In June 2016, the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) conducted a review of the technology research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) supported by our office. Periodic peer reviews are essential to technical management and are a part of the culture in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Over the course of two days, we received valuable feedback on what works and what we can do better. The review was critical to evaluate program activities for comparison over time and to ensure the continued maximum relevancy and impact of AMO investments through the input of external technical experts.
For AMO’s peer review, over 100 representatives from the industrial, academic, and research communities gathered in the D.C. area, to hear presentations by the research performers on our portfolio of ongoing and recently completed efforts. After an introduction, AMO overview, and summary of our Technical Assistance activities, peer review participants split up into two tracks. In “Track A,” team leads for each RD&D project gave a presentation, followed by a question and answer period. An independent expert panel formally reviewed the portfolio and is preparing a forthcoming report on their findings and recommendations. “Track B” of the peer review included updates of various AMO analysis activities and presentations from each of AMO’s consortia activities, including the Critical Materials Institute, Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, and our two operating National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.
During the review we also gave an overview of our Multi-Year Program Plan, a strategic document which will help guide AMO during the next five years. This document will be available for further public input and review for feedback over the course of this year.
Manufacturing is the most diverse part of the economy in terms of its energy sources, technologies employed, and products produced. The diversity of manufacturing means there are a diversity of technical approaches to advance the goals of energy productivity and competitiveness. The peer review process helps AMO to continuously improve as we continue to support innovation in energy-efficient technologies and practices in U.S. manufacturing. These investments in broadly-applicable, platform technologies can have an impact by saving energy and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness.
I’d like to express my gratitude to all the peer review team and research participants for helping AMO become a more effective innovation driver and partner for industry, small business, universities, national labs, and other stakeholders.
Mark Johnson, Director – Advanced Manufacturing Office