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: We would like to discuss viability of applying for the SSL Manufacturing - R&D FOA. Can you please suggest a possible Program Manager we could discuss this with?
Answer 1:

It is the policy of DOE to neither encourage nor discourage potential applicants from submitting an application.  You can review the funding opportunity announcement and the various areas of interest and then employ your discretion as to whether a particular project meets the stated program objectives. 

Nonetheless, if you need clarification on the technical requirements after reading the funding opportunity, you may submit additional questions through this email address.  Thank you for your interest in our programs. 


Question 2: Is there a lower cost share requirement for small businesses or universities or must the total cost share be 50% regardless of the type of entity?
Answer 2: The cost share requirement is the same for all entities.  50% of all project costs must be shared by the Recipient and must come from non-federal sources. 
Question 3: I have all of the documentation concerning DE-FOA-000792 and I had a question on which sub-category our project would fall under. We have developed a processing technology that will allow a cheaper and more effective means of LED package production. I believe this technology should fall under the M.L6 category; however, as I am not certain, I was hoping that you could help out. Also, I was wondering if this process change is something that would be looked for, as far as the scope of the grant.
Answer 3: Based on this subject Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), there are only two areas of interest involving LED technologies.  These include: Program Area of Interest 1:  M.L1 - LED Luminaire/Module Manufacturing and Program Area of Interest 2:  M.L3 - LED Test and Inspection Equipment.  To be technically acceptable, your technology must address one of the two areas of interest listed in the FOA. 
Question 4: Since a number of our customers do LED COB, we are wondering whether it will be all right if we propose a smaller proposal to develop our highly integrated driver IC which can be integrated with any LED COB of our customers to produce lighting module COB or if we should choose one customer to team up with now, and together we can propose a lighting module COB under this announcement?
Answer 4:

The key to deciding whether or not to submit a proposal as a sole entity or to partner can be best viewed by taking a holistic approach, fully speaking to the specific area of interest when writing a proposal.  Some companies have the in-house capability to fully address the objective of the area of interest by themselves; however, others may do better strengthening their expertise by teaming up with other entities to complete the picture.  For example, area of interest one states:  DOE seeks research for the development of flexible manufacturing of state of the art LED modules, light engines, and luminaires.  If a company possesses the expertise in only a portion of completing LED modules, light engines, or luminaires, it may not deliver that which is specified in the area of interest, and may result in an unsuccessful proposal.  Therefore, if your technology speaks to only part of the puzzle, it may be recommended to team with others in order to fully address the needs as set forth in a specfic area of interest within the Funding Opportunity Announcement.   For additional information, please see the review criteria regarding project teaming in Section V of the FOA.



Question 5: The DOE SSL programs have historically issued FOAs for Product Development Technologies and Core Technologies, in addition to Manufacturing Technologies FOA such as the current opportunity. Is there a plan for DOE to issue Product and Core FOAs later this year?
Answer 5:

The DOE SSL program strategy and direction remain unchanged, and DOE continues to also support SSL Core Technology Research and Product Development to improve the efficacy and quality of SSL.  DOE's current focus on SSL Manufacturing R&D is based on Congressional direction.   Funding opportunity announcements in the areas of Core Technology and Product Development will be issued when DOE has a better idea of available funding.

Question 6: Would you please provide an editable version of the SF424Application.pdf?
Answer 6: I have uploaded an editable version of the SF424A Application in eXCHANGE.  Either version is acceptable.
Question 7: 1. Is the EERE request intended for improvements to current LED luminaire manufacturing, or can it be for entirely new LED luminaire manufacturing processes? 2. Our manufacturing processes address flat lighting of multiple sizes; is this considered "multiple luminaires" as far as the flexibility design goal is concerned?
Answer 7:

Proposing an improvement on existing manufacturing processes or new luminaire manufacturing processes is acceptable under this FOA.

Flat devices of various sizes may satisfy the term “multiple luminaires” based on the description of the specific area of FOA interest provided in this FOA.  

A primary goal of this area of interest is not focused on the development or manufacture of a specific device or form factor.  It is aiming for broad and interchangeable manufacturing processes that have the potential to cross platforms and provides broad SSL industry application.

Please keep in mind that it is specifically spelled out in the FOA that *Product development activities or designs that are developed for a specific luminaire are not acceptable under this topic area and will not be evaluated”).   It is highly encouraged that all the applicants thoughtfully read and write their proposal to address the review criteria carefully.  Although many applications may be technically responsive and may be reviewed, the stronger proposals will specifically address the demands of the review criteria as provided in this FOA.  For your convenience I have provided an excerpt from the FOA that may be helpful.

*Priority will be given to approaches which demonstrate increased manufacturing flexibility (processes or tooling that can work for multiple products) and enable higher quality products with improved color consistency, lower system costs, and improved time-to-market through successful implementation of integrated systems design, supply chain management, and quality control.  Product development activities or designs that are developed for a specific luminaire are not acceptable under this topic area and will not be evaluated.  Approaches shall directly address those relevant metrics of the 2012 Solid-State Lighting Manufacturing Roadmap identified in the table below. 

Question 8: - Is “Lamp” meant to designate a certain luminaire type or form factor, e.g. an A-19 800lm replacement bulb (as illustrated in Fig. 3.4 in the 2012 MYPP)? and how applicable is this $10/klm target to other luminaires, such as downlights or troffers? - What is “OEM” meant to signify? The price paid by a distributor to the manufacturer? Or the end customer price (e.g. if I buy the luminaire at Home Depot)?
Answer 8:

The cost per klm metrics that are reflected in Area of Interest One are derived from both the Manufacturing Roadmap and Figure 3.4 of the MYPP.  This figure shows a comparison of an integrated white light LED replacement lamp to a 13W compact fluorescent lamp, and to the current MYPP projection. The most aggressive pricing is shown in fig 3.4 and is associated with A19 style 60W equivalent replacement lamps.  The figure reflects typical retail prices for such lamps. The diversity of design and variance in cost of materials makes the projection of cost targets for luminaires complex and not directly comparable from one luminaire to another.  The generic targets in Area of Interest one are based off of A19 replacement values.  The term “OEM” in this instance refers to the price paid by a distributor to the manufacturer.
Question 9: Should each budget period be 12 months or can Budget Period 1 be 8 months and Budget period 2 longer than 15 months?
Answer 9:
Typically budget periods are 12 months, but can be shorter or longer as appropriate for the project.  Please address length of proposed budget periods in the project narrative and budget detail.  If selected for award, the length of budget periods can be further negotiated and may include additional decision points if appropriate.    
Question 10: In reviewing question #8 it is stated that the figure reflects typical retail prices for such lamps. But later the term ‘OEM” is referred to as the price paid by the distributor (i.e. Home Depot). I just wanted to reconfirm that the $10/klm target is not retail pricing?
Answer 10:
You are correct, the given $10/klm OEM target is not based on projected retail pricing.
The $10/klm  target is based off a projected trend and is meant to represent a progressive reduction in cost from $50/klm to $10/klm target as a function of time.  For simplicity of the model, the trend was created using a common lamp design (in this case an A-19).  The complexity and variability of luminaries makes trending cost per klm representing all luminaire types prohibitive and problematic. 
This object of the given cost target, in this case an A19-type lamp, is not meant to infer that applicants should pursue the manufacture process improvements  of a specific lamp design.  Based on the design of your technology, cost may vary from the A-19 related target given.   As an applicant, a case must be presented for the current baseline cost of your technology and how you intend to reduce the cost of manufacture. 
In order to be considered, your application must directly address the specific area of interest you are applying for.  Your approach will be evaluated based upon the evaluation criteria provided in the FOA.
Question 11: I have a question about program interest area 4, M.O3 – OLED Materials Manufacturing. In this section, two different types of substrate work are detailed: the transparent electrode (with certain target properties) and the substrate encapsulation (with certain target properties). As it is not common that one company can specialize in both aspects, would it be acceptable to propose a project that meets the target properties for one type of substrate work? Or is the DOE specifically looking to fund a single company that works on both aspects of this issue?
Answer 11:
While DOE is seeking research for the development of both of the technologies, each application can address just one of the technologies.