The Energy Department is requesting proposals for a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute focused on improving technologies and processes to achieve cost parity of recycled and waste materials with primary feedstocks, while improving material efficiency in manufacturing processes. Through our funding opportunity titled "Reducing EMbodied energy And Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in Materials Manufacturing," the REMADE in America Institute will enable the development and widespread deployment of key industrial platform technologies that will dramatically reduce life-cycle energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production and processing by creating new technologies for reuse, recycling, and remanufacturing of materials. Solving this enormous and currently unmet challenge could reduce energy usage in the U.S. manufacturing sector by up to 6%, saving billions in energy costs, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and improving U.S. manufacturing competiveness.

U.S. manufacturing consumes nearly a third of the nation's total energy use annually, with much of that energy embodied in the physical products made in manufacturing. Analysis shows that the development and deployment of cost-effective new technologies to slash the life-cycle embodied energy and carbon emissions for materials production in the U.S. economy relative to the use of primary feedstocks could offer energy savings on the order of up to 1.6 quadrillion BTU annually across four classes of waste materials: metals, fibers, polymers, and e-waste. Funded with up to $70 million through 2020, the new REMADE in America Institute is part of the Obama Administration’s broader National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, which drives collaboration between small- and medium-sized companies, academic institutions, industrial research organizations, and national laboratories.

Key technology focus areas for the REMADE in America Institute may include, but are not limited to:

  • Information collection, standardization, and design tools for tracking materials, reducing waste, and predicting how a process will work with secondary feedstocks or reused materials
  • Rapid gathering, identification, and sorting of end-of-life and waste materials
  • Separating mixed materials
  • Removal of trace contaminants
  • Robust and cost-effective reprocessing and disposal methods.

The Institute will develop core capabilities in each of these five areas, while bringing together a broad set of stakeholders capable of demonstrating and deploying these technologies within relevant manufacturing processes. Cost-effectively and energy-efficiently processing these materials will help American manufacturers meet their sustainability goals across a wide range of industries.

View the funding opportunity and submission instructions, which include more information about the timeline and proposed applicant eligibility requirements.  The Department will also conduct an informational webinar on June 29, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. EDT, providing potential applicants a chance to learn more about this funding opportunity.

The Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy manages and supports the Energy Department's Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.  This effort is also part of the Energy Department's broader Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to increase U.S. competitiveness through manufacturing clean energy technologies, boosting energy productivity, and leveraging low-cost domestic energy resources and feedstocks.