Recent News and Funding Opportunities

DOE Announces $5 Million to Launch Lithium-Battery Workforce Initiative

On March 18, Secretary Granholm announced a new joint effort to support Lithium Battery Manufacturing workforce development. DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office and Vehicle Technologies Office will each contribute funding towards a $5 million national workforce development strategy for the lithium battery manufacturing supply chain and workforce training programs. DOE will support up to five training programs in energy and automotive communities and advance workforce partnerships between industry and labor for the domestic lithium battery supply chain. The initiative, developed in consultation with the Department of Labor, will convene key industry and labor stakeholders to collaboratively develop lithium battery manufacturing training standards. Learn more and watch Secretary Granholm's remarks.

Notice of Intent for DOE's High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation Spring Solicitation

DOE's High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative recently announced a notice of intent (NOI) to issue a new solicitation in May 2022. The AMO-funded HPC4EI initiative helps American manufacturers make use of the world's most powerful supercomputers and the National Laboratory experts who run them to improve efficiency and productivity. Selected projects will be awarded up to $300,000 to support computing cycles and work performed by DOE National Laboratories, universities, and non-profit partners. View the NOI here.

Apply for the 2022 Energy Management Leadership Awards

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is now accepting submissions for the 2022 Energy Management Leadership Awards. Any facility or organization holding a current ISO 50001 certificate from an accredited body is encouraged to enter. Now in its seventh year, the CEM competition has recognized achievements by over 230 organizations with certified systems in 105 countries or economies and across 50 sectors.

Organizations that participate in DOE's energy management programs have won awards in the past. Watch the 2021 awards ceremony and learn more about 2021 winners, including the JW Marriott, winner of the 2021 Award of Excellence in Energy Management. 2021 Energy Management Insight Awards were also won by: 3M, AstraZeneca, Des Moines Water Works, Iron Mountain Data Center, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Applications for the 2022 awards are due by June 2, 2022; however early submissions by May 19 are strongly encouraged.

Two AMO Institutes Receive Research and Development Funding for Pandemic Response

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently awarded nearly $54 million for 13 high-impact projects for research, development and testbeds for pandemic response. AMO is proud to announce that two DOE-sponsored institutes, PowerAmerica and RAPID Institute were each awarded funding through the American Rescue Act. PowerAmerica will be using the nearly $5 million in funding that they received to build pandemic resilience in remote, difficult to reach, underserved Native American communities through clean-energy-powered services. RAPID Institute received $9.5 million in funding to conduct three projects addressing technology scale-up, workforce development, and testbed development for future pandemic response.

Charting the Future of American Manufacturing Supply Chains

As part of a DOE-wide supply chain analysis for the energy sector industrial base for Executive Order 14017, “America's Supply Chains,” AMO released three deep-dive assessments for clean energy manufacturing supply chains. These assessments include: rare earth magnets for electric vehicles and wind energy; energy efficient semiconductors and power electronics; and platinum group metal catalysts for fuel cells, water electrolysis, and chemical manufacturing. Learn more about the White House supply chain reports here, and read the full deep dive assessments here.

Amazon Joins EERE's BOTTLE Consortium to Accelerate Plastic Recycling Technologies

Amazon recently joined EERE's Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE) Consortium. BOTTLE, co-funded by AMO and the Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO) is at the forefront of deconstructing, upcycling, and redesigning thermoplastics to create a cleaner world. "BOTTLE is using advanced chemistry guided by analysis to holistically look at this problem and come up with new ways to recycle plastics waste for a circular economy. I really do think we're going to help change the world," said BOTTLE COO, Meredith Doyle in a recent Q&A published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Hot off the Press: Manufacturing USA Workforce Study

The Manufacturing USA network recently published a comprehensive article outlining how the Manufacturing USA institutes, including the six funded by DOE, are working to train, upskill and reskill the manufacturing workforce of the future. From semiconductors to smart manufacturing, composites to cybersecurity, here's what CESMII, CyManII, IACMI, PowerAmerica, RAPID, and REMADE are doing to equip the manufacturing workforce for tomorrow's clean energy economy.


Women's History Month: Alberta Carpenter Q&A, NREL

As we reflect on Women’s History Month last month, we’ve compiled a few highlights of outstanding women in STEM who are involved in AMO's institutes and innovation hubs. The first is a Q&A with Alberta "Birdie" Carpenter, Senior Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and team leader within AMO's BOTTLE Consortium. Carpenter leads NREL's efforts for strategic analysis for AMO and has worked with the laboratory for over 12 years. When asked what advice she would give to young people considering careers in environmental engineering, Carpenter advises, "Make sure you're passionate about the work because it's challenging and it can be tedious. As long as you feel it's valuable and important, you're in the right place."

Women's History Month: Amy Elliott Smithsonian Exhibit

Dr. Amy Elliott, a manufacturing scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), was one of 120 women in STEM featured in the Smithsonian Museum's #IfThenSheCan exhibit throughout Washington D.C. in commemoration of Women's History Month. All 120 exhibit subjects had their likenesses cast in life-size 3D printed statues, which is particularly fitting for Dr. Elliott, since her work is in additive manufacturing (3D printing). The statues recognize women who have excelled in #STEM fields and is the largest collection of female statues ever assembled.

Earlier this year, Dr. Elliott and her work at MDF were featured on the CBS program, Mission Unstoppable, which celebrates women who have become industry leaders in STEM-related careers.

NAWI Special Issue: American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology Journal

Last Month, DOE's innovation hub, the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI), published a special feature in American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) journal. The feature presents analysis of the challenges and opportunities posed by a future circular water economy as well as research needs toward decentralized treatment and fit-for-purpose reuse of nontraditional source waters. Read the newest issue of the journal here.


Industrial Technology Validation Pilot Webinar – April 20, 2022

Decarbonizing the industrial sector is critical to addressing the climate crisis, but market adoption of emerging technologies is often impeded due to a lack of credible demonstration projects to validate costs and effectiveness. DOE's Industrial Technology Validation (ITV) pilot will assess the performance of emerging decarbonization technologies in industrial environments with a team of National Lab experts. Please join us on April 20 for an informational webinar about the pilot program! During this webinar, we will cover details about the pilot, how to participate, and answer any questions about the pilot or submitting a response to the open application.

Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit 2022

Mark your calendars: the U.S. Department of Energy's next Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit is May 17-19, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. This in-person event will feature engaging and interactive sessions, as well as opportunities for attendees to network with their fellow industry peers and experts. The annual event is also an opportunity for partners and key stakeholders to explore emerging technologies and share innovative strategies in energy efficiency, decarbonization, and water and waste reduction. Learn more about the 2022 Summit and register today.

The Better Plants program works with leading U.S. manufacturers and wastewater treatment agencies to set ambitious energy, water, waste, and carbon reduction goals and commit to reducing energy intensity by 25% over a 10-year period across all U.S. operations. By partnering with industry, the Better Plants program aims to help leading manufacturers boost efficiency, increase resilience, strengthen economic competitiveness, and reduce their carbon footprint through improvements in energy efficiency.