Many financial opportunities are available besides EERE funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Like FOAs, some are competitive, while others are non-competitive.

Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs)

In another form of noncompetitive funding, cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), DOE funds a national lab to work with a private-sector partner to further research and development. Unlike other types of financial opportunities, CRADAs do not result in a financial award. In the simplest form of a CRADA partnership, each party contributes equally to the project in terms of labor, funding, and facilities. In more complex arrangements, the private partner may opt for a "funds in" arrangement, in which it defers part of the laboratory's expenses.

Formula Grants

EERE manages formula grants for state and local government energy projects, and funding formulas are set by federal statute. State energy offices may also have programs and opportunities of interest; look up a state energy office.


Another way EERE partners with businesses is by buying goods and services. A procurement contract is used to buy, lease, or barter property or services that will benefit the federal government. For example, EERE would use a procurement contract to purchase computers for its employees. To offer a product, getting listed on the General Service Administration's (GSA) schedule and bidders list is the first step toward selling products and services to the federal government. Learn more about the GSA's schedule and purchasing programs.

Also, partnering with an ESCO, or energy service company, is a way to provide services to federal facilities. An ESCO is a commercial business providing designs and implementation of energy savings projects, energy conservation, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation and energy supply, and risk management. DOE maintains a list of qualified ESCOs contracted to provide energy savings performance contract services.

The Federal Energy Management Program's Sell Energy-Efficient Products page shows manufacturers and vendors how to increase sales potential by helping federal purchasers meet their energy-efficient product purchasing requirements. 

Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Awards

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

For more information, visit the SBIR website.

Technology Investment Agreement

A Technology Investment Agreement (TIA) is a type of assistance instrument used in rare cases to support or stimulate research projects involving for-profit firms, especially commercial firms that do business primarily in the commercial marketplace. TIAs are different from grants and cooperative agreements in that the award terms may vary from the government-wide standard terms (See DOE TIA regulations at 10 CFR Part 603). The primary purposes for including a TIA in the type of available award instruments are to encourage non-traditional government contractors to participate in an R&D program and to facilitate new relationships and business practices. A TIA can be particularly useful for awards to consortia (See 10 CFR 603.225(b) and 603.515, Qualification of a consortium).

Unsolicited Proposals

Financial assistance may be awarded on a noncompetitive basis through unsolicited proposals. An unsolicited proposal is an application for assistance that is not submitted at the request of the government or in response to a FOA. DOE's central point for unsolicited proposals is the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Learn more at NETL's Solicitations and Business Opportunities page.

Other DOE agencies, like the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) provide financial opportunities as well. ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E projects have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic security, national security, and environmental well-being. ARPA-E empowers America’s energy researchers with funding, technical assistance, and market readiness.