Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

HPC4Mfg | FAQ

iron ore being smelted

Contracts and IP

Can proprietary information be used and protected under this program?

Existing proprietary information can be included in, as well as generated by the project and will be protected by the terms of the DOE Model Short Form CRADA (industry) or a sub-contract (academia). Please note that the abstract should not possess proprietary information. To the extent possible, the proposal should not contain proprietary information.

Must a DOE Model Short Form CRADA be used by projects in the solicitation?

Industry members submitting a proposal to the solicitation are expected to sign a DOE Model Short Form CRADA.

There is an issue with one of the terms of the Short Form CRADA. Can it be changed?

The HPC4Mfg program is specifically designed for short-term projects with a need for accelerated placement and execution. To accommodate this, the HPC4Mfg program has adopted the DOE Model Short Form CRADA, which was designed with favorable terms allowable within DOE guidelines. Awardees are expected to enter into a DOE Model Short Form CRADA, as is, with the national laboratory or laboratories that will be performing the work.

Clarifications can be requested through HPC4Mfg@llnl.gov. Objections to the Terms and Conditions of the CRADA can be noted within the Concept Paper; however, this could lead to delays in processing, and/or rejection of your proposal.

Funding

Can the 20% cost share be "in kind" or does the company need to provide money to the national labs?

The cost share can be "in kind," e.g., supporting the industry staff to collaborate with the national labs on the project.

Do lab overhead costs apply to the projects?  How much effort from national lab personnel can be expected?

Standard lab overheads are applied to the costs of the lab efforts. On average, you can expect a 50% level of effort from a lab scientist for a year and as well as the needed HPC computer time.

If a commercial code is required for the project, will the funding be able to purchase licenses?

This is dependent on many things. Sometimes the industry or labs already have licenses that could be used.  If licenses are not available, then they must be purchased by one of the partners. 

Who can receive AMO funding as a result of the HPC4Mfg solicitation?

AMO funding is intended to support national laboratory staff and time on HPC systems to address U.S. manufacturing industry challenges. On a limited basis, U.S. universities may receive AMO funding if they can demonstrate a relationship with members of the U.S. manufacturing industry and can describe potential broad positive impacts in their proposals and a path to implementation. U.S. manufacturing industry, as well as for profit and nonprofit organizations that support them, cannot receive direct funding from this solicitation.

What is the required amount of the participant contributing and what will it be used for?

An amount equal to 20% of the AMO funding must be provided by the successful U.S. Manufacturer, University, nonprofit, or manufacturing supporting businesses to fund their involvement in the project.  For example, if a $300,000 award was made to a project to support the national lab participation, the awardee must contribute a minimum of $60k. This typically funds the awardee staff to provide an industry perspective on the challenge being faced, data to describe the problem and potential solution, and data to validate the solution.

Can the cost share be waived under special circumstances?

Yes, a special Cost Share Waiver is available for Domestic Institutions of Higher Education, Domestic Nonprofit Entities, or U.S., State, Local, or Tribal Government Entities, which may reduce the 20% participant contribution. The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has issued a Cost Share Reduction determination pursuant to Section 988(b)(3) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that is applicable to certain entities applying under this call.

Are there requirements on the source of the participant contribution?

The participant contribution cannot come from another federal source, unless otherwise allowed by law.

What level of detail is needed on the budget and who supplies this?

The example table below will be included in the full proposal (instructions to come).

  • Lab costs: Once the scope is defined, the lab PI will help fill out the lab costs, broken down by labor, travel, and procurements. There is a $300k cap on this budget, funded by the AMO.

  • Industry in-kind: Industry provides these cost estimates, broken down by labor, travel, and procurements. Procurements are unlikely and will require justification. A minimum in-kind contribution of 20% of the above AMO funding is required.

  • Industry cash contribution: This is an optional contribution. Industry includes a cash contribution to achieve additional scope on the project. AMO views this additional investment by industry as a strong indication of both commitment to and importance of the project by the industry partner.

  • Total project costs: The total costs of lab, in kind, and cash contribution for Phase I projects cannot be greater than $500k, a limit set by the CRADA terms.

Example budget sheet with maximum AMO funding, minimal industry cost share, and maximum industry cash contribution.


Task

AMO Funds

Industry Partner
Funds

National Lab Labor (cash)

290

140

National Lab Travel

5

National Lab HPC (200k core hours on Cab)

5

National Lab Procurements

0

Industry Partner Labor (in kind)

55

Industry Partner Travel (in kind)

5

Industry Partner Procurement (include licenses or subcontracts)

0

Totals

300

200

 

University Participation

How much budget can be used to support a graduate student at a university?

Universities can partner with national labs on HPC4Mfg projects. Typically the funding for universities is no greater than 50% of the labor costs. Note HPC computing cycles must also be covered.

If a university is involved in the project, how could the "waiver for the 20% cost share" be implemented?

If an industry partner is involved, they would be responsible for a cost share of 20% of the funding from AMO.  Examples include:

Industry leads project and supports University collaboration
DOE contribution to the national lab: $300k
Industry support to university: $20k
Industry in-kind contribution: $40k

Industry leads project, DOE supports University collaboration
DOE contribution to the national lab: $250k
DOE support to the university: $50k
Industry support to university: $0k
Industry contribution: $60k

Collaboration between lab and University – demonstration of industry impact would need to be justified
DOE contribution to the national lab: $250k
DOE support to the university: $50k

Can Universities participate in the HPC4Mfg solicitations?

U.S. Universities are eligible to participate in the HPC4Mfg solicitations if they are in partnership with a national laboratory, maintain a close relationship with a US Industry, and can demonstrate a strong impact to the HPC4Mfg solicitation goals. Benefits of a university partner include HPC expertise, engaging HPC-knowledgeable professors in manufacturing (which could advance curriculum) and the involvement of students, which increase the available manufacturing technical workforce.

Other

Is there someone at the national labs I can talk to about my concept paper or full application?

Once the funding opportunity is published until the review of the concept papers, none of the national lab staff may discuss the concept. All questions must be directed to the applicable email address, hpc4mfg@llnl.gov. Outside the solicitation you may contact any of the national labs to discuss your concept. You may contact hpc4mfg@llnl.gov to obtain a contact with specific expertise. Once a submitter has been requested to submit a full proposal, they will be given a lab contract to co-develop the submission.

Are references included in the 6-page limit?

No.

Are letters of support from computing facilities (e.g. NERSC or OLCF) recommended?

: No, they are not necessary. But articulating computing requirements is required.

Is any particular format or content recommended for Appendix C (Resumes)?

No. Applicants are free to provide information on qualifications and expertise of key personnel in whatever format they feel is most effective.

If a project requires use of commercial software, is there any mechanism for licenses?

Applicants can utilize existing licenses at participating institutions. If they do not exist, they should be purchased, with cost estimates reflected in the proposal budget table.

Is there a limit to the number of submissions from an organization?

There is no limit to the number of submissions from a given organization. However, diversity of the overall portfolio is considered when awarding projects, so submitting a large number of proposals may be a waste of time and energy by all.

How much compute time is available?

No exact number has been established. The projects should state what is needed.  Note that full cost recovery for compute cycles is required.

Does one of the HPC4Mfg partner labs need to be involved in every project?

A DOE national lab must be a partner on the project to leverage existing expertise and capabilities, non-partner labs may participate in individual projects.

Can a portion of the funding be used to perform experiments?

While verification and validation of the project results is key to the success of the proposal, the project focus is on application national lab expertise to the industry. IF costs were minimal, it may be considered. It could also be acceptable for the industry cost share could be used to cover experimentation needed for validation of results.

Are verification and validation generally included in project scope, and if so, what approach is used for these processes? Specifically, is the ASME V&V standards applied?

V&V are included in the scope of the project. Specific requirements (e.g., ASME V&V standards) are not defined, but best practices relative to the size of the project are encouraged.

Are the labs only providing compute facilities, or is there common research activity?

The laboratory partners provide both computing cycles, as well as a scientist to work on project in applying HPC to the stated goals.

Is there a complete list of codes available at the national labs?

No. Each lab maintains hundreds of codes with different capabilities. For any project, the problem would be analyzed to understand what lab code would best meet the needs of the project. It is also worth noting that the industry partners may have their own codes that would be used. In addition, commercially available codes could be used.

If you have a preference for a specific national lab, is it acceptable to identify the lab in the concept paper?

If you have a laboratory partner in mind you may state that in the concept paper, along with the reason for that choice. If you do not specify a lab, the Technical Review Committee will provide the name of a national lab with the expertise needed for your project.

Is there a limit on the number of proposals you may submit?

There is no limit on the number of proposals an organization can submit. However, the portfolio of selected projects will likely be selected with diversity in mind.

Is the HPC4Mfg Program strictly about Energy or would a topic like climate change qualify as well?

The goals of the program are: (1) Increasing energy efficiency, and (2) advancing clean energy technologies. 

Who can submit proposals to the HPC4Mfg solicitation?

U.S. manufacturing industries, nonprofit organizations supporting U.S. manufacturing, other U.S. businesses supporting U.S. manufacturing, and U.S. universities in partnership with a U.S. Manufacturer, are eligible to submit proposals to this solicitation. Foreign universities and companies that do not manufacture products in the U.S. cannot participate in this solicitation.

Can Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) submit proposals to the HPC4Mfg solicitation and receive AMO funding?

U.S.-based ISVs whose products support the U.S. manufacturing industry are eligible to respond to the solicitation.  However, they are not eligible to receive AMO funding.

Are national labs not currently affiliated with the HPC4Mfg Program eligible to submit proposals to this solicitation?

DOE national labs are not eligible to submit projects, but could be listed as a partner on proposal submitted by a US Manufacturing firm.

Is the HPC4Mfg solicitation limited to the six industry sectors (petroleum, chemicals, wood pulp and paper, metals, food processing, and glass & cement) that were encouraged within the solicitation?

All U.S. manufacturing sectors are eligible to apply.  Note that broad impact on increasing energy efficiency and/or advancing clean energy technologies are primary selection criteria.

How will the national laboratory partner(s) be decided for each project?

Once the Technical Merit Review committee down selects the Concept Papers to go forward for full proposal submission, they will determine which national laboratory or laboratories would best support the definition of the full proposal, based on available expertise and distribution of projects among the national laboratories.  The industry participant would be notified of their potential partner(s). 

Can multiple companies submit a joint proposal?

Absolutely.  It is actually encouraged, as the impact would be assumed to be broader.

The solicitation states that, “Projects must demonstrate potential impact to energy efficiency in manufacturing and/or the development of new clean energy technologies with a potential for broad national impact.”  Does energy efficiency apply to manufacturing processes only?  What are “clean energy technologies”?  What is considered a broad national impact?

Manufacturing converts a wide range of raw materials, components, and parts into finished goods that meet market expectations.HPC4Mfg projects can address any aspect of manufacturing with a net result of broad energy savings and lesser environmental impact.  Projects could include improving the efficiency of an energy intensive process by better product design and/or process optimization that would result in reduced raw materials, lower energy needed during manufacturing, and lower product rejection rates. New clean technologies are game changers that would result in reducing the environmental footprint and minimizing pollution of U.S. manufacturing. Projects could include the development of new materials that lead to product designs that can be manufactured with less energy, less waste and/or a lower carbon footprint.  Other projects could provide the ability to predict performance and failure, guide decision-making, and shorten the time for adoption of new technologies. 

The broader the impact on energy efficiency and clean technology development the stronger the proposal. Examples on broad national impact include, an energy efficient jet engine design, and a new material that would reduce temperatures in glass manufacturing.

Where can we go to find information about potential energy savings from which to assess impact?

EIA.gov has a great deal of data on energy usage that could help to address energy impact issues.

Are foreign-owned companies eligible?

Eligibility is limited to U.S. manufacturers, defined as entities that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular State or territory of the United States, and which manufactures products in the United States.” Foreign-owned subsidiaries that manufacture in the U.S. may apply but must go through an additional review as part of the CRADA process if selected.

For the model validation, are you recommending standard procedures, such as given in the ASME V&V standards?

Model validation methods are determined by the project participants. Models are often validated against experimental data collected by the companies for their process or product. Unique code can be validated using standard techniques.

Approximately what are the chances of getting funding?

In the two previous solicitation rounds, the success rate was approximately 25%.

Can laboratory experts discuss proposal concepts with potential applicants while the solicitation is open?

Due to fairness of opportunity concerns, laboratory personnel are restricted from discussing specifics of proposals until after the concept paper down-select process. Selected concept papers will be assigned a PI from the laboratories to aid in writing the full proposal.