet current and future critical materials supply chain needs​.

Projects awarded under this FOA will be coordinated through the CMC. Other efforts coordinated under the CMC include the Critical Materials Innovation Hub and the Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM) $150 million funding opportunity to advance cost effective and environmentally responsible processes to produce and refine critical minerals and materials in the U.S. DOE is compiling a Teaming Partner List to facilitate the formation of project teams for this FOA. The Teaming Partner List allows organizations that may wish to participate on a project to express their interest to other applicants and explore potential partnerships. The Teaming Partner List is available on EERE eXCHANGE and will be regularly updated to reflect new teaming partners who provide their organization’s information. 

View the full funding opportunity. The deadline to submit concept papers is Jan. 5, 2024.

This FOA was announced as part of the inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience.