Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to continue a longstanding collaboration on scientific and engineering research that delivers decarbonization and environmental justice solutions and accelerates clean energy technology deployment.

“This MOU represents a unified approach to researching technology solutions that will address President Biden’s goal to put America on an irreversible path to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “Long-standing partnerships like this one with the National Science Foundation are key to ensuring we meet our shared climate goals.”

Research topics may include renewable energy technologies such as bioenergy, building and water treatment technologies, hydrogen and fuel cells, agriculture, critical minerals and materials, and manufacturing. DOE and NSF could expand research areas to infrastructure, university-industry partnerships, education and workforce development, and activities supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This MOU will build upon previous DOE and NSF research partnerships to advance bioenergy and battery technologies, solar cell performance, as well as competitions that engage state, local, and tribal governments to enhance climate change adaptation and mitigation.  

DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and NSF are reviewing research proposals to help advance the bioeconomy and translate advances in synthetic and engineering biology research into prototypes that could be tested, scaled up, and manufactured. DOE, NSF, and the Department of Homeland Security also partner on the Civic Innovation Challenge, which enables communities across the country to work with civic and research partners on innovative pilot projects that could be scalable, sustainable, and transferable.