WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced plans to invest up to $366 million to establish and operate three new Energy Innovation Hubs focused on accelerating research and development in three key energy areas. The three DOE Energy Innovation Hubs will focus on: improving energy-efficient building systems design; production of fuels directly from sunlight; and development of advanced nuclear reactors.

Each Hub, to be funded at up to $122 million over five years, will bring together a multidisciplinary team of researchers in an effort to speed research and shorten the path from scientific discovery to technological development and commercial deployment of highly promising technologies.

The Energy Efficient Building Systems Design Energy Innovation Hub will have the main goal of reducing energy use for indoor space conditioning and will focus on advances in core technologies, such as advanced refrigeration cycles, combined with building system design and modeling to develop a fully instrumented building infrastructure. Universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms are encouraged to form partnerships that will compete for an award to establish and operate a hub. A Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) has been issued for the Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub, with a due date of March 29, and the FOAs for the other two hubs should be issued in January. Awards are to be announced in the summer.

The Hubs are expected to begin work in 2010 and be fully operational by 2011.

For more information, visit www.energy.gov/hubs.

Publication date:01/11/2010