Small Business Funding Available to Advance Manufacturing Technologies

DOE recently announced topics for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) funding programs for fiscal year 2022. SBIR/STTR provides seed-funding to small businesses to commercialize new ideas and innovative research. AMO will fund projects associated with six topics, including: industrial heat pumps, high temperature storage, advanced packaging for power electronics, analog electronics, controlled environment agriculture, and industrial decarbonization. AMO is also involved in five joint-office topics, including: community energy, critical materials, conductivity-enhanced materials, building thermal energy storage, and wet-mateable electric connections. Register to attend an informational webinar and learn more about Phase I manufacturing topics on Wednesday, November 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET. AMO-related topics will be discussed toward the end of the webinar at 3:30 p.m. To view a recording of the discussion following the event, registration is also required.

DOE Announces CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Winners and Issues RFI

In celebration of National Nanotechnology Day on October 9, DOE announced Stage 1 winners of the Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications (CABLE) Conductor Manufacturing Prize. Ten teams selected in Stage 1 of this $4.5 million competition will work to develop affordable, manufacturable materials that conduct electricity more efficiently and upgrade our manufacturing and transportation infrastructures.

As all winning projects involve nano processes or nano materials, the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize winners announcement was part of AMO’s Nanotechnology Day 2021 celebration. Learn more.

DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the CABLE community and broader material testing industry. The team is seeking feedback on CABLE Prize Stage 2 documentation, testing requirements, and specifications as well as on potential vendors for the testing itself. Submit responses by November 30, 2021.

DOE's Better Plants Industry Partners Save $9 Billion in Energy

DOE recently released the Fall 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants progress update. The report highlights more than 250 manufacturers and water utilities that have introduced energy efficiency and decarbonization measures, cumulatively saving $9.3 billion in energy costs and 1.9 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) – more energy than the state of Wisconsin consumes in a year. DOE’s Better Plants program partners include every major U.S. industrial sector representing almost 14% of the domestic manufacturing energy consumption and 3,500 facilities across the country. Learn more.

USGS Seeks Public Comment on Draft List of 50 Critical Minerals

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is seeking written public comments regarding its 2021 draft list of critical minerals. The present draft list includes 50 mineral commodities proposed for inclusion by scientists at USGS to the “critical minerals” classification. As defined in the Energy Act of 2020, a critical mineral is a non-fuel mineral or mineral material essential to the economic or national security of the U.S., as well as the supply chain, which is vulnerable to disruption. Comments must be submitted before December 9, 2021. Learn more.

IUPUI’s Industrial Assessment Center Selected for CyManII Funding

In 2012, the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) joined AMO’s Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program to provide their students with hands-on experience performing energy assessments for small to mid-sized manufacturers. IUPUI used knowledge learned through these assessments to develop an Industrial Internet of Things-based energy management framework with cybersecurity protection. The team then applied and was recently selected for DOE funding in partnership with the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) to continue work on their framework that incorporates smart manufacturing, energy usage, and cybersecurity data to identify and evaluate energy-saving opportunities in real-world industrial environments. Read more about the project.

Microgrids Promise Stable, Renewable Power

Carol Denning, director of DOE’s Western Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Technical Assistance Partnership, recently shared her thoughts on microgrids and the role played by CHP in a new article: “Microgrids Promise Stable, Renewable Power.” Microgrids are local grids with an independent source of energy, and CHP systems are often an integral part of microgrid installations. Visit AMO’s online resources to learn more about DOE’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships that offer technical assistance to manufacturing, commercial, institutional, and federal facilities.

AMO Industrial Decarbonization Roundtables

In the coming months, AMO will convene leaders across the chemicals, iron and steel, and cement industries for a series of roundtables focused on pathways to decarbonization. Participants will discuss R&D and technical assistance solutions to reduce emissions across the U.S. industrial sector. Roundtable discussions will inform AMO’s future industrial decarbonization strategy, priorities, and investments.

AMO-Funded PNNL Technology Wins Green Manufacturing Award

The Association of Washington Business (AWB) recently honored Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for its novel manufacturing technology – Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE™). The technology was recognized as a highly energy-efficient process for manufacturing metal components used in vehicles for land, water, air, and space. Read more.

Two CMI Technologies Named 2021 R&D100 Award Winners

Two technologies developed by the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) won R&D Magazine’s 2021 R&D 100 Awards in the Mechanical Devices/Materials category. The first winner, Tough SmCo, was developed by CMI researchers at Ames Laboratory with CMI team member Energy Electron Corporation to improve the strength of samarium-cobalt magnets. The second winner, RE-Metal, was developed at Idaho National Laboratory and funded by CMI to enable the recovery of rare earth metals from waste electronics and other sources.

CMI is a DOE Innovation Hub led by Ames Laboratory and supported by AMO. Learn more.

Energy StorM Workshop Examines Energy Storage for Manufacturing

DOE and nine national labs invite you to participate in a free, virtual workshop on Energy Storage for Manufacturing and Industrial Decarbonization (Energy StorM) on February 8 – 9, 2022. The workshop will bring together members of industry, academia, national labs, government, and other agencies to identify energy storage needs and potential solutions to help decarbonize industrial processes that contribute to nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Please see the full agenda and register.