The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A.

On August 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) issued a request for information (RFI) on advances in components, systems, and products that can withstand harsh environments and extended service lifetimes. According to DOE, equipment used in the American energy sector often encounters material stability and durability challenges due to high-temperature, corrosive, oxidizing, mechanically wearing, embrittling, and thermal cycling. Consequently, these challenges present constraints to the implementation of energy-efficient, cost-effective, and high-performance products and processes.

DOE’s RFI seeks input on accelerated research, development, and deployment; testing and qualification methods; and cost-effective manufacturing routes for materials designed to operate under the circumstances outlined below:

  • Corrosive environments;
     
  • Very high temperature environments;
     
  • High mechanical wear/stress conditions;
     
  • Alloy embrittlement conditions; and
     
  • Other extreme conditions, such as extreme cryogenic conditions.
     

Responses to the RFI must be submitted on or prior to 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on September 21, 2020. The full submission guidelines can be accessed here.

Tags: DOE, EERE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A.

On July 20, 2020, DOE announced that approximately $64 Million in funding for 18 projects to advance the H2@Scale vision. H2@Scale is a concept that explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States to enable resiliency of the power generation and transmission sectors while aligning diverse domestic industries, competitiveness, and job creation. Funded through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), the 18 selected projects will advance hydrogen storage and infrastructure technologies.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson 

On July 10, 2020, DOE EERE announced that it has selected eight projects totaling more than $5 million to conduct R&D needed to accelerate the U.S. biomanufacturing sector. These projects are a part of the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) consortium and will leverage National Laboratory capabilities to address challenges in biomanufacturing. Each of these ABF selected projects has been invited to collaborate with National Laboratory research facilities to conduct their proposed research. The seed awards provide up to $500,000 in DOE funds to the laboratories for up to two years. Full awards, however, will receive up to $2 million for up to three years. The aim is for the projects to develop novel microbial hosts and bioproducts, use artificial intelligence and machine learning in synthetic biology, and address the problem of production heterogeneity in industrial microbiology. Each awardee has committed to a minimum of 20 percent cost-share contribution.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it will be hosting a public virtual workshop titled “Workshop on Predictive Models and High Performance Computing as Tools to Accelerate the Scaling-up of New Bio-Based Fuels.” The goal is to determine if predictive models and high performance computing can and should be used to reduce biotechnology uncertainty and accelerate scaling-up of biorefinery/chemical production equipment and optimize operations. The virtual workshop will be held from June 9 to June 11, 2020, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EDT) each day. Registration is required by 4:00 p.m. (EDT) June 5, 2020.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the availability of approximately $21.3 million in funding for 106 Phase I small business innovation projects. The funds, announced by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, are part of DOE’s $53 million available for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research and development projects. The selected small businesses represent 26 states. Most Phase I awards are $200,000 for a performance period of less than one year. Nine EERE technology offices will fund the awards under 12 topics.

Tags: DOE, EERE, Funding

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will host a virtual meeting of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). The virtual meeting will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT). Interested parties must contact the Board’s Designated Federal Officer, Jay Nathwani, via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone at 202-586-9410.

Tags: DOE, EERE

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A.

On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced its intention to replace eXCHANGE for a new system for funding opportunity announcements (FOA) and application submissions. Starting in Fiscal Year 2021, parties interested in responding to EERE’s opportunities will use the EERE Program Information Center (EPIC). As DOE EERE transitions into EPIC, it is currently looking for volunteers to test the new system and provide feedback. Pilot testing will be from May through June 2020.

Interested parties will have a chance to register early and experience EPIC and how the submission process is changing. According to EERE, the most prominent change to the registration process is that parties must register before their individual applicant accounts can be created. The pilot is open to any organization. Volunteers will be asked to register in EPIC and submit a test application. Training videos will be available, and volunteers will be asked to provide feedback on the new system. Two roles are needed to register for the pilot: (1) the organization’s Government Business Point of Contact (from www.sam.gov), and (2) Technical Points of Contact, such as Principle Investigators or individuals who prepare, review, or submits applications for FOAs.

Organizations interested in volunteering for the pilot test should e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by May 1, 2020. Further details are available here. Participation is limited and volunteers will be selected on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Tags: DOE, EERE, FOA

 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 16, 2020, DOE EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office used a joint funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $25 million for plastics recycling R&D. As part of the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, this FOA has been titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics Out of Landfills and the Environment.” The BOTTLE FOA will support the development of new plastics capable of efficient recyclability and improvement of recycling strategies that can break existing plastics into chemical building blocks that can be used in other products.

Also as part of the Plastics Innovation Challenge, DOE has launched a new BOTTLE Consortium, which will be led by three of DOE’s national laboratories. The Consortium will work with stakeholders in industry and academia to focus on BOTTLE’s core mission. The three national laboratories in the Consortium currently are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

This BOTTLE FOA includes three topic areas:

  • Highly recyclable or biodegradable plastics;
     
  • Novel methods for deconstructing and upcycling existing plastics; and
     
  • BOTTLE Consortium collaborations to tackle challenges in plastic waste.

Concept papers for the BOTTLE FOA are due on April 22, 2020, and full applications are due on June 18, 2020. Information on how to submit concept papers and applications can be found here.


 
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