DOE Funding Available to Support Industrial Assessment Centers

July 8, 2011

On June 14, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that devotes over $30 million to support DOE's Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program. The IAC program has over a 30-year history of educating the next generation of energy engineers possessing a unique mix of engineering and energy management expertise, combined with practical, hands-on experience in the field. Through this program, university-based IAC faculty and staff lead students in the performance of energy assessments for small- and medium-sized manufacturers in their geographic region—resulting in energy savings, waste reduction, and improvements in both corporate sustainability and productivity. Students in the program also receive the opportunity to interact with plant and corporate management; prepare executive-level briefings and plant-specific reports; and facilitate continuous improvement in energy management at participating facilities. The FOA provides for the selection of 20 to 30 universities to receive funding as IACs under the program.

This funding opportunity provides incentives for IACs to partner with private sector companies or non-profit organizations to create innovative approaches for student training while promoting energy efficiency at small- and medium-sized companies. IACs may be eligible to receive cost-shared funding from DOE to support their novel training approaches. This public-private cost-sharing will allow IACs to expand their services and to explore such training innovations as:

  • scholarships or internships for students at a company/organization;
  • student research projects for a company/organization related to energy or other disciplines (e.g., business, marketing, environmental studies, etc.);
  • opportunities to direct IAC resources to supplier facilities;
  • development of expanded curriculum to include new topics; or
  • other partnership arrangements.

The IAC program will play an important role in ITP's effort to increase the energy productivity of the U.S. industrial sector as a path to strengthening America's energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Further information and application requirements can be found here in the FOA at FedConnect.