Funding Opportunities in Energy

This page is not exhaustive of all funding opportunities in energy, but highlights key opportunities for energy relevant funding. Sources for funding opportunities listed include DOE, NSF, internal University of Michigan funding, private foundations, and industries. If you know of a funding opportunity you would like to share, please reach out at [email protected].


Moore Inventor Fellows Program

The Moore Inventor Fellowship supports the creation of technologies and tools with potential to improve three core areas; scientific discovery, environmental conservation, and patient care, broadly accepting projects that fall within those program areas. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will support each fellow with $675,000 over three years to drive innovation, with institution support of $50,000 per year. The candidates must be no more than 10 years past receiving their terminal advanced degree in their field (M.S., Ph.D, or M.D.). This is a limited submission opportunity, with OVPR internal submission due on October 1, 2024. Learn more about the Moore Inventor Fellows Program.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – Clean Fuels & Products Shot: Supporting Carbon Utilization Products via Electrochemical Conversion and Refinery and Petrochemical Facilities Retrofitting

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) in collaboration with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is issuing the FOA for which awards will be funded in part or in whole by funds appropriated by the BIL. The Department’s Clean Fuels & Products Shots initiative was introduced to support net-zero goals by developing sustainable feedstocks and technologies to produce fuels, materials, and other products that are an improvement from current petroleum-sourced components. The key topic areas are 1) engineering scale testing of electrochemical systems for the conversion of CO2 into value-added products, and 2) feasibility studies for retrofitting of refineries and petrochemical facilities for carbon conversion. The submission deadline for full applications is August 27, 2024 at 5:00 PM. See the FOA for more details.

ARPA-E Vision OPEN

The ARPA-E Vision OPEN funding opportunity announcement was released last month. The Vision OPEN 2024 includes three goals that are critical to achieve a sustainable energy and carbon transition with: 1) Greenhouse gas (GHG)-free abundant primary energy; 2) An intermodal energy superhighway that transports diversified forms of primary energy; and 3) A carbon transition that sustainably meets demand for polymers and other materials. Concept papers are due July 16th. Further details: ARPA-E Vision OPEN

NSF Engineering Research Center Gen-4

The National Science Foundation released the funding announcement last month for the Engineering Research Center (ERC) program. The well known ERC program brings industry and universities together to establish cross-disciplinary centers focused on improving engineering knowledge and engineered systems, with an emphasis on technological innovation. NSF is interested in supporting ERCs to develop systems with “high Societal Impact”. Letters of intent are required by September 3rd, 2024 with preliminary proposal due September 30th. The details of the announcement can be found on the NSF Gen-4 ERC website.

Sloan Research Fellowships

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provides a Sloan Research Fellowship program to support fundamental research of early-career scientists. Candidates must submit their intent to submit to OVPR by July 22, 2024 and then submit materials officially to the Foundation by September 16, 2024. The two-year $75,000 fellowships are supportive for research purposes, including staffing, professional travel, lab expenses, equipment, or summer salary support. Read more about the fellowship opportunity.

NSF Cyber-Physical Systems

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the Cyber-Physical Systems FOA which is focused on engineered systems built from and depending on seamless integration of computation and physical components. Cyber-physical systems(CPS) can have applications in various fields, including energy. This CPS program aims to open new avenues for research, develop core research to engineer complex CPS systems, and reveal cross-cutting principles that hold together cyber and physical systems across application domains. The submission window for the CPS opportunity closes on September 30, 2024. Read more about this opportunity.

EGLE Seeks Proposals for Green Maritime Strategy Development

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is announcing the request for proposals (RFP) for a project to develop a maritime strategy for the state of Michigan. The strategy will advance greening, electrification, decarbonization, equity and environmental justice, infrastructure, and the sustainability of Michigan’s maritime sector. There was an informational webinar for this grant on June 18, 2024 at 3 PM, although details from the webinar are available on EGLE’s website. Complete applications are due no later than 5:00 PM on July 25, 2024. Please review the “Michigan Maritime Strategy” section of the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund.

Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) announces the Notice of Intent for $900M to fund Gen III+ and Small Modular Reactors

Stay tuned and check the link for more details. The solicitation is expected to open in summer / fall 2024.

Solar Technologies’ Rapid Integration and Validation for Energy Systems (STRIVES)

The DOE announced the STRIVES funding opportunity, which is focused on research, development, and demonstration projects to improve power systems simulation software tools and to demonstrate business models for distribution systems operations valuing inverter-based resources (IBRs) and distributed energy resources. This FOA has two topical areas. Topic Area 1: Robust Experimentation and Advanced Learning for Distribution System Operators. Topic Area 2:  Improved Simulation Tools for Large-Scale IBR Transient and Dynamic Studies. Prior to full proposal submissions, concept papers for this solicitation are due July 25, 2024. Read more about this opportunity.

ARPA-E SPARKS

The Spurring Projects to Advance energy Research and Knowledge Swiftly program (SPARKS) provides quick support of early-stage applied research to explore new concepts that can create disruptive transformations in energy technology. SPARKS provides opportunities on a rolling basis and promotes truly out-of-the-box concepts for subsequent development of focused technology programs OR for proof-of-concept research to develop a unique concept that has the potential for substantial impact. SPARKS was released November of 2023 and awards single-phase efforts of durations of 18 months or less with a total project cost of up to $500,000. Applications will be accepted any time while the FOA remains open. See DE-FOA-0003164 on the ARPA-E Exchange for more details.

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Opens RFP

EPRI is requesting proposals from research institutions for the 2024 EPRI University Global Research Award. Proposals are requested for energy-focused research that helps achieve economy-wide decarbonization and explores clean energy solutions. Topic areas for this RFP include Clean Energy technologies, Electric System and Customer Reliability and Resilience, Electric System Flexibility, End-use and Economy-wide Carbon Reduction, Market Transformation, and Open Category: Innovation. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis until October 1st, 2024 or funds are exhausted. Submissions and questions can be sent to [email protected] and you may also reach out for more details by contacting Rob VanRenterghem at [email protected].

DOE Fiscal Year 2024 Solar Energy Supply Chain Incubator

The DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO)  announced the FY 2024 Solar Energy Supply Chain Incubator funding opportunity to help support research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects that lower risks of solar hardware, manufacturing process, and software products. This FOA focuses on technologies including photovoltaics, systems integration, and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies. SETO encourages institution-industry partnerships. Awards are expected to range from $1 million to $5 million. Prior to full applications, concept papers are due on July 19, 2024. Read more about this opportunity.

Methane Emissions Reduction Program Oil and Gas Methane Monitoring and Mitigation

DOE and EPA announced on June 21st that applications are open for $850 million in federal funding for projects that focus on improving monitoring, detection, measurement, and mitigation efforts for small and large scale oil and gas operations. The funding is provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. Areas of interest include: 1) Methane emissions reduction from existing wells and infrastructure, 2) accelerating deployment of methane emissions reduction solutions, 3) accelerating deployment of methane emissions monitoring solutions. Read more about this funding opportunity.


Notes on Funding Opportunities

Important Update On the Bezos Earth Fund AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge

Although the recently released AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge appears to be a great opportunity for energy and the environment, it is advised by the Office of University Development legal team not to pursue this opportunity. Corporate and Foundation Relations followed up on this opportunity with the Office of University Development legal team regarding some concerning terms and conditions set by the challenge. From Corporate and Foundation relations: “One of our concerns is that the Bezos Earth Fund and Administrators would get a license to all of the ideas submitted, regardless of whether the applicant receives a grant, and applicants would never be able to exclusively license their inventions, even if they don’t receive the grant.” 

Stay tuned for ARPA-E IGNITE

Inspiring Generations of New Innovators to Impact Technologies in Energy 2024 (IGNITE 2024) is a program targeted for early-career innovators who want to convert unconventional ideas into meaningful new technologies across energy applications. Applicants to the program can propose any energy technology R&D project that aligns with ARPA-E’s goals. Awardees will participate in the ARPA-E IGNITE Summer Program, including summer sessions in Washington, DC. ARPA-E 2024 was announced in November 2023. The timeline for IGNITE 2024 applicants has passed, but IES encourages new faculty to stay tuned for subsequent opportunities to apply for IGNITE. Based on the 2024 timeline, we anticipate notice of IGNITE 2025 in the fall.