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Notice

Solicitation for Financial Assistance Applications; Inventions and Innovation Program

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AGENCY:

Golden Field Office, Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION:

Notice of solicitation for financial assistance applications.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) is funding a competitive grant program entitled the Inventions and Innovation (I&I) Program. The goals of the I&I Program are to improve energy efficiency through the promotion of innovative ideas and inventions that have a significant, potential energy impact and a potential, future commercial market. These goals are consistent with the mission of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which is to develop and promote the adoption of cost-effective renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies within the building, industrial, transportation, and power sectors for the benefit of economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental quality of the nation. The following mission focus industries, comprised of the most energy intensive industries in the U.S. manufacturing sector, are of particular interest to the Program: Agriculture, Aluminum, Chemicals, Forest products, Glass, Metal-casting, Mining, Petroleum, and Steel. Category 1 applications must be applications relevant to the Glass mission focus industry. Only Glass specific applications will be accepted under Category 1. Category 2 applications are open to all the mission focus industries and the building, transportation, and power sectors.

DATES:

DOE expects to issue the solicitation on or about December 19, 2001. The deadline for receipt of applications will be on or about 3 pm Mountain Time on February 15, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

The formal solicitation document will be disseminated electronically as Solicitation Number DE-PS36-02GO90014, Inventions and Innovation (I&I) Program, through the Industry Interactive Procurement System (IIPS) located at the following URL: http://e-center.doe.gov. IIPS provides the medium for disseminating Start Printed Page 874solicitations, receiving financial assistance applications, and evaluating the applications in a paperless environment. Completed applications are required to be submitted via IIPS. Individuals who have the authority to enter their company into a legally binding contract/agreement and intend to submit proposals/applications via the IIPS system must register and receive confirmation that they are registered prior to being able to submit an application on the IIPS system. An IIPS “User Guide for Contractors” can be obtained by going to the IIPS Homepage at the URL noted above and then clicking on the “Help” button. Questions regarding the operation of IIPS may be e-mailed to the IIPS Help Desk at IIPS_HelpDesk@e-center.doe.gov or call the help desk at (800) 683-0751.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Margo Gorin, Contract Specialist, at margo_gorin@nrel.gov

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A selection of former projects funded by the I&I Program that have reached commercial markets included the following:

  • Meta-Lax Stress Relief Equipment offers distinct advantages over conventional heat treatment methods. It uses less energy, is portable, can handle any size metal part, and treats metal stress in hours versus days.
  • Aero Cylinder Technology replaces conventional cylinders by combining air spring bellows into assemblies for use on machines (such as punch presses) to control motion and large masses. The air springs act as counter balancers and press cushioners to eliminate alignment problems. This proper alignment reduces downtime and compressed air losses, resulting in significant energy savings.
  • Electro-Optic Inspection of Heat Exchangers is a laser-based, nondestructive evaluation system for inspecting heat exchanger tubing for internal corrosion, erosion, scale buildup, and deformation. Benefits to petrochemical, pulp and paper, and power-generation plants include reduced downtime and increased efficiency.
  • Hydrodynamic Multi-Deflection Pad Bearings optimize bearing operation in high-speed, combined heat and power turbines, high-load electric motors or gear boxes, air or gas compressors, and air conditioning refrigeration equipment. Energy loss due to friction is reduced up to forty-percent by using fluids as a wedge between pads and moving parts.

Solicitation Specifications: Eligibility requirements include the following: (1) Individuals that are U.S. citizens, either native-born or naturalized; (2) small businesses (as defined by the Small Business Administration) that are U.S. owned, as defined in 10 CFR part 600.501; or (3) institutions of higher learning located in the U.S. Individual inventors and very small businesses (15 or fewer employees) are especially encouraged to participate. More than one application may be submitted by an applicant for different innovations. However, funding will be limited to one award per applicant, per cycle. Also more than one organization may be involved in an application as long as the lead organization and lead financial assistance management responsibilities are defined. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number assigned to the I&I Program is 81.036. Cost sharing by applicants and/or cooperating participants is not required but highly encouraged. In addition to direct financial contributions, cost sharing can include beneficial services or items such as manpower, equipment, consultants, and computer time that are allowable in accordance with applicable cost principles.

The Golden Field Office has been assigned the responsibility of issuing the solicitation and administering the awards. Ideas that have a significant energy savings impact and future commercial market potential are chosen for financial support through the competitive solicitation process. The I&I Program will provide financial assistance of up to $40,000 for Category 1 and up to $200,000 for Category 2 to applications that fall within the “conceptual” and “developmental” stages of development, respectively. To be considered for a Category 2 award, a bench-scale model and/or other preliminary investigations must be complete. Each award may cover a project period of up to one year for Category 1 and up to two years for Category 2. In addition to financial assistance, the I&I Program offers technical guidance and commercialization support to successful applicants through the Resource Centers for Innovation (RCI).

Availability of Funds for FY 2001: DOE is announcing the availability of up to $2.16 million dollars in agreement funds for Fiscal Year 2002. The awards will be made through a competitive solicitation. DOE reserves the right to fund in whole or in part any, all, or none of the proposals submitted in response to this notice.

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Issued in Golden, Colorado on December 20, 2001.

Matthew A. Barron,

Acting Director, Office of Acquisition and Financial Assistance, Golden Field Office.

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[FR Doc. 02-390 Filed 1-7-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6450-01-P