Frequently Asked Questions

Select a FOA to view questions and answers for the specific funding opportunity. Alternatively select "Non-FOA related items" to view system FAQ items.

Question 1: Should the concept paper include a total project cost, information on cost sharing, etc?
Answer 1: No.  It is not anticipated that a budget would be developed for the concept paper phase of the FOA.  The purpose of the concept paper phase is to convey programmatic interest in the proposed project in an effort to help an applicant determine the value (time and expense) of preparing a full application for their approach.  Evaluation criteria for the concept paper are provided in section IV.C.1 of the FOA and does not include evaluation of budget.
Question 2: Are there forms for the Concept Paper and application?
Answer 2: There are no forms for the concept paper phase. For details on the concept paper content, see section IV.C of the FOA.  There are forms required for the full application.  For details on the content and form of the full application, see section IV.D of the FOA. v
Question 3: Who is the FOA Manager?
Answer 3: We do not provide individual contacts for the FOA.  If you have technical or administrative questions pertaining to this specific FOA, you should contact  Questions will be routed to the appropriate individual(s) for response.  For issues related to the registration and use of the Exchange system, contact
Question 4: Do the Registration Requirements all apply to the concept paper? Or just the full application?
Answer 4: The registration requirements listed  must be completed at different times during the application phase.  Specifically for the concept paper, you must be registered in Exchange to submit a concept paper and obtain a control number at least 24 hours prior to the concept paper submission deadline. The remaining requirements and registrations must be completed prior to submitting a full application. It is recommended that these registrations be completed sooner than later to allow for any unforeseen technical difficulties during the registration process.  Full details on all registration requirement can be found in the FOA.

Question 5: When is the informational webinar, and how can we register for it?
Answer 5: The informational webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 25th at 1 PM eastern time. To register, please follow this link  Register Here  Once registered, you will receive an email containing instructions on how to access the webinar on Tuesday, October 25th. Once completed, the webinar slides will be posted within the FOA announcement in eXCHANGE, and any questions that are raised during the webinar will be addressed within the Question and Answer section for this FOA.<
Question 6: Where can I find the FOA?
Answer 6: The FOA can be found on the EERE eXCHANGE web site  Click on Funding Opportunity, and then search DE-FOA-0001613 . Once you click on the announcement, you can scroll down to the area labeled "Documents" where you will find two separate links.  The first link, "Solid-State LIghting Advanced Technology R&D - FY17" is the full FOA document.  Please access this document to learn about eligibility requirements, cost share requirements, and application instructions.
Question 7: Where are the slides from the information webinar located?
Answer 7: The slides from the informational webinar are located under the Documents portion of the FOA announcement in eXCHANGE.
Question 8: How many reviewers are there for each submission?
Answer 8: Typically there are at least three reviewers. For the sake of consistency of the review process, the SSL Program endeavors to assign the same team of reviewers per specifc topic area under review.
Question 9: Will OLED luminaire for photomedical applications be considered for a human-light interaction topic for OLED luminaire product?
Answer 9:

Unless its inteded purpose is for improving the understanding having to do with meaningful exposure levels of artificial light that affect long-term well-being of lighting consumers within daytime and/or nighttime realistic lighting contexts, the answer would be no. For your convenience, the description for the subtopic in question is below:

Subtopic A.8.2- Human Light Interactions.  It states Research is sought to improve the understanding having to do with meaningful exposure levels of artificial light that affect long-term wellbeing of lighting consumers within daytime and/or nighttime realistic lighting contexts.  In addition to exposure levels, applicants should consider the impacts involving variations in spectral power density.  This work should transition lab studies on the physiological impacts of artificial lighting to field-type studies that consider realistic lighting scenarios.  Applicant teams are strongly encouraged to include physiological researchers as well as lighting product developers to accelerate and maximize usability of results and accelerate implementation of findings.  Teams should address institutional review board (IRB) practices where appropriate for the proposed research.  The impacts of proposed work should be analyzed in terms of energy savings, improved consumer confidence, and improved well-being.  Work to develop novel, specialized research tools that enable specific R&D in this topic may also be considered such as specialized luminaires for understanding light level and spectral impacts or exposure measurement tools to capture received spectrum and light levels.  Research should seek to reduce uncertainties around the health impacts of artificial lighting thereby increasing consumer confidence, guiding development of healthful lighting products, and accelerating adoption of energy saving SSL products.


OLED-based photomedical approaches are not currently being requested under the OLED product topic area.  For the SSL Program, the proposed technical approach for a given application must be primarily intended for general illumination.  Ultimately each applicant needs to make the determination if a given technology fits a particular subtopic.

Question 10: Are proposals for UV LED-C projects for water treatment applications eligible for this funding opportunity or any others in the DOE's R&D programs?
Answer 10: UV LED-C projects for water treatment would not be eligible under this FOA, as this would not be considered by the Program to be representative of general illumination. Please refer to Section C, under Applications Specifically Not of Interest in the talbe of contents in the FOA.
Question 11: Part of our proposed work will be carried out overseas. Will the waiver be needed at the concept paper stage, or only at full application stage?
Answer 11: To see a waiver of the Performance of Work in the United States requirement, the applicant must submit an explicit waiver request in the Full Application. A separate waiver request must be submitted for each entity proposing performance of work outside of the United States.
Question 12: I have an idea to make a better SSD by combining a LED and an OLED. Which category should I submit this concept paper under?
Answer 12: Each applicant is best equipped to make this determination. Carefully read the FOA and 2016 RDP and select the best subtopic that fits your technological approach.
Question 13: Will LED luminaire applications be given equal consideration to OLED luminaire applications?
Answer 13: These two technologies exist in different topic areas within this FOA and therefore are looked at based on the associated criteria for the given subtopic pursued. We do not have a set formula for contrasting LED and OLED luminaires against one another. Each application will be looked at based on technical merit of the approach and other programmatic considerations such as the existing portfolio of R&D projects.
Question 14: Is there a minimum fraction of the total labor expenses or total project budget that must be performed by the direct employees of the prime recipient?
Answer 14:

The FOA does not currently stipulate a minimum fraction of total labor expenses or total project budget to be conducted by the direct employees of the Prime; however, the Prime and the Subs should all have justifiable and distinctive contributions to the overall effort that is proposed.

Although not a requirement, normally the Prime Recipient performs a majority of the effort given that the Prime has the responsibility to DOE for execution of the project. If DOE selects a project where the Prime will not be performing a majority of the work, and DOE believes the organizational structure and roles may result in a high risk to the Government, it will work with the Recipient to mitigate the risk. The Applicant must sufficiently explain the team and level of participation by project participants consistent with merit review criterion 3.

Question 15: Does the "demonstrated performance" need to be done on a working OLED Luminaire or can we verify performance with independent measurements/models?
Answer 15: The "demonstrated performance" needs to be completed on a working OLED Luminaire.
Question 16: Can we, as a prime, develop working prototypes with a company in Canada?
Answer 16: A waiver request would need to be completed and approved for the work. The waiver would not need to be included during the Concept Paper phase, but would need to be included as part of the Application. Information pertaining to the waiver request can be found in Section IV. Application and Submission Information under D. xii "Waiver Requests: Foreign Entities and Performance of Work in the United States - Page 43 of the FOA.
Question 17: Does the DOE have a preferred source or subcontractor for OLED Lighting Panels?
Answer 17: The DOE does not have a preferred source or subcontractor for OLED Lighting Panels or for any other technology being sought as part of this FOA.
Question 18: Can we apply the Animal Models to investigate the light effects on the performance and wellness first and then transit to the interaction studies on humans, or are you looking into the direct investigations between light and human beings?
Answer 18: In certain instances the Animal Model may be appropriate under this subtopic; however, approaches should clearly transition to "realistic lighting contexts". Realistic, as used in this subtopic, is meant to convey a direct correlation to human impacts. It is expected that proposed approaches will be built upon prior studies that may have already applied these methods.
Question 19: Should we address institutional review board (IRB) practices in the concept paper?
Answer 19: Addressing the review board (IRB) practices would not be necessary for the concept paper phase.
Question 20: With regard to Subtopic D.4.2, what is the definition of "general illumination OLED luminaires"? Would products aimed at lighting in transportation (automotive, airplane, train, etc.) meet this definition? Would products aimed at specific segments such as retail, furniture, healthcare, etc. meet this definition?
Answer 20: The intent of this subtopic is to develop OLED luminaires that have the purpose of lighting a particular space as a pathway to greater market penetration of OLEDs overall. Approaches may propose any space or segment to address, but the applicant must consider and defend the overall energy savings impact of that purpose based on market size and potential penetration. All other factors being equal, priority in this subtopic area would be given to those applications that demonstrate the greatest energy savings impact.
Question 21: With reference to Subtopic M.O.3, what size does the state-of-the-art OLED lighting device need to be?
Answer 21: The M.O.3 - OLED Substrate and Encapsulation Manufacturing subtopic does not specify size of device. It would be the responsibility of the applicant to defend their selection of a particular size and scalability by addressing its potential for meeting or exceeding the substrate and encapsulation 2020 targeted metrics over state-of-the-art.
Question 22: Subtopic D.5.3: What is the definition of "line power"? In most current buildings in the US line power is 120V AC but future line power in buildings could be 24V DC. In cars the "line power" is normally 12V DC. Is this topic limited to 120V DC line power solutions?
Answer 22: If approaches using other than AC line voltage were to be pursued, the applicant would need to justify the potential market adoption of distribution systems that are not based on AC line voltage as well as the overall energy impact of the proposed LED light engine.
Question 23: Is it possible to submit a concept paper as an individual (green card holder), and then to submit a proposal under a US domestic entity (start up)? Or should I create my start up now, register it, and then submit the concept paper as a domestic entity?
Answer 23: It is permissable to submit a concept paper as either an indivdiual or a startup; however, for the sake of simplicity it may be best if both the concept paper and full application (if encouraged) reflect the same entity throughout the FOA process. The applicant will need to determine this.
Question 24: How is extraction efficiency defined in the 2020 targets for Subtopic M.O.3?
Answer 24:  

Extraction Efficiency – the 2016 RDP has the following definition on Page 98: Extraction efficiency is the ratio of visible photons emitted from the panel to the photons generated in the emissive region. For basic OLED devices on planar glass substrates, only about 20% (17- 25%) of the generated light is emitted from the panel. This is due to absorption and trapping of photons in the electrodes, transparent substrate, and inner layers resulting from mismatches in the index of refraction along the photon path (i.e., organic materials, anode, substrate, encapsulation layers, and air). The DOE target for light extraction efficiency is 70%, an extraction enhancement of 3 to 3.5x. The extraction efficiency of current products is only 30 to 35%, leaving ample room for improvement and energy efficiency gains.

Question 25: Are the cost targets defined in Subtopic M.O.3 as cost to manufacture, selling price, or something else?
Answer 25: The provided cost targets are based on estimated cost to manufacture.
Question 26: How is luminance uniformity defined? Is this related to dark spot formation?
Answer 26: The homogeneity of emitted light from a large area light source such as an OLED panel across its entire emitting surface. No, dark spot formation is not directly related to luminance uniformity.
Question 27: Is the referenced Federally-approved Rate Agreement documentation required for submission to this FOA? If so, where is the required Federally-approved rate agreement documentation and what is the projected timing for approval?
Answer 27:

A Federally approved rate agreement is required as a supporting document at the time of application IF the applicant has federally-approved rates.

If an applicant does not have federally approved rates, but is proposing indirect rates as part of the project cost, then during negotiations (if selected)  the applicant will be required to submit an indirect rate proposal supporting the proposed rates prior to issuance of a DOE award.

Please reference Tab i. Indirect on the Budget Justification Workbook for more information.

Question 28: In the SOPO template the [Award Number] and [Mod Number] are requested. I am not sure what these numbers are. Is the Award Number the same as our Control Number? On my computer, the SOPO template shows up in 12 point Calibri font. I am assuming that we can use Times New Roman 12 point, but would like to get that confirmed.
Answer 28:

For the purposes of the SOPO attachment, please use your control number in lieu of the award number and mod number.  The  award number is not the same as the control number, but for identification purposes during this phase of the FOA using the control number will be sufficient for the purposes of your SOPO submission.

Times New Roman would be acceptable.

Question 29: Our project involves collaboration with one company. The company, however, would not be a sub-recipient for this project. Could we include a support letter from the company in our proposal submission?
Answer 29: Yes, even though the collaboration in this instance is not with a sub-recipient it is still permissible to include a support letter from that partner.  Please remember to do as the FOA directs, letters of commitment from all Subrecipient/third party cost share providers should be attached as an appendix and that letters of commitment do not count towards the page limit.