OIT Times: Over 200 New Projects Added to OIT's Energy Efficiency R&D Portfolio in 2001
January 2, 2002
OIT launched more than 200 ambitious new research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects in 2001. hese projects are expected to contribute to the attainment of the goals of the President National Energy Policy,said David Garman, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Through an open solicitation process, OIT invests in RD&D projects that help boost industrial energy efficiency and productivity. Each project can last from one to three years, during which time OIT industry partners match OIT investment.
ur industry partners help us leverage government R&D investments. They also bring to the table unique knowledge and resources that are essential in accelerating technology development,said Garman.
This issue of The OIT Times highlights selected new projects in OIT portfolio. An on-line supplement to the print version of this issue lists the titles and partners of all OIT new RD&D; visit www.oit.doe.gov/news/oittimes.shtml. For additional information on any of the projects or programs, call the OIT Clearinghouse at 800-862-2086.
ndustry interest is building as these collaborative RD&D projects surmount long-standing technological hurdles to greater efficiency in some of our most energy-intensive industries,said OIT Deputy Assistant Secretary Denise Swink. OIT has zeroed in on the most promising new technologies since enlisting industry to define its top priorities in a series of roadmaps. nder our Industries of the Future (IOF) partnership strategy, OIT targets its RD&D solicitations toward projects that address these industry-defined roadmap priorities,she said.
OIT IOF strategy is extremely flexible. It allows each industry to play as active a role in the solicitation process as appropriate. Whereas industry participates in the technical review of R&D proposals for all nine of OIT Industries of the Future, industry is able to assume an even more active role when feasible. In the Forest Products industry, for example, task groups within the American Forest and Paper Association assist in defining industry solicitation topic areas, and AF&PA itself issues the solicitations in cooperation with OIT. This arrangement works well as AF&PA is the dominant association representing the entire industry. Its members may participate in projects as cost-sharing partners, but may not be the lead project recipients.
Members of the Glass industry similarly develop priority topic areas under the auspices of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council. Solicitations are issued by OIT, and all GMIC members are eligible to propose projects.
OIT R&D solicitations are issued for each of the nine Industries of the Future as well as for nablingtechnologies used widely throughout industry, such as Combustion, Sensors & Controls, and Advanced Materials. Widespread use of these technologies means that even small energy efficiency gains can immediately translate into large savings on a national scale.
To make sure no worthwhile technology slips through the cracks, OIT grant programs provide financial assistance at both end of the technology development spectrum. Individual or small business inventors can receive assistance through OIT Inventions and Innovation program to develop their concept and business plans. To move promising technologies into demonstration mode, OIT NICE3 program assists entities wishing to demonstrate emerging technologies in partnerships with state offices. These demonstrations help prove to potential technology customers that the technologies can work well in the real world, measurably reducing energy use and costs.
OIT R&D solicitations target key energy-saving opportunities in industry not only by technology area, but also by class of technology developer. While some solicitations are open to industry-led teams, others are geared toward teams of researchers led by a national lab while others are directed toward university-led R&D partnerships. This diversification of project leadership helps ensure the strengths of each type of research organization can contribute to broad energy goals.
Finally, OIT RD&D portfolio is further enriched by the broad cross-industry applicability of the many innovative concepts and technologies within its embrace. As suggested by the projects profiled in this issue, a technology innovation designed to increase efficiency in one industry can be adapted for use in strikingly different industrial environments. Indeed, the high cost of RD&D and the rapid pace of technology advancement have prompted industry to be alert to new ideas and borrow freely from other industries. The IOF strategy provides a fertile forum for such cross-industry fertilization of innovative ideas and even cross-industry partnerships.