WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of 26 universities in 23 states that will negotiate for awards to set up and operate regional Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs). The centers will assist small- and medium-sized manufacturing plants in the United States to make energy efficiency improvements, minimize waste and prevent pollution, and improve productivity. DOE's Industrial Technologies Program defines small- and medium-sized manufacturers as having annual energy costs between $100,000 and $2.5 million.

"Technologies and best practices are available today to help U.S. industry use energy more wisely while significantly reducing operating expenses," said Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman. "This program represents a win-win situation for everyone involved - for industry, for the participating students and universities, and for America."

The IAC program will provide experience and training for the student engineers who will work with faculty to conduct the assessments. Universities were chosen based on the merits of their applications submitted in response to the funding opportunity announcement. Funding for the IACs over the next two years could be up to $6 million.

Publication date: 08/07/2006