The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced funding opportunities in its 2014 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs that will be of interest to the LED-centric industry. The agency will consider proposals that range from enabling component and electronics development to system-level technologies including adaptive controls that can enable more-efficient solid-state lighting (SSL).
The new opportunity is funded by a FY2014 Phase 1 Release 2 allocation from the US Congress. Specifically, the DOE is looking for proposals in the area of "integrating energy-efficient solid-state lighting with advanced sensors, controls, and connectivity."
The DOE identified three specific areas in which it might consider proposals:
- SSL luminaires and lamps
- SSL components, materials, or constituent components
- SSL systems, components, sensors, and software
In the lamps and luminaires area, the agency specified that it will not fund proposals focused on incremental advancements. Instead, the DOE seeks new concepts such as 3D printing or digital metal forming that will enable new ways to design and manufacture SSL products.
In the second category, the DOE is looking for technology that can fully automate SSL product manufacturing for lower cost. In the controls area, the agency will have a broader perspective as the adaptive controls and network technologies are still at an earlier stage than LED-based lighting in general.
Interested companies must submit letters of intent to apply for a grant by December 16, 2013. Finished proposals will be due February 14, 2014 and the agency expects to announce awards in April. There is more information on the DOE Office of Science website.