As part of its next Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute Grant, the Department of Energy will soon be offering $70 million in grant funding to support the development of smart projects like sensors, new platforms, tighter controls, and energy efficient modeling. Grants will be available to manufacturing organizations that can reduce costs or improve energy productivity by 50 percent, and those that can improve energy efficiency by 15 percent.
The work done to develop these promising initiatives will take place onsite at the Innovation Institute of Smart Manufacturing, a facility funded by the Energy Department as part of a larger institutional program. The entities included in the project—both private and public organizations—will work together within the facility on all research and product development efforts. Additional organizations will be eligible to co-invest in these operations, including federal agencies, companies, and universities.
President Obama hopes that these initiatives, combined with others, will double the nation’s energy efficiency by 2030. According to the Secretary of Energy, Smart Manufacturing involves an IT-focused approach to unlocking greater energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector. Better communication systems, reduced energy output and waste, and higher levels of productivity can improve energy efficiency in all aspects of manufacturing, from aerospace, to automobiles, to oil, consumer goods, and food production. As a result of Smart Manufacturing innovations, industries like steel making that consume the highest energy supply may see as much as a 10 to 20 percent reduction in overall consumption of energy resources and the cost of production.
And as energy costs drop and productivity increases due to the use of solar panels and technology improvements, manufactured products will be more affordable and available to businesses and consumers.
Your business may be eligible for participation and potential funding. If you think you may be able to contribute to the nation’s long term energy efficiency by bringing your innovative plans and concepts to life, learn more by visiting www.grants.gov. In the meantime, find ways to reduce your day to day energy costs and boost your productivity by contacting the manufacturing and business management experts at CSS.