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: Currently, there is a continuous manufacturing process for polymer composites. The proposed, patented innovation to this process offers the ability to manufacture hybrid composites, thick cross-section composites and increased productivity. These enhancements are not possible with the current technology. There are no energy savings, but highly functional materials that can be used for renewable energy technologies such as wind and for civil infrastructure and transportation technologies, can be produced. Is such a technology within the scope of this solicitation? Thanks.
Answer 1:

It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA.

Question 163: Can a Not-For-Profit 501(c)(6) entity qualify as an eligible applicant for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative (DE-FOA-0000560, CFDA Number: 81.086) ???
Answer 163:

Please refer to Section III.A., Eligible Applicants, in the FOA.  It is referenced here for your convenience:

An eligible applicant is: 1) a legal entity established pursuant to United States Federal or State laws, with operations in the United States or its Territories or 2) a foreign legal entity having a place of business in the United States or its Territories.  An eligible entity must be able to demonstrate that its use of DOE funds will be in the economic interests of the United States, including, for example: creation of domestic manufacturing capability; use of American products, materials or labor; payment of United States taxes; or United States technological advancements.  

Eligible applicants include but are not limited to: (1) institutions of higher education; (2) National Laboratories; (3) nonprofit and for-profit private entities; (4) State and local governments; (5) consortia of entities (1) through (4). If applying as a consortium, one member of the consortium that is an established legal entity must be designated as the lead applicant.

Nonprofit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995 are not eligible to apply or to be a sub-recipient to an eligible applicant.

Question 164: I would like to research opportunities to utilize my wood waste as fuel. The cost incurred to process the material for traditonal use is very high. Delivery, kW hrs, and labor help indicate the value put into this product thus raising the cost. Is this a process that may qualify for this opportunity?
Answer 164:

It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA. 

Question 165: Is there any restriction on how many percentage a foreign company/university can receive?
Answer 165:

Please refer to Section III.A, Eligible Applicants, in the FOA.  It is referenced here for your convenience:

An eligible applicant is: 1) a legal entity established pursuant to United States Federal or State laws, with operations in the United States or its Territories or 2) a foreign legal entity having a place of business in the United States or its Territories.  An eligible entity must be able to demonstrate that its use of DOE funds will be in the economic interests of the United States, including, for example: creation of domestic manufacturing capability; use of American products, materials or labor; payment of United States taxes; or United States technological advancements.  

 

Eligible applicants include but are not limited to: (1) institutions of higher education; (2) National Laboratories; (3) nonprofit and for-profit private entities; (4) State and local governments; (5) consortia of entities (1) through (4). If applying as a consortium, one member of the consortium that is an established legal entity must be designated as the lead applicant.

 

Entities that do not meet this eligibility criterion are not eligible to apply as the prime applicant.  However, entities not meeting this criterion are allowed as subrecipients to an eligible applicant provided that, in aggregate, not more than 20% of the total estimated DOE funding is provided to entities that do not meet the eligibility criteria.  Furthermore, the Application should clearly explain the necessity of including ineligible entities in the project team to accomplish the project objectives and  how such use of DOE funds will be in the economic interest of the United States.

 

Nonprofit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995 are not eligible to apply or to be a sub-recipient to an eligible applicant.

 

Question 166: Does this [cost share waiver] provision of the IMI FOA also apply to the [Name removed] as a DOE GOCO facility? This EERE program, which is otherwise in our main area of expertise and we would like to ask that EERE extend this waiver to [Name removed], even though we are not officially an FFRDC.
Answer 166: Only the following Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3:  institutions of higher education, U.S. National Laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and non-profit organizations (as defined in 10 CFR 600.3).
Question 167: Page 6 of the FOA states that "DOE expects that the results of the project will be published and made available to the public." Does this represent a requirement to publish proprietary information?
Answer 167:

No, the presentation(s) and publication(s) do not have to include proprietary data. The intent is to publicize the innovative technology being developed with DOE financial support. Any transfer of proprietary data and technology know-how from the developer to a prospective user would be based on negotiations and agreements between them.

Question 168: Will the program sign Non-disclosure Agreements?
Answer 168:

No.  DOE will not sign a non-disclosure agreement with a recipient. However, all personnel involved with the review of the Applications (federal employees, government contractors, and outside subject matter experts) are obligated to protect and not disclose proprietary information (see 18 USC 1905) and they sign a Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement with DOE that they will use the information presented in the Applications for review purpose only. Please see the Funding Opportunity Announcement regarding how to mark propriety information in the Application.

Question 169: Is there a specific set limit for the % of work that can be conducted outside of the USA?
Answer 169: Please refer to Section III.A in the FOA.  There is no set percentage of work that can or cannot be conducted outside of the United States.  However, entities not meeting the eligibility criteria discussed in Section III.A are allowed as subrecipients to an eligible applicant provided that, in aggregate, not more than 20% of the total estimated DOE funding is provided to entities that do not meet the eligibility criteria.  Furthermore, the Application should clearly explain the necessity of including ineligible entities in the project team to accomplish the project objectives and  how such use of DOE funds will be in the economic interest of the United States.  An eligible entity must be able to demonstrate that its use of DOE funds will be in the economic interests of the United States, including, for example: creation of domestic manufacturing capability; use of American products, materials or labor; payment of United States taxes; or United States technological advancements. 
Question 170: We’re interested in submitting a letter of intent for the referenced FOA but was wondering if there is a template for the Letter of Intent?? I’ve created an account on the eere-exchange website and noticed the link to a ‘concept paper’ but am not sure if this is the same as the letter of intent or if they’re different.
Answer 170:

There is no Letter of Intent template.  Please refer to Section IV.B for information required in the Letter of Intent.  In eXCHANGE, "concept paper" is the same as the Letter of Intent that is required for this FOA. In order to submit a Letter of Intent in the eXCHANGE system for this FOA, you must click the action button that states "Create Concept Paper" after filling out your Letter of Intent required information.

Question 171: How does the exact funding process work? Is the project funded before funds are needed or after on a reimbursement type program?
Answer 171: Please refer to 10 CFR Part 600.122, 10 CFR Part 600.221, and 10 CFR Part 600.312.  All funding is subject to the availability of annual appropriations.
Question 172: What are the minimum and maximum funding amounts available in announcement DE-FOA-0000560? Please advise.
Answer 172:

Please refer to Section II, C "Maximum and Minimum Award Size " of the Funding Opportunity Announcement for funding thresholds.

Question 173: If I propose to carry TRL 2-3 research for first 2 years, and at the last year, the research is TRL 4, what's the budget cap for that?
Answer 173:

If a project involves work at TRL 2-3 as well as 4-6, the Applicant should show a breakdown of the proposed activities and budget by TRL into separate project phases (i.e. TRL 2-3 work should have a separate budget from TRL 4-6 work).  For Phase I involving TRL 2-3 activities in the first 2 years of the project, the maximum DOE share is not to exceed $1,000,000.   For Phase II involving TRL 4 activity to be performed in the third year of the project, the maximum DOE share is not to exceed $9,000,000 minus Phase 1 DOE share.  Therefore, the maximum DOE share is not to exceed $9,000,000 for the entire project.  Applicants should propose a budget that is consistent with the proposed activities and duration.

 

Question 174: Can the process or material to be improved be part of a proprietary design/product, or is the intent of FOA 560 to improve basic process/materials for use in multiple vendor products?
Answer 174:

While the goal of this FOA is to improve basic process/materials for use in multiple products, it is acceptable that the process or material to be improved be part of a proprietary design/product, provided the product is used widely to accomplish energy productivity improvement goals.

Please see Sections VIII.F and VIII.G for intellectual property rights specific to your kind of organization.

Question 175: Q: At our college we are working with a number of companies as part of our [Name removed] Center. We hope to expand the center and help more companies develop and use the latest in energy saving technologies. While we are working on a number of projects with different manufactures would this call for proposals fund the center as a place for new materials and processes to be tested? Or do we need to have a specific project to fund? We would have a number of manufactures, trade organizations and state agencies submitting the proposal with use.
Answer 175:

The FOA seeks to fund specific projects. Your center as an organization or its member companies can submit multiple applications for separate projects

Question 176: Can you tell me how much funding is available for this funding opportunity?
Answer 176: Please refer to Section II.B in the FOA for estimated funding information.
Question 177: We are considering submitting a letter of intent for this solicitation. I was wondering if this an SBIR solicitation? It does not look like one. Please let me know if you believe the attached description of our project (removed) would be appropriate for this opportunity and I will move forward with the letter of intent.
Answer 177:

This FOA is not an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) solicitation.  

It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA. 

Question 178: To whom it may concern, Is there a guideline document for the "Letter of Intent" for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative, of the Financial Assistance Funding Opportunity Announcement. I intend to submit a letter of intent, but I need to know what is required.
Answer 178:

There is no Letter of Intent template.  Please refer to Section IV.B of the FOA for a list of information required in the Letter of Intent.

Question 179: We are going to be submitting a Letter of Intent; however, we see that an “Abstract” is due (4000 max words). We do not find any instructions on the Abstract which you want to read. Is there anything written on this?
Answer 179:

When submitting your Letter of Intent, the "Abstract" field in eXCHANGE should contain a brief description of your project as described in Section IV.B #7 of the FOA.

Question 180: If our technology addresses two different subtopics within Innovative Manufacturing Processes equally, is it OK to indicate both subtopics in the LOI?
Answer 180:

Even if your technology addresses two subtopics equally, you have to choose and designate only one subtopic in the Letter of Intent and in the Application. Please indicate in the Project Summary and at appropriate places in the Project Narrative, the applicability to the second subtopic. After completing the initial compliance review of the Application, DOE will determine whether the Application fits better with the designated subtopic or the other subtopic for merit review and evaluation.

Question 181: What B&R number should be used for this FOA and also who is the headquarters program manager?
Answer 181:

Contact information and program assignments for the Industrial Technologies Program can be found here: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/about/contacts.html

The B&R code will be provided upon selection once selected projects are assigned to particular portfolios. 

Question 182: Our proposal would advance new technology for [multiple subtopics]. Should we make one submission addressing our technology and materials referencing 1C and 2C, should we choose one or make two submissions?
Answer 182:

If an Application proposes development of a technology that would potentially meet the goals of more than one subtopic, only one Application should be submitted.  Applicants should not submit multiple applications based on the same concept but under different subtopics.

Even if your technology addresses two or more subtopics equally, you have to choose and designate only one subtopic in the Letter of Intent and in the Application. Please indicate in the Project Summary and at appropriate places in the Project Narrative, the applicability to the other subtopic(s). After completing the initial compliance review of the Application, DOE will determine whether the Application fits better with the designated subtopic or the other subtopic for merit review and evaluation. 

Question 183: My questions relate to the following subtopic: “2C. Lower Cost Materials for Energy Systems: The goal is to develop and manufacture materials at significantly lower cost (at least 50% reduction in finished product)” 1) Does the cost benefit need to be in the product, or can the 50% cost reduction be shown in a life cycle analysis and cost benefits assessment. (i.e. Return on Investment, Break Even…) 2) The cost benefits of a proposed product might be a part of a more complex system that realizes significant benefits over time. Will an awarded program fund a sub-product that is part of a complete system? 3) If the product developed is more expensive that current state of the art, but is shown to realize substantial cost/energy benefits over time (i.e 50% cheaper after X years), and the product is of interest to DOE, is there any guidance on acceptable rate of return or years to break even?
Answer 183:

The FOA goal for Subtopic 2C is stated on page 8 of the FOA - develop and manufacture materials for energy systems at significantly lower cost (at least 50% reduction in finished product) with improved functional properties. It is up to prospective applicants to interpret and translate this goal in terms of specific functional properties, benefits, cost basis, economic feasibility etc. based on the nature of the product and the intended market. 

Development and manufacture of a lower cost and higher functionality component (to replace an incumbent component), that becomes an integral part of an energy system in an industrial application, will be considered consistent with the above FOA goal.

Question 184: We have a question regarding displacement energy savings per DE-FOA-0000560. Through process innovation, if a biomaterial can be substituted for a nonrenewable material, does the energy savings for displacement of nonrenewables count, even if the total energy used to make the product is the same?
Answer 184:

The primary focus of this FOA is on actual energy savings, regardless of the form of energy.

Question 185: Do you provide feedback in response to Letters of Intent prior to the full application deadline? If yes, does your feedback address whether you think the proposed work is responsive to the call?
Answer 185:

DOE does not provide feedback on Letters of Intent.  Also, it is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA. 

Question 186: I understand that the Letters of Intent should not contain any proprietary or sensitive business information, that being said, will the letters of intent be made public and will they be posted on the DoE website? If the information is made public, will it be just a listing of the companies that submitted applications or are details of the application topic made public as well.
Answer 186:

DOE does not plan to publish or post the Letters of Intent or a List of Organizations submitting an Application in response to this FOA. DOE would release a List of successful awardees with a brief description of their project when the selections have been finalized. Although DOE does not plan on publishing or posting the Letters of Intent, Letters of Intent may be releasable to the public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Upon receipt of a FOIA request that includes the Letters of Intent, the Letters of Intent will be reviewed and a determination will be made, by DOE, on whether any parts of the Letters of Intent fit into an exception to FOIA including 'trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.'  Any part of a Letter of Intent that does not fit into an exception to FOIA shall be released to the requesting party.  Therefore, while parts of the Letters of Intent may be protectable from FOIA, Applicants should be aware that the Letters of Intent may be releasable through FOIA and should plan accordingly.  Applicants are encouraged not to include any proprietary information in the Letters of Intent unless necessary and, if so, the proprietary information should be marked as such.

Question 187: Is it permissable to submit a single application responsive to two Topic Areas -- Topic Area 1 1D sustainable manufacturing and Topic Area 2 2B Highly Functional High Performance materials ?
Answer 187:

If an Application proposes development of a technology that would potentially meet the goals of more than one subtopic, only one Application should be submitted.  Applicants should not submit multiple applications based on the same concept but under different subtopics. 

Even if your technology addresses two or more subtopics equally, you have to choose and designate only one subtopic in the Letter of Intent and in the Application. Please indicate in the Project Summary and at appropriate places in the Project Narrative, the applicability to the other subtopic(s). After completing the initial compliance review of the Application, DOE will determine whether the Application fits better with the designated subtopic or the other subtopic for merit review and evaluation. 

Question 188: On page 5, the FOA states “This FOA will fund projects at TRL 2 through 6,” which we are interpreting to mean starting at stages TRL 2 through 6. One proposal we want to submit as an IMI topic takes a technology currently at TRL stage 5 through to TRL stages 7-8. We want to make sure this is will be within the acceptable FOA project scope.
Answer 188:

This FOA will fund only research and development work (TRL 2 through 6) and not demonstration work (TRL 7 and above).

Question 189: I am seeking clarification of whether the term “energy systems”, used to define the scope of Subtopic 2C, includes ONLY energy-generating systems, or if it also includes energy-saving systems.
Answer 189: “Energy systems" includes energy-generating systems and energy-saving systems.
Question 190: We are interested in submitting a proposal under this topic for an innovative welding process. We believe that welding is an area that consumes a large amount of electricity across a variety of industries but not in efficient ways. However, welding does not appear to be in one of the four technology areas (subtopics of interest) that are expected to generate large energy benefits given in the announcement. It may loosely be included in subtopic 1D Sustainable Manufacturing. Will a proposal that does not apparently fall into any of these four subtopics but address energy efficiency increase be reviewed and considered?
Answer 190:

It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA. 

Question 191: Recently, we have identified a manufacturing company that would be a great fit for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative DE-FOA-0000560. They have a couple of questions regarding qualification and would like to know who to contact with their questions. For example, their company operates in the United States but was purchased by a foreign nation. Do they still qualify? Please send me the contact information of the person managing this funding opportunity so that I can pass that information on to the company.
Answer 191:

Unfortunately, DE-FOA-0000560, “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative”, is a competitive solicitation and private discussions while the announcement is open are prohibited.  

 Please refer to Section III.A of the FOA for further information on eligible applicants.

Question 192: We have a project proposal that we are planning to submit along with a National Lab. The project itself is consisting of multi TRL over a period of 3 plus years. My question is that should we submit three proposals for each set of TRL or can we submit a single proposal consisting of 3 phases/years as follows:: Multiple TRLs for the project. a. 1st year-TRL1,2,3 with NREL $1M b. 2nd year-TRL4,5,6 with NREL $1.5M c. 3rd year-TRL 7,8,9 Oorja alone $1.5M Also, please note that each phase will be contingent upon success of each year progressive achievements.
Answer 192:

This FOA will support only research and development work at TRL 2 through 6. It will not support basic research work (TRL 1) or demonstration work (TRL 7 and above). DOE reserves the right to determine TRL level of any proposed work.

If a proposed project involves work at TRL 2-3 as well as 4-6, the Applicant should show a breakdown of the proposed activities and budget by TRL into two separate project phases (i.e. Phase I,TRL 2-3 work should have a separate budget from Phase II, TRL 4-6 work).   

Question 193: 1) Under the materials subtopic, can the lifetime and efficiency objectives pertain to the manufacturing of high efficiency energy storage devices (e.g. capacitors and batteries), or is it strictly desired to efficiency of energy consumption during manufacturing? 2) Can two related technologies be proposed within the same grant, one with a TRL of 2-3 and the other with a TRL of 4-6? These would be parallel efforts, and each would be worked on throughout the three year project; also we would be sure that the TRL 2-3 effort would stay below the net $1M DOE award, and the TRL 4-6 would stay below the net $9M DOE award.
Answer 193:

1)  While energy savings in both manufacturing and end use are important, the main focus of the FOA is on manufacturing.

2)   If a project involves work at TRL 2-3 as well as 4-6, the Applicant should show a breakdown of the proposed activities and budget by TRL into separate project phases (i.e. TRL 2-3 work should have a separate budget from TRL 4-6 work).  If an Applicant is proposing parallel activities, there must be a good justification as to why they should not be in series. For Phase I involving TRL 2-3 activities, the maximum DOE share is not to exceed $1,000,000.   For Phase II involving TRL 4-6 activities, the maximum DOE share is not to exceed $9,000,000 minus Phase 1 DOE share.  Therefore, the maximum DOE share is not to exceed $9,000,000 for the entire project.  DOE reserves the right to determine TRL of any activity.

Question 194: For sub-recipient 424A and justification forms, the call states this is needed if values exceeding $100 k or 50% of the project. Are the forms needed if the subrecipient is contributing in-kind cost share to the project in excess of $100 k, but will NOT receive any DOE $ on this project? i.e. they will participate only as a cost share partner. Are they ok simply submitting a letter of commitment indicating their total cost share level and form?
Answer 194:

If a subrecipient performs work estimated to be more than $100,000 or 50% of the total work effort (whichever is less) then that subrecipient is required to submit a budget and budget justification regardless of whether the work is being funded through cost sharing or by DOE.  Additionally, if a subrecipient is providing any cost share (either in the form of cash or an in-kind contribution) then that subrecipient must provide a letter of commitment.

Question 195: Can we include our references as footnotes (instead of creating a separate bibliography)?
Answer 195:

Yes.

Question 196: 1) There is no separate space for question 2, 3, 5 and 7 on pg 14 of the solicitation on the LOI submission page. Does that mean all that information should be consolidated into the Abstract? 2) My question is about the “anticipated team member” in question 2 on pg 14 of the solicitation. Does the team member mean the organizations on the project or the participating key personals?
Answer 196:

1) For submission of Letter of Intent, use the Concept Paper buttons on the EXCHANGE website. Answer the questions on the main page and other tabs, as appropriate. In the Abstract box, provide a brief one paragraph description of the project. Prepare a separate Letter of Intent (LOI) document that provides all the requested information found in Section IV.B of FOA. Upload this LOI to EXCHANGE under the 'Upload and Submit' tab. Be sure to note the Control Number, as it will be required later to submit the Application.

2) Provide name(s) of anticipated team member organizations (not the participating key personnel).

Question 197: We are reviewing the FOA for the above grant opportunity and have a question regarding the topic areas (p.6-7). We have developed a consortium of organizations which bring strengths to our project in the areas of both innovative manufacturing processes and innovative materials. Can we submit one application for a project addressing both topic areas, or will it be necessary to put in separate applications for each topic area? We are preparing out letter of intent and would like to clarify this issue at your earliest convenience.
Answer 197:

If the consortium members have different, unrelated ideas in innovative manufacturing or materials, they should form different teams and submit separate Applications for each distinct project. However, it is possible that the success of a proposed project is dependent upon development of both a manufacturing process and a material. In that case, only one Application should be submitted for the complete technology. Even if your technology addresses two or more subtopics equally, you have to choose and designate only one subtopic in the Letter of Intent and in the Application. Please indicate in the Project Summary and at appropriate places in the Project Narrative the applicability to the other subtopic(s). After completing the initial compliance review of the Application, DOE will determine whether the Application fits better with the designated subtopic or the other subtopic for merit review and evaluation.

Question 198: If more than one company is partnering on the project are LOI’s from each required?
Answer 198:

Only one Letter of Intent is required for each Application. 

Question 199: If a small business entity is a sub-contractor (not a partner) to a waiver eligible or non-waiver prime recipient of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number: DE-FOA-0000560; is the small business still obligated to the 20% cost share regulations?
Answer 199:

Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3:  institutions of higher education, U.S. National Laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and non-profit organizations (as defined in 10 CFR 600.3). Please refer to Appendix C and Section III.B of the FOA for cost sharing requirements.

Question 200: Is there a standard template for the "letter of Intent"?
Answer 200: There is no Letter of Intent template.  Please refer to Section IV.B for information required in the Letter of Intent.  
Question 201: For the Project Narrative File, the FOA requires a section titled “Project Partners”. Can you provide more details as to what you want discussed in this section? It would seem that the Merit Review Criteria Discussion (Criterion 3 & 4) and Project Timetable sections will require us to discuss in significant detail the level of involvement/roles of various project partners.
Answer 201:

Section IV.C.3 of the FOA provides an explanation of what should be included under "Project Partners" section of the Project Narrative. "Project Partners" may be included under Merit Review Criteria discussion. Cross referencing may be used to avoid unnecessary duplication and save space.

Question 202: The source from which we are currently receiving research funds is a state agency; however, this state agency receives its original funding for this research through a federal grant. Would this source of funding still be eligible for cost-sharing?
Answer 202:

Please refer to the section "What Qualifies For Cost Sharing" in Appendix C of the FOA.

Question 203: We are preparing a response to DE-FOA-0000560, and need to know if we should respond directly to each "Other Selection Criteria" in A.3., or whether we should weave this into the Merit Review Criteria responses. Please clarify.
Answer 203:

The Applicant should determine the best approach to provide any relevant information in the Project Narrative that would help Selection Official evaluate the Application under "Other Selection Criteria." Cross referencing may be used to save space."

Question 204: We are requesting clarification on whether the lead organization for a proposed project can be changed (same organizations would remain in the consortium for the project proposed in the LOI) subsequent to submission of the LOI? We anticipate serving as the lead for our consortium but this may change.
Answer 204:

The lead organization that submits the LOI and gets the Control Number has to submit the Application as the lead for the team. Team members may be added or deleted.

Question 205: In reference to Criterion 2: Potential Energy, Economic, Environmental, and Market Benefits for US Manufacturing Industries Weight: [30%]. There are two ways the impact of the proposed technologies can be calculated: a) The impact from the proposed manufacturing process only b) The impact from the end-use product enabled by the proposed manufacturing process Does Criterion 2 equally value both of these impacts?
Answer 205:

Merit Review Criterion 2 in Section V.A.2 is titled "Potential Energy, Economic, Environmental, and Market Benefits for US Manufacturing Industries."  As the title indicates, the focus is on US manufacturing industries. The potential benefits could come in the manufacture of the target product directly or by its use in manufacture of other products, or both, depending upon the particular material/process to be developed."

 

Question 206: We are a corporation interested in submitting a proposal in responding to the DoE FOA DE-FOA-0000560. We would like to know whether in-kind contribution would fulfill the 20% cost sharing requirement. During the course of the R&D performance, we will use one of our machines for conducting various tests. The in-kind contribution will be calculated based on the ongoing rate of charge per hour multiplied by the number of the days to be used for the proposed tests.
Answer 206:

In-kind costs for the project can be considered as cost sharing, as long as the costs are allowable under the cost principles applicable to the type of entity incurring the costs.  Please see Appendix C in the FOA for the references to the applicable cost principles.  All costs for the project need to be accounted for in the budget.

Question 207: I want to confirm these are the correct dates for submission. * Letter of Intent Submission Deadline: 9/1/2011 5:00 PM ET * Full Application Submission Deadline: 10/5/2011 5:00 PM ET
Answer 207:

Yes 

Question 208: If an applicant organization submits a promising new material technology for this program, and that applicant organization has already filed one or more full traditional patents that support or are critical to this new material technology, does that present any problems or issues towards the end ownership or claims on ownership for the resulting intellectual property from the perspective of DOE? In this case, the applicant organization is a bona-fide small business with two employees.
Answer 208:

In general, DOE has certain rights to any invention conceived of or actually reduced to practice under an award, referred to as a 'subject invention.'  DOE's rights depend, in part, on whether an applicant is a large business, small business, or a non-profit organization.  The filing of a patent application is only considered a constructive reduction to practice under U.S. patent laws.  Therefore, it is possible that an applicant's invention could be considered a subject invention even when the applicant filed a patent application on the invention prior to the award.

Question 209: Amendment 2 to DE-FOA-0000560 Innovative Manufacturing Initiative indicates a new due date for the full proposal of October 5, 2011. On page 27 of the announcement the start date for awards is still listed as December 2011 and I was wondering if that needs to be adjusted or will remain the same.
Answer 209:

DOE anticipates notifying Applicants selected for award in December 2011 and start making awards in February 2012.

Question 210: We an institution of higher education, but we are non-degree granting and therefore not accredited (we bring accredited degree programs to our facility and provide the infrastructure in which our educational partners offer those programs). We are a state agency, created through the legislative code of our state. Can you tell me if are eligible to serve as lead applicant on this grant opportunity?
Answer 210:

Please refer to the eligible applicant criteria located in Section III.A of the FOA.

Question 211: I am wondering whether there is any PI limitation for this FOA. Can one institution submit one proposal as the lead institution and another as a contributing institution?
Answer 211:

Teaming arrangements are encouraged. The PI has to be from the primary Applicant organization.  An Applicant can submit more than one Application under one or more topic(s) of interest provided they are based on distinct concepts.

Question 212: In the “letter of intent”, we must provide a total required project budget. However, I’m relatively certain that we may need to “adjust” that project budget somewhat between the submittal of the letter of intent and the full application submittal. This is only because we’re waiting on project partners to pull together their own cost estimates that would be sub-components of our own total program, which I’m sure is understandable from all perspectives. My question is how much latitude or flexibility do we have in making those adjustments between the letter of intent and the full application submittal? Obviously, the less change between the two would be preferred, but can you provide some guidance for us on what is and is not acceptable?
Answer 212:

The project budget included with the Letter of Intent is an estimate only.  There are no budget variance parameters between the Letter of Intent and the final application. 

Question 213: I am writing on behalf of a faculty member at a University who will be submitting a proposal to the DOE Innovative Manufacturing Initiative program, which will come through our Sponsored Projects Admin. office. As we understand the proposal guidelines, these will be submitted via the EERE-eXCHANGE. We have not come across this submission portal and wondered if we have to register as a University in order to submit.
Answer 213:

Please refer to Section IV.H of the FOA.  For further instructions, please refer to the "EERE eXCHANGE User Guide" which can be accessed at the "Manual " section in the left-hand margin at the following link: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/

Question 214: I have a question regarding the cost sharing requirement for DE-FOA-0000560. What is the level of commitment required from an organization providing the funds and when does that commitment need to be finalized? Specifically, we have strong buy-in from another government agency who may potentially provide the cost shared funds. However, given the current budget uncertainty, it’s not clear when they would be able to officially commit the funding.
Answer 214:

If cost share is required, you must have a letter from each third party contributing cost share stating that the third party is committed to providing a specific minimum dollar amount of cost share.  All Letters of Commitment must be attached as an Appendix to the Project Narrative File and submitted with all other required application documents.  Please refer to Section III.B and Appendix C for cost share information and Section IV.C.7 for information required in the Letters of Commitment. 

Question 215: I'm interested in submitting a proposal at TRL 2 - 3 level in responding to "DE-FOA-0000560: Innovative Manufacturing Initiative and I have a question on budget planning. Suppose this is a three-partner proposal involving 1) an university, 2) a national lab, and 3) a private industry. The cost share waiver is permitted for 1& 2 but not for 3. Suppose the estimated budget for DOE is $1 million and the total budget is $1.2 million, does that mean that partner 3 (the private industry) should contribute a 20% cost share, e.g. $0.24 million, in the final budget?
Answer 215:

The cost share waiver applies only to the work and budget of the types of organizations eligible for the waiver, and not to the work and budgets of other team member organizations who are not included in the waiver.  See Appendix C and Section III.B for the applicable cost sharing requirements, cost share waiver information and how cost share is calculated.

Question 216: Does the EERE led FOA for Innovative Manufacturing represent the Innovative Manufacturing efforts for the entire DOE? 2. Will the EERE led FOA for Innovative Manufacturing preferentially select projects aligned with historical EERE project areas? 3. Will the EERE led FOA for Innovative Manufacturing exclude projects that are solely or primarily focused in technologies typically lead by other DOE organizations (fossil energy, nuclear energy, etc.)?
Answer 216:

The FOA has been issued by the Industrial Technologies Program of EERE. ITP will evaluate, select and fund projects that best meet the FOA goals discussed in Section I of the FOA based on the Merit Review Criteria and Program Policy Factors listed under Section V of the FOA and availability of funds.

 

Question 217: 1) I prepared a short abstract and would like to receive your feedback on whether the proposed R&D program fits the scope of this initiative. 2) The proposal PI institute is [Name removed], my question is whether it is permitted to purchasing equipment in the program (for example, a $150K multilayer lamination machine).
Answer 217:

1) It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA.

2) Costs related to equipment will not be prohibited unless the costs are not adequately justified, or if they are unallowable according to the applicable Cost Principles.  For a reference to the applicable Cost Principles for each entity type, please see Appendix C of the FOA.  As stated in Section IV.C.7. of the FOA, the applicant must, as part of its budget justification, " Provide a list of equipment and cost of each item providing a basis of cost such as vendor quotes, catalog prices, prior invoices, etc., and briefly justifying its need as it applies to the project objectives.

Question 218: We have a PI that is submitting a letter of intent to the following solicitation, DE-FOA-0000560, “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative.” Is there a maximum percentage of the budget that the subaward is able to receive?
Answer 218:

No, there is no limit to either the dollar amount or percentage of project funds that may be subcontracted by the primary applicant to a subcontractor that meets the eligibility requirements in Section III.A of the FOA.  Not more than 20% of the total estimated DOE funding can be provided to entities that do not meet the eligibility criteria. 

Question 219: The Innovative Manufacturing Initiative DE-FOA-0000560 was initially published under the heading Fuel Cell Technology Program. Is the program limited to Fuel Cells only?
Answer 219:

No, the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative DE-FOA-0000560 was NOT initially published under the heading Fuel Cell Technology Program. Please review the FOA for its scope.

Question 220: Will there be a teleconference and/or Q&A session for this grant, like many at EDA and other agencies, during which we can ask questions of agency staff?
Answer 220:

DOE will not be holding a teleconference or Q&A session for this FOA.  Please submit any questions to the mailbox indicated in the FOA.

 

Question 221: We are interested in submitting a letter of intent for this funding opportunity, but have never submitted one before. Can you tell me how this is accomplished? Do we have to register to submit a Letter of Intent?
Answer 221:

Please refer to Section IV.B for information required in the Letter of Intent.  In eXCHANGE, "concept paper" is the same as the Letter of Intent that is required for this FOA. In order to submit a Letter of Intent in the eXCHANGE system for this FOA, you must click the action button that states "Create Concept Paper" after filling out your Letter of Intent required information.

Please refer to the Section IV.H for instructions regarding registration procedures.

Question 222: We notice that the full report link to Modification 003 is the same file as was linked to Modification 002. We also notice that Modification 003 indicates “current closing date of 8/25/2011”; whereas Modification 002 indicates” current closing date of 10/5/2011”. Can you clarify/advise accordingly and direct us to Modification 003 for full review, which will be helpful?
Answer 222:

Prior Modifications in Grants.gov will not reflect the closing date or Letter of Intent date change on the Synopsis page.  However, the modified date change is reflected when accessing the Announcement from the Grants.gov home page via the hyperlink to the Announcement.   Also, the Description section of the Synopsis page (using this same hyperlink) will reflect the modified dates along with the amended FOA which can be located at the eXCHANGE hyperlink: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov

Question 223: Are industry participants allowed to use DOD labs (vs. DOE FFRDC’s) as subcontractors under this solicitation? If so, will the DOD lab receive their funding directly from DOE, as is the case with DOE FFRDCs?
Answer 223:

While the eligibility language does not explicitly list Laboratories of Federal agencies other than DOE as eligible entities, DOE's intent is to have the funding opportunity announcement open to all types of entities, including other Federal agency Laboratories. While non-DOE Laboratories are not excluded from eligibility, the Laboratory must establish that it is authorized to carry out the activities under the proposed project and accept funds from another agency. If a non-DOE Laboratory applies as a lead applicant, the Federal agency sponsoring the Laboratory must authorize in writing the use of the Laboratory on the proposed project and this authorization must be submitted with the application.  The following wording is acceptable for this authorization: “Authorization is granted for the _____________ Laboratory to participate in the proposed project.  The work proposed for the laboratory is consistent with or complementary to the missions of the laboratory and will not adversely impact execution of the DOE assigned programs at the laboratory. THIS LABORATORY IS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE WORK PROPOSED IN THE APPLICATION SUBMITTED UNDER DOE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT # DE-FOA-0000560 BY THE FOLLOWING STATUTORY AUTHORITY [insert Statute name, citation, and section]____________.”  DOE reserves the right to contact the applicant to further clarify whether the applicant has the necessary authority.

DOE will fund the Laboratory through an interagency agreement with the agency.

Question 224: If TRL 2-5 (we are ignoring TRL 6 since we don’t have the cost sharing funds for this yet) can be done in one year, must we still create two separate SF 424A excel budgets (i.e. one budget for TRL 2-3 and one for TRL 4-5)? I believe we can use the “Project Time Table” Section in the Narrative to link the activities in the budget with the appropriate TRL.
Answer 224:

The FOA has a provision for cost share waiver for certain types of organizations for TRL 2-3 activities, but not for TRL 4-6 activities. That is why separate budgets are required. If your organization and your team partners are not eligible for any cost share waiver for any TRL activity, and you are proposing same cost share level (%) for all your TRL 2-5 activities that you plan to complete in one year, then you need not submit separate budget forms for the TRL 2-3 and TRL 4-5 activities.

 

 

Question 225: I have a question about the Merit Review section in the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative FOA. Criterion 3 specifically addresses “Technical Approach and Project Management Plan.” The third bullet in that part asks for “adequacy, reasonableness, and soundness of the proposed project management plan… for accomplishment of the project objectives.” Yet so far I’ve been unable to find any section of the FOA that specifically requests submission of a Project Management Plan. Have I overlooked such a section requiring a PMP, and if so where is that located? Otherwise, should we create a Project Management Plan as an appendix to our full application, or include it in some other section of the actual narrative submission?
Answer 225:

Under Merit Review Criterion 3 in Section V.A.2 of the FOA, the parenthetic statement in the third bullet indicates what kind of Project Management Plan information the Applicant should submit for evaluation. The FOA does not ask for a separate Project Management Plan document. The Applicants should use their judgment as to whether to provide this as a separate section of Project Narrative or at appropriate places in other sections. Cross referencing may be used to save space. The Project Narrative is limited to 25 pages and the Project Management Plan information has to be included within that limit.

 

Question 226: Regarding capital equipment expenditures, I understand any and all equipment purchases must be justified in the budget. I was wondering if there are any limits or percentage caps on the amount of grant money spent on capital equipment by a for-profit entity?
Answer 226:

There are no pre-established thresholds related to percentage caps or money expended for capital equipment.  Costs related to equipment will not be prohibited unless the costs are not adequately justified, or if they are unallowable according to the applicable Cost Principles.  For a reference to the applicable Cost Principles for each entity type, please see Appendix C of the FOA. 

Question 227: I have a quick question in regards to the Registration Process Requirement of the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative Amendment. I was reading page 22, subject H section 2 where it lists 4 different registration requirements in order to be considered an eligible applicant. Is it a requirement to have all four registrations completed before the letter of intent is to be submitted by the September 1, 2011 date? The registration requirements listed in section H are: EERE eXCHANGE, DUNS number, CCR and FedConnect. Also is there a direct person and number I could reach if I have any further questions? Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Answer 227:

While it is not required to be registered in all required systems before the Letter of Intent is submitted, we strongly suggest that all required registration materials be submitted to the respective entities as soon as possible.  Please refer Section IV.H of the FOA:

      Beside the eXCHANGE registration system, which does not have a delay, these registration requirements could take several weeks to       process and are necessary in order for a potential applicant to receive an award under this announcement. Therefore, although not      required in order to submit an Application through the EERE eXCHANGE site, all potential applicants lacking a DUNS number, or not      yet registered with CCR or FedConnect should complete those registrations as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, DE-FOA-0000560, “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative”, is a competitive solicitation and private discussions while the announcement is open are prohibited. 

Question 228: A team is currently applying for another DOE funding opportunity that may have partial overlap with an envisioned scope of work for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative. Are there limitations to what may be proposed based on the potential award of the other grant or is this an issue resolved post-award with contracting officers to avoid duplicative funding? The overlap may be avoided entirely if appropriate, but inclusion will provide a more complete project.
Answer 228:

A complete project should be proposed, with all required tasks, within the budget and time limit specified in FOA. There are no application limitations based on the potential award of other grants. 

Question 229: 1) Does Company A need to be incorporated before the letter of intent or application deadline? 2) Can there be two lead applicants? 3) Are there any potential problems with Company A providing the cost share to Company B only? Could the cost share be an equity investment in Company B, or does it have to be cash/in-kind/equipment? 4) Can the application be made to more than one topic areas or it has to be directed to a specific topic area? Is there a reason to choose one sub-area over another?
Answer 229:

1. The Applicant has to be a legally established entity. Refer to Section III.A for Eligibility Information.

 

2. There can be only one lead Applicant.

 

3. Refer to Section III.B and Appendix C in the FOA for information about what qualifies as cost share.

 

4. Even if your technology addresses two subtopics equally, you have to choose and designate only one subtopic in the Letter of Intent and in the Application. Please indicate in the Project Summary and at appropriate places in the Project Narrative, the applicability to the second subtopic. After completing the initial compliance review of the Application, DOE will determine whether the Application fits better with the designated subtopic or the other subtopic for merit review and evaluation.

 

Question 230: Is the (FOA), DE-FOA-0000560 “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative,” a federal contracting opportunity or a federal grant opportunity? We wish to involve the appropriate internal staff and procedures.
Answer 230:

Please refer to Section II.A of the FOA.

Question 231: I plan to lead a DOE proposal on Innovative Manufacturing Initiative. For the "Lead Organization Percent Effort", is this based on the budget? If it is, is the in-kind support from the companies include in the % calculation.
Answer 231:

Percent of effort is based upon the budget. 

In-kind costs for the project can be considered as cost sharing, as long as the costs are allowable under the cost principles applicable to the type of entity incurring the costs.  Please see Appendix C in the FOA for the references to the applicable cost principles.  All costs for the project must to be accounted for in the budget.

Question 232: For clarification: Is the maximum DoE share listed on page 10 for the whole project and not for each year?
Answer 232:

The maximum DOE share is for the entire project.  Applicants should propose a budget that is consistent with the proposed activities and duration.  All funding is subject to the availability of annual appropriations.

Question 233: Concerning this funding opportunity: Only one topic area of interest (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 2A,…) per submittal?
Answer 233:

If an Application proposes development of a technology that would potentially meet the goals of more than one subtopic, only one Application should be submitted.  Applicants should not submit multiple applications based on the same concept but under different subtopics.

Even if your technology addresses two or more subtopics equally, you have to choose and designate only one subtopic in the Letter of Intent and in the Application. Please indicate in the Project Summary and at appropriate places in the Project Narrative, the applicability to the other subtopic(s). After completing the initial compliance review of the Application, DOE will determine whether the Application fits better with the designated subtopic or the other subtopic for merit review and evaluation. 

Question 234: I am working with on an application for the above announcement with a research team at [Name removed]. The PI is aware that the application can fit into more than one Topic/Subtopic, but he wanted to discuss this with a program officer. Is there any way this might be possible?
Answer 234:

Unfortunately, DE-FOA-0000560, “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative”, is a competitive solicitation and private discussions while the announcement is open are prohibited. 

Question 235: I am trying to find where to submit the letter of intent. It is bringing me to the concept paper is this the letter of intent?
Answer 235:

For submission of Letter of Intent, use the Concept Paper buttons on the EXCHANGE website. Answer the questions on the main page and other tabs, as appropriate. In the Abstract box, provide a brief one paragraph description of the project. Prepare a separate Letter of Intent (LOI) document that provides all the requested information found in Section IV.B of FOA. Upload this LOI to EXCHANGE under the 'Upload and Submit' tab. Be sure to note the Control Number, as it will be required later to submit the Application.

Question 236: What is the difference between the “Team Members” and the “Key Participants”?
Answer 236:

Key Personnel" means individuals who will have significant roles in planning and implementing the proposed Project on the part of the Applicant and Participants, including FFRDCs.

 

Team Members" are entities collaborating on the project.

Question 237: The Innovative Manufacturing Initiative announcement document includes an appendix describing how to value in-kind cost sharing. However, there is no description of how to value commercially available software contributed to the project. Can you provide any guidance in this area (e.g. would the software be treated as a depreciable asset and the cost per year be the 3 year depreciation cost based on the commercial sales price)?
Answer 237:

Please refer to the Cost Principles applicable to your organization. References to the cost principles are found in Appendix C in the FOA.

Question 238: Q1: Can more than one proposal (application) be submitted? Q2: Can in-kind matching be used?
Answer 238:

A:1

An Applicant can submit more than one Application under one or more topic(s) of interest provided they are based on distinct concepts.  Please refer to Section IV.B and C for further guidance.

A:2

In-kind costs for the project can be considered as cost sharing, as long as the costs are allowable under the cost principles applicable to the type of entity incurring the costs.  Please see Appendix C in the FOA for the references to the applicable cost principles.  All costs for the project need to be accounted for in the budget.

Question 239: My question pertains to section “D. Proprietary Application Information” in DE-FOA-0000560 (pg. 29 & 30). Our narrative will contain multiple pages with proprietary data. In fact, for certain pages the entire page will be proprietary. In this case, may we include the legend statement, i.e. “The following contains proprietary information that (name of applicant) requests not be released to persons outside the Government, except for purposes of review and evaluation”, in the header (instead of placing this legend before each paragraph)? This would allow us to use space more efficiently (eliminates duplication) and for the document to flow better.
Answer 239:

The regulations on the proper method of marking proprietary information in a proposal has recently be revised.  In view of this revision, Applicants may follow the instructions as set forth in the FOA in Section VIII(D) or as set forth in 10 CFR 600.15.  Under 10 CFR 600.15, Applicants may mark the proprietary information using brackets, highlighting, or other identification means (see 10 600.15(b)(ii)(B)) (May 9, 2011).

 

Question 240: For the development of an innovative design methodology for sustainable manufacturing, does the evaluation criterion 2 (energy productivity (in trillion BTU/yr)) apply? That is, sustainable manufacturing design tools must be developed without the definition of how much energy will be saved.
Answer 240:

All applications will be evaluated against all merit review criteria and sub-criteria shown in Section V.A.  All sub-criteria (bullets) under a particular criterion are of equal importance.

 

Question 241: I am aware that you have posted a reply to this email on your FAQ page. However, I do not believe I have a satisfactory answer. I have read Appendix C of the FOA carefully, but I am still unclear on one point: The funds we wish to use for cost-sharing will come to us from a state agency. They are not federal funds but state funds. However, this state agency receives its funding from a federal grant. Does this mean this funding is eligible for cost-sharing?
Answer 241:

If funds originate from a Federal source, these funds are not allowed as cost share.  If proposed, the Applicant would have to prove it has lost its Federal status (e.g. documentation from the State Comptroller).

Question 242: This is our company’s first submission in a DOE-sponsored solicitation. I was reading your User’s Guide and it indicates in para 1.2.4 that we must await a response from EERE after submitting our Letter of Intent. After reading Amendment 002, Section IV, Para B, it appears that we do not have to await a response from EERE. Can you please confirm?
Answer 242:

  

You will receive an immediate response indicating that your Letter of Intent was received once it has been submitted via Exchange.  Once the Letter of Intent deadline passes, DOE will verify that all information required in Section IV.B is provided in the uploaded Letter of Intent.  If DOE verifies compliance with Section IV.B, you will be able to access the “Full Application” section of Exchange and upload your completed application documents.

Question 243: Are DOD entities eligible to apply for funding under the subject FOA?
Answer 243:

 

While the eligibility language does not explicitly list Federal agencies as eligible entities, DOE's intent is to have the funding opportunity announcement open to all types of entities, including other Federal agencies. While other Federal agencies are not excluded from eligibility, the agency must establish that it is authorized to carry out the activities under the proposed project and accept funds from another agency. If a Federal agency applies as a lead applicant, a cognizant Contracting Officer from the federal entity must submit a signed legal opinion that lists its statutory authority to carry out the proposed project, explains how it would meet the statutory authority under the proposed project, and explains the authority by which the agency can accepts federal funds from another agency (i.e., explain how accepting the award would not be considered supplanting funds). The opinion should include the following acknowledgement, "THIS AGENCY IS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE WORK PROPOSED IN THE APPLICATION SUBMITTED UNDER DOE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT # DE-FOA-0000560 BY THE FOLLOWING STATUTORY AUTHORITY [insert Statute name, citation, and section]____________.” DOE reserves the right to contact the applicant to further clarify whether the applicant has the necessary authority.

 

If the federal agency applies as the prime or as a sub-recipient, DOE will fund the federal agency through an interagency agreement with the agency.

 

Question 244: Does the letter of intent go through any review process, for example, is some approval required to go forward with a full proposal?
Answer 244:

You will receive an immediate response indicating that your Letter of Intent was received once it has been submitted via Exchange.  Once the Letter of Intent deadline passes, DOE will verify that all information required in Section IV.B is provided in the uploaded Letter of Intent.  If DOE verifies compliance with Section IV.B, you will be able to access the “Full Application” section of Exchange and upload your completed application documents.

Question 245: Could you please clarify DOE’s interpretation of the difference between “prototype” (as mentioned in TRL-6) and “pilot” (as mentioned in TRL-7)? I cannot locate this information online.
Answer 245:

The goal of this FOA is to support research and development of innovative manufacturing processes and materials (TRL 2-6) but not their commercial demonstration and deployment (TRL 7 and above). The minimum 20% cost share determination is based on this.  The usage of terms “pilot” plant or “prototype” plant to designate a smaller size “model” of a commercial plant is organization dependent.  For the purpose of this FOA, verification of use and /or optimization of an innovative material or manufacturing process, under a relevant environment (one machine in a manufacturing plant, a slip stream in a chemical plant, an independent small plant integrating various systems of the new technology, etc. ) would be considered a TRL 6 activity. In contrast, TRL 7 activity will include operation of an integrated system of a sufficient size to minimize scale up risk, to generate early manufacturing data for the commercial plant, to demonstrate system reliability, to produce prototype products for market acceptance, etc.  A significant amount of automation is expected at the completion of TRL 7 if the cost model for full scale ramp requires it.  Round the clock production (at least for a relevant duration) is expected to discover any unexpected issues that might occur during scale up and ramp. Supporting information includes results from the full-scale testing and analysis of the differences between the test environment, and analysis of what the experimental results mean for the eventual operating system/environment. Final design is virtually complete.   The goal of TRL 7 is to retire engineering and manufacturing risk.  To credibly achieve this goal and exit TRL 7, scale is required as many significant engineering and manufacturing issues can surface during the transition between TRL 6 and 7.

 

 

Question 246: Does the program office have a preference that awards be firm fixed price, cost plus or time and materials?
Answer 246:

Federal Financial Assistance provided by this Funding Opportunity Announcement will issued in the form of an Assistance Agreement, not a Contract (see section II.A of the FOA). Reimbursement of actual costs will only include those costs that are allowable and allocable to the project as determined in accordance with the applicable cost principles prescribed in 10 CFR 600.127, 10 CFR 600.222 or 10 CFR 600.317. In specific regards to Fee or Profit, no increment above actual costs may be paid to a recipient or subrecipient under a DOE Financial Assistance award or subaward.

Question 247: Could you please tell me if the proposed funding for this program is part of the "Next Generation Manufacturing Processes" heading within the Department of Energy's FY2012 Congressional budget request? If not, could you please tell me which part of the budget request this funding is proposed to come from?
Answer 247:

As noted in the FOA, any awards funded pursuant to the FOA are subject to annual appropriations.  Currently, we are unaware of our final budget based under Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 funds, as Congress must still finalize the budget for DOE and the Industrial Technologies Program (ITP).

Question 248: How important is it to include potential team member in the LOI? Our letter lists organizations however we are unsure of the contacts or dollar amounts.
Answer 248:

The main purpose for extending the due date for submission of Letter of Intent (LOI) is to give the prospective Applicants ample time to firm up their teaming arrangements and budget plans. However, the LOI information is for planning purpose only. Even after submission of LOI, an applicant may make changes, to its teaming arrangement, work distribution, and budget if it becomes necessary.

Question 249: We have a project currently in TRL 6 and will be applying for funding. There is a possibility that the project could be in TRL 7 by the time the selection of the award is announced. What would happen if we had already moved into TRL 7 after the application was filed but before we were granted funding or received money? Will the costs incurred before the announcement of the awards be eligible for reimbursement if we end up being selected for the award?
Answer 249:

The FOA clearly states that only TRL 2-6 activities will be funded. Thus, TRL 6 activities are eligible but TRL 7 activities are not. Please see FAQs for clarification on TRL 6 and 7 activities. Only the activities proposed in the Application will be approved for funding if an Application is selected for award. Please refer to Section IV.G for information regarding Pre-Award costs.

Question 250: Is there a limitation on the number of partners and/or contractors on the project that will receive DOE funding from this project? 2. Is there a requirement on how the funding must be divided between the prime recipient, partners and/or contractors? 4. We understand the purpose of the funding is for new manufacturing processes, technologies, and materials that drastically reduce energy use in manufacturing without sacrificing product quality, production throughput, or system economics. Could we please get some feedback on the topic area that we’re currently discussing for possible submission under Topic 2? 3. The 20% matching requirement for profit organizations, can this be met by way of matching funds or does the balance have to be carried solely by the profit organization? Is “In Kind” matching permitted?
Answer 250:

 1. There is no limit on the number of partners and/or contractors. 

 2. Also, there is no limit to either the dollar amount or percentage of project funds that may be subcontracted by the primary applicant to a subcontractor that meets the eligibility requirements in Section III.A of the FOA.  Not more than 20% of the total estimated DOE funding can be provided to entities that do not meet the eligibility criteria. 

3. In-kind costs for the project can be considered as cost sharing, as long as the costs are allowable under the cost principles applicable to the type of entity incurring the costs.  Please see Appendix C in the FOA for the references to the applicable cost principles.  All costs for the project need to be accounted for in the budget.

By accepting Federal funds under this award, the Prime Recipient/Consortium Lead agrees to be responsible for any subrecipient/Consortium Member cost share requirements if the subrecipient/Consortium Member does not meet its cost share requirements.

4. DOE cannot provide any feedback on whether a proposed idea meets the FOA objectives, until a full Application is received and reviewed following the procedure specified in Section V of the FOA.
Question 251: If we plan to file another patent application before filing for the FOA (on October 5, 2011), would it make a difference if we file before the Letter of intent is sent or before full application deadline? Will our patent rights be affected in any way? 2. The project updates and reports that we would need to provide would include propriety information from our clients. In this case, would this data be protected by the 'special protected data statute'?
Answer 251:

       

(1) It is highly recommended that each applicant consult independent legal counsel to determine the best means to protect its interest in any intellectual property, including the filing of any patent application.  From DOE's perspective only, the filing of a patent application on a particular invention prior to an award will not impact whether DOE has rights to it.  The government will have certain statutory rights in any subject invention which is any invention that is conceived of or first actually reduced to practice under a DOE award regardless if a patent application was filed on the invention prior to the award. 

 Again, an applicant should consult its legal counsel to figure out how to best protect its interest in any intellectual property it intends to use in connection with an award.  For more information regarding intellectual property rights and DOE awards, please see Section VIII(F) of the FOA 'Intellectual Property Developed under this Program.'

 

(2) DOE typically does not ask for proprietary data that was generated outside of the award at private expense.  If delivery of such proprietary data is necessary, DOE will provide the necessary marking or notice requirements and DOE would protect the proprietary data from public disclosure.  All data first generated under the award are not considered proprietary data and DOE has unlimited rights to it.  However, for this FOA, DOE through the special protected data statute has agreed to protect certain data first generated under the award from public disclosure for 5 years from the date the data were generated.  Please see Section VIII(F) of the FOA 'Intellectual Property Developed under this Program" for more information.

Question 252: When will the DOE Open the Portal to submit the Full Application for Innovative Manufacturing Initiative FOA - 0000560 ? Will DOE wait until after the newly 30 day extended Date for Letter of Intent to expire , before Opening the Portal for Full Application Submittal ? We have Completed our Full Application and are ready to Submit to DOE
Answer 252:

You will receive an immediate response indicating that your Letter of Intent was received once it has been submitted via Exchange.  Once the Letter of Intent deadline passes, DOE will verify that all information required in Section IV.B is provided in the uploaded Letter of Intent.  If DOE verifies compliance with Section IV.B, you will be able to access the “Full Application” section of Exchange and upload your completed application documents.

Question 253: I am contacting you on behalf of [name removed] regarding the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative Grant. I was wondering if there was a specific format or certain topics that should be addressed in our letter of intent? Also, if there is a certain file format that would be preferred? Another question I have is regarding the product description in the application. Is there a certain structure or format for this required field? Is there a limit on the number of characters?
Answer 253:

Refer to Section IV.B for information required to be contained in the Letter of Intent.

Letters of Intent should be uploaded in Adobe PDF format.

There is no "Product Description" required field.

Question 254: There is no mention in the FOA about the duration of pre-award costs eligible for reimbursement. Would costs incurred in the phase between application filing and before the notice of selection be eligible for reimbursement? Is there any procedure that needs to be followed for securing permission for this?
Answer 254:

Please refer to Section IV.G for information regarding pre-award costs.

Question 255: If the planned project would take substantially less than 3 years to complete, could the full amount of funding granted be made available more quickly (say, in 1 or 1 1/2 years, if all milestones are achieved within that window)?
Answer 255:

Please refer to Section II.E for information regarding the period of performance and an explanation of budget periods.  If the application is selected for an award, length of budget periods will be discussed in the negotiation stage.    

 

Question 256: In our proposal, we plan to build a prototype system/process. This will require purchasing several “components” to build the system. Some of these components are large expenditures themselves (e.g. $250,000 for one piece of the system). These components will not be used individually as pieces of equipment but rather they are components that will make up the final prototype system. Should these items be listed as Supplies or as Equipment in the budget? Are there any limits, rules, restrictions on the amount of money/budget that can be spent on equipment or supplies (components) to build a prototype system?
Answer 256:

The costs of proposed individual components that will be purchased to build the prototype system should be grouped under Equipment or Supplies following the guideline provided in Appendix D of the FOA. If the purchased cost of a "component" is more than $5,000 and its expected useful life is more than one year, it is considered an Equipment.

Costs related to equipment will not be prohibited unless the costs are not adequately justified, or if they are unallowable according to the applicable Cost Principles.  For a reference to the applicable Cost Principles for each entity type, please see Appendix C of the FOA.  As stated in Section IV.C.7. of the FOA, the applicant must, as part of its budget justification, "Provide a list of equipment and cost of each item providing a basis of cost such as vendor quotes, catalog prices, prior invoices, etc., and briefly justifying its need as it applies to the project objectives."

Question 257: I could not locate any instructions regarding indirect costs in the FOA announcement including Appendix D Budget Justification. Can you please explain the rules regarding indirect costs? Can indirect cost be applied to all categories including labor, fringe, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual and other direct costs? What are the limits regarding indirect cost rates/amounts?
Answer 257:

Applicants may include Indirect costs in their proposed budget. However, indirect costs must be allowable in accordance with the applicable Federal cost principles referenced in 10 CFR Part 600.  The cost principles for commercial organizations are in FAR Part 31.   

Question 258: Is there a limit to the number of submissions from a single organization?
Answer 258:

There is no limit on the number of submissions from a single organization.  However, applicants should not submit multiple applications based on the same concept but under different subtopics. 

Question 259: I am a researcher at [Name removed] national lab. We are planning to work with a small private company and submit a proposal in response to DE-FOA-0000560: Innovative Manufacturing Initiative . From the language included in the guidance, as a national lab, we are excluded from the cost-share requirements. However, we are not sure as to what is needed as a cost-share from our partner.
Answer 259:

Please refer to Appendix C, Cost Share Information, Cost Share Waiver:

“In the event that a selected project includes subrecipients that are not the same type of entity as the prime recipient, then the applicability of the cost share waiver is dependent upon the entity type of each subrecipient.  

 Recipients and subrecipients not eligible for the cost share waiver as defined above must provide at least 20% of that Recipient or subrecipient’s allowable project costs (i.e. the sum of the DOE share and the Recipient or subrecipient’s share of allowable costs equals the allowable project cost) which must come from non-Federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law.”

Question 260: I have been unable to find a more detailed description of the Technology Readiness Levels on the eere web site. I found a quite comprehensive and detailed description of them on Brookhaven National Lab’s web site (link: Technology Readiness Levels Explanations ), and they are consistent with the brief descriptions in the FOA, but I would like to see an official detailed description. Is the description on BNL’s website correct, or does the EERE site have a description somewhere?
Answer 260:

Technology Readiness Levels are used by many organizations. While they generally use same 9 levels (TRL 1 - 9) to identify progress from basic research stage to fully commercialized status, the detailed definition of each TRL may vary based on the industry, process and/or product. The cited link to BNL uses examples based on PV cells. Since the Industrial Technology Program covers a wide range of processes, products and technologies, it has adopted the broad, high-level TRL definitions used by EERE, but not detailed definitions or examples used by other programs. The IMI FOA is very broad in scope, addressing both materials and manufacturing processes, but it will support only applied research and development activities through a meaningful integrated system stage (TRL 2-6). The FOA will not support basic research (TRL 1) and will not support commercial demonstration plants aimed at retiring engineering and market risks (TRL 7). Please refer to previous FAQs under this FOA for further discussion on difference between TRL 6 and TRL 7.

 

Question 261: Can the TRL level be applied as 3-5 now and later during second year upgraded to TRL 6 if project results encourages to do so?
Answer 261:

It is suggested that the Applications include all planned activities at all acceptable TRLs for the total duration of the project and present the total estimated budget. Decision points, critical review criteria, or go/no-go criteria that show how the project will progress from one level to the next should be quantifiable to the largest extent possible and discussed in the Project Narrative.

 

 

Question 262: If an FFRDC is providing technical work on the project as in-kind support (i.e. no money flows from the DOE or the lead organization to the FFRDC), does the lead organization need to count the value of such support towards the total project cost for the purpose of calculating the required cost-shared amount?
Answer 262:

If a subrecipient performs work estimated to be more than $100,000 or 50% of the total work effort (whichever is less) then that subrecipient is required to submit a budget and budget justification regardless of whether the work is being funded through cost sharing or by DOE.  Additionally, if a subrecipient is providing any cost share (either in the form of cash or an in-kind contribution) then that subrecipient must provide a letter of commitment.  In-kind support must be valued (see Appendix C – Cost Share Information, What Qualifies For Cost Sharing) from an FFRDC and applied to the applicable cost share requirements regardless if money is or is not transferred from DOE (or the lead organization) to the FFRDC.

Question 263: Can a pre-application be written based on food manufacturing, which contains the additional required elements listed within the funding opportunity notice?
Answer 263:

Pre-applications are not being accepted for this FOA.  It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.

Question 264: Could you please define the requirements for US entity. We are intending to submit a letter of intent for the “Transformational Manufacturing Technologies and Innovative Materials” program. One of the partners is located in the US but the main shareholder is German. They can build the apparatus here or in Germany, are they allowed to build it in Germany for US installation?
Answer 264:

Please refer to Section III.A, Eligible Applicants, in the FOA.  It is referenced here for your convenience:

 An eligible applicant is: 1) a legal entity established pursuant to United States Federal or State laws, with operations in the United States or its Territories or 2) a foreign legal entity having a place of business in the United States or its Territories.  An eligible entity must be able to demonstrate that its use of DOE funds will be in the economic interests of the United States, including, for example: creation of domestic manufacturing capability; use of American products, materials or labor; payment of United States taxes; or United States technological advancements.  

Question 265: I intend to submit a proposal for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative supported by the DOE. I have a question regarding my qualification for the cost sharing waiver. In the event that I am awarded funding, I intend to conduct the proposed work as an independent researcher (self-employed) in laboratory space leased out by the University of [redacted]. In this scenario, would I qualify for the cost sharing waiver, since, aside from paying myself a salary there is no “for-profit” activity and second the work will be conducted at a university?
Answer 265:

Only the following Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3:  institutions of higher education, U.S. National Laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and non-profit organizations (as defined in 10 CFR 600.3).  Note that the waiver applies only to the work and budget of these four types of organizations, and not to the work and budgets of other team member organizations who are not included in the waiver. Please also refer to Section III.A of the FOA for information regarding eligibility. 

Question 266: What is the goal of the letter of intent? Which audience will read it?
Answer 266:

Letters of Intent will be used by DOE to plan for the merit review process. The Letters do not commit an applicant to submit an application.  However, applicants must submit a Letter of Intent by the Due Date to be eligible to submit a Full Application. 

Question 267: I am an employee of a 60 staff for-profit Solar Distributor/Installer. We are looking to partner with our state's renewable energy non-profit organization. Furthermore, this partnership is actively seeking authorization to act on behalf of the City of __________, which has a population greater than 500,000. My question is this: If the City supports the partnership proposed above, is the renewable energy non-profit organization eligible to be the head applicant for this funding opportunity?
Answer 267:

As stated in section III.A of the FOA, non-profit or for-profit entities authorized to act on behalf of a consortia of state and/or local governments, are eligible to apply as the lead applicant.

Question 268: Our LOI has been submitted. As we continue to work on the proposal with our partners, there have been some changes to our plans. Some partner POCs have changed, and other potential partners have decided not to participate after all. As a result, our budget is also changing. How closely must the final proposal reflect these points as they were stated in the LOI?
Answer 268:

For the full application, it is permissible to change the budget, partners and points of contact from what was originally proposed in the letter of intent.  The final proposal participants must still meet the eligibility requirements set forth in section III.A of the FOA, but do not need to match the letter of intent exactly.

Question 269: Can a Prime recipient sub-contract with NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)?
Answer 269:

 While the eligibility language does not explicitly list Federal agencies as eligible entities, DOE's intent is to have the funding opportunity announcement open to all types of entities, including other Federal agencies. While other Federal agencies are not excluded from eligibility, the agency must establish that it is authorized to carry out the activities under the proposed project and accept funds from another agency. If a Federal agency applies as a lead applicant, a cognizant Contracting Officer from the federal entity must submit a signed legal opinion that lists its statutory authority to carry out the proposed project, explains how it would meet the statutory authority under the proposed project, and explains the authority by which the agency can accepts federal funds from another agency (i.e., explain how accepting the award would not be considered supplanting funds). The opinion should include the following acknowledgement, "THIS AGENCY IS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE WORK PROPOSED IN THE APPLICATION SUBMITTED UNDER DOE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT # DE-FOA-0000560 BY THE FOLLOWING STATUTORY AUTHORITY [insert Statute name, citation, and section]____________.” DOE reserves the right to contact the applicant to further clarify whether the applicant has the necessary authority.

Question 270: How exactly are the grant funds disbursed? I understand that funds are provided on a yearly basis, but is the money given upfront for the year or on a cost reimbursement basis? (2) What are the rules regarding access and ownership of equipment purchased with grant funds? Does the government reserve the right to access equipment? Who retains ownership of equipment after the project has concluded?
Answer 270:

1)  Please refer to 10 CFR Part 600.122, 10 CFR Part 600.221, 10 CFR Part 600.312 and Sections II.B and II.E of the FOA.  All funding is subject to the availability of annual appropriations.

2)  Please refer to 10 CFR Part 600.134. or 10 CFR part 600.232, or 10 CFR Part 600.321 depending on your particular entity classification.

Question 271: We plan on submitting a proposal under DE-FOA-0000560 “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative. Our partner is based in Canada and therefore subject to the 20% limit. Some of the materials we need to construct the prototype will be purchased from a foreign supplier as they are unavailable in the U.S. This foreign supplier is not our partner, but a third party. Are these purchases also subject to the 20% limitation? In other words, is there a made in the U.S. requirement?
Answer 271:

In aggregate, not more than 20% of the total estimated DOE funding may be provided to entities that do not meet the eligibility criteria in Section III.A of the FOA. This limit applies to all entities that do not meet the eligibility criteria.

Question 272: Is the minimum cost share requirement a proposal that strictly focuses on TRL 4 - 6 20%?
Answer 272:

Yes.

Question 273: Is the cost share same for TRL levels 2-3 and 4-6 and is it 80/20?
Answer 273:

This FOA requires 20% or higher cost share for all projects.  Certain Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3 only.  Please see Section III.B.2 for more information regarding the cost share waiver.

.

Question 274: I am writing in preparation of a letter of intent and grant application on behalf of a client of mine. I would like to receive guidance regarding funding for "technology readiness levels 7-9" and if those levels are eligible for funding under Innovative Manufacturing Initiative program.
Answer 274:

This FOA will only fund projects at levels TRL 2 through TRL 6.  Please refer to Section I of the FOA for additional information.

Question 275: One of our proposals includes one sub recipient that has TRL levels of 2&3 and the prime recipient has TRL levels of 5&6. Is the sub recipient's portion exempt from cost share, while the prime recipient's portion requires cost share? Thank you for your help.
Answer 275:

This FOA requires 20% or higher cost share for all projects.  Certain Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3 only.  Please see Section III.B for more information regarding cost share requirements and the cost share waiver. 

 

Question 276: When I access the https://eeer-exchange.energy .gov/ link to start the application, the only option provided is for the Letter of Intent . No option is provided to start building the application. Please advise
Answer 276:

You will be able to access the “Full Application” section of Exchange once the Letter of Intent deadline of 9/1/2011 has passed.  This does not prevent you from working on the required application documents, as listed in Section IV.C of the FOA.  Once the Letter of Intent deadline passes, you will be able to upload your completed application documents to Exchange if you have submitted a Letter of Intent.

Question 277: I have gone through and entered all the general information under the concept paper tabs that are required for the letter of intent and have been assigned a control number. However, when I get to the submit page it says upload letter of intent file? Do I need to include all of the required letter of intent items that I just input in the general sections into a separate document to upload and submit?
Answer 277:

Yes 

Question 278: Will DOE award any contracts for TRL3 to TRL6 versus TRL 4 to 6?
Answer 278: As stated in Section II of the FOA, there is no predetermined goal for number of awards by TRL.  Only requirement is that the project activities should be at TRL 2 - 6. 
Question 279: In the application process, there is a 20% matching funds requirement. Could you please give me examples of what would count as matching funds? Must it be in the nature of actual funds payable for various costs within the project? Or could the administrative hours of the team managing the project count towards the 20% requirement? If so, what hourly rate should be assigned to project management costs?
Answer 279:

Please see Appendix C in the FOA for cost share information and requirements. 

Question 280: We have a question regarding the wording in subtopic 2B “Highly Functional, High Performance Materials”. The section states that the goal is to “develop and deploy advanced industrial materials that improve performance (by at least 50%) of energy production and energy transfer equipment”. Can you please define “energy production” and “energy transfer equipment”?
Answer 280: It is not the intent of the FOA to be prescriptive and restrictive by defining words.  Some examples of highly-functional, high-performance materials are included in the FOA as a guideline.  The prospective applicants can propose development of these and other innovative materials for any energy production and energy transfer equipment (for example, combustion systems and heat exchangers) that they believe will meet the FOA goals and Merit Review Criteria. 
Question 281: As of today, there is no indication on the My Submission page of EERE eXCHANGE whether we are encouraged to submit a full application; the submission status is “Submitted - Edits Allowed”. With the deadline for full application quickly approaching, we would appreciate any news on progress of our submission.
Answer 281:

Please keep current on FOA Amendments and FAQs. The due dates for submission of LOI and Application have been revised. DOE does not provide feedback on Letters of Intent. Once the Letter of Intent deadline passes, DOE will verify that all information required in Section IV.B is provided in the uploaded Letter of Intent.  If DOE verifies compliance with Section IV.B, you will be able to access the “Full Application” section of Exchange and upload your completed application documents. 

Question 282: Is University overhead eligible as cost sharing?
Answer 282:

Please refer to Appendix C – Cost Share Information in the FOA. 

Question 283: In consideration of the “Other Selection Criteria”, to what degree (highly, slightly, not at all, or negatively) does DOE-ITP consider validation and test activities synergistic to, or in extension of, those within other current DOE portfolio programs to be congruent with ITP’s mission?
Answer 283: There is no predetermined weighting for Program Policy Factors.  In addition to the technical merit, the Source Selection Official will use Program Policy Factors to select applications for negotiation of awards. 
Question 284: Assuming a proposal is selected, could guidance from other potentially-benefitting DOE-portfolio programs (non-ITP) be negotiated post-award, in order to minimize duplication of effort and maximize synergies with elements of those programs?
Answer 284: If the application is selected for award negotiation and the project is also being supported by other federal government awards, the scope and budget will be negotiated and adjusted downwards to eliminate duplicative activities. 
Question 285: We plan to form a consortium consisting of a small business (<90 employees), a company (>10000 employees), and a university. Is there a preference from the DOE’s side regarding the leader of the consortium?
Answer 285:

DOE does not have a preference concerning the type of entity indentified as the lead or prime applicant.  Please refer to Section III.A of the FOA for additional information regarding eligible applicants. 

Question 286: What specific rights will the DoE have regarding Intellectual Property rights and patents developed during the project? Is this also based on the amount of cost share?
Answer 286:

Please see Sections VIII.F and VIII.G in the FOA for intellectual property rights specific to your kind of organization. 

Question 287: Would the NASA Research Center be considered a "US national Laboratory" and thus eligible for a waiver of cost share requirements?
Answer 287:

For the purpose of the IMI FOA, in context of its goal to solicit applications from all qualified organizations in the US, and the offering of a cost-share waiver for early stage (TRL 2-3) work only to "not for profit" organizations, NASA Research Center and similar other federal government research centers will be treated as a "national laboratory" and "FFRDC" even if they do not formally have such designation.  Such applicants, either as prime or sub-recipient, will have to submit authorization letters from their Agency, similar to those required for "national laboratory" and "FFRDC" as described in Section III.C of the FOA. 

Question 288: I would like to know if this Funding Opportunity DE-FOA-0000560 has the ability to forego the cost sharing. As an individual, I would not have the funds available to match this funding opportunity. I do have a prototype that implements the new power generator technology. Also, would this device be subject to being classified under the Invention Secrecy Act if I pursue a patent?
Answer 288:

Please refer to Section III of the FOA for Eligibility requirements and Cost Share Waiver information.

DOE does not have enough information at this time to determine whether a secrecy order would be required for a patent directed to a particular device.  Please see the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)Chapter 100 Secrecy, Access, National Security, and Foreign Filing for more information regarding this topic.  It is recommended that you consult with independent legal counsel to determine the likelihood that a secrecy order would be used for your proposed device.

Question 289: The eligibility requirements state that the entity must have a place of business in the U.S. Where can I find more information on what constitutes a “place of business”?
Answer 289: The DOE does not have a set definition of what constitutes a "place of business".  Applicants must prove they have a physical location where they operate in the United States in the normal course of their trade or business. 
Question 290: Is the establishment of a revolving loan fund an eligible use of ITP funds? We are a non-profit that always has its eye on sustaining its activities by the revenues we can generate from delivering goods (financing) and services (training and management consulting). Our preferred way of achieving sustainability is to establish revolving loan funds (RLFs) which meet the needs of startup and expanding business borrowers. On the FAQ page, the stock answer to eligibility questions seems to be for the applicant to review the FOA and determine for itself whether the proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Criteria. Can you provide an answer is more concrete? However, I do appreciate and like that the DOE is open to novel methods not specifically listed in the FOA to carry out the specific FOA goals.
Answer 290:

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), DE-FOA-0000560 “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative,” is to solicit Applications for funding cost-shared research and development of innovative manufacturing processes and materials technologies to advance the clean energy economy by increasing industrial and manufacturing energy efficiency, deliver the breakthroughs that the Nation needs to significantly reduce energy and carbon intensity throughout the economy over the coming decades, and revitalize existing manufacturing industries and support the development of new products in emerging industries. 

Unfortunately, DE-FOA-0000560, “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative”, is a competitive solicitation and DOE personnel cannot provide any additional information outside the goals, objectives, and Merit criteria listed in the FOA. 

Question 291: I am part of a team that will be submitting a letter of intent and application for grant opportunity DE-FOA-0000560 (CFDA 81.086). Although my institution is not the prime applicant, I will be doing most of the administrative work in putting the application together. May I submit the team’s LOI and application through my EERE registered login and password, or will the prime need to register and submit?
Answer 291:

The prime applicant will need to register and submit the required LOI and application information.  Please refer to the FOA for registration and submission requirements. 

Question 292: We are going to apply for the DOE Innovative Manufacturing Initiative, DE-FOA-0000560, CFDA No 81.086. We are registered with D&B, CCR, eere-exchange.energy.com and Fedconnect. Next week, we will input our Letter of Intent information on your eere-exchange.energy.com website. Additionally, we are getting a head start on the main application and so are penciling in Form 424, but cannot locate the Identifier or Number for these items below on D&B, CCR or Fedconnect websites: FORM 424: Item 4: Application Identifier Item 5a: Federal Entity Identifier Item 13: Funding Opportunity Number Are the above Application Identifier, Federal Entity Identifier and Funding Opportunity Number furnished by you, after your review of the Letter of Intent?
Answer 292:

Application Identifier:  The Control Number received after confirmation that the Letter of Intent was successfully submitted. 

Federal Entity Identifier:  Leave blank

Funding Opportunity Number is:  DE-FOA-0000560 

Question 293: The Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) multi-year program plan (Section 1.1.1 on page 4) states that the industrial sector includes both manufacturing industries (major process industries such as chemicals and steel) and non-manufacturing industries (agriculture, mining, and construction). 1.) I have seen some programs define manufacturing to include the extended manufacturing enterprise, which includes any process or element within the supply chain and even includes support services for a manufacturers. Is a broader definition of manufacturing considered valid for this solicitation and can you provide a definition of manufacturing for this FOA? 2.) Is the ITP using the delineation between manufacturing and non-manufacturing, as described in the multi-year plan, to determine whether a proposed effort qualifies for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative? 3.) Industries such as agriculture, mining, and construction can be considered to be comprised of production processes for manufacturing food, raw materials, and houses. Is this FOA intended to fund only manufacturing industry relevant projects as described the ITP’s mult-year plan or is it intended to fund innovative processes for the industrial sector, regardless of whether they are traditionally classified as manufacturing or non-manufacturing?
Answer 293: Prospective applicants are advised that in deciding whether or not their proposed project fits the FOA objectives and scope, they should focus not so much on prescriptive and restrictive definition of terms as on the broad goal of the FOA. As stated in the first paragraph of Section I of the FOA, the purpose is to solicit Applications for funding cost-shared research and development of transformational manufacturing processes and materials technologies to advance the clean energy economy by increasing industrial and manufacturing energy efficiency, deliver the breakthroughs that the Nation needs to significantly reduce energy and carbon intensity throughout the economy over the coming decades, and revitalize existing manufacturing industries and support the development of new products in emerging industries. They are further advised that many of the Merit review criteria/sub-criteria are focused on the magnitude and timing of the potential impact on US manufacturing industries. 
Question 294: I am interested in submitting a letter of intent for the above announcement. I would like to propose the creation of a Center that would work on multiple projects. Is this type of proposal allowed under this initiative or do we need to focus on a single project?
Answer 294: The goal and the scope of the FOA is to fund individual projects.
Question 295: Q1 - In subtopic 2B, what is meant by “energy transfer equipment”? Can you provide an example? Q2 - In considering the “manufacture of materials” referred to in subtopic 1D, does the “life cycle energy consumption” comparison have to account for all energy expended in mining / extracting the raw materials through disposal, or should the energy consumption comparison focus on how new materials or processes are employed to more efficiently produce components or products? For example, a new material could be formed with a new process requiring significantly less energy than the old process for forming the traditional material. However, the efficiency gain could be wiped out if production of the raw new material is more energy intensive than production of the raw traditional material.
Answer 295:

1. In subtopic 2B, "energy transfer equipment" is any equipment that transfers energy from one form/process/equipment to another form/process/equipment.  A heat exchanger is an example of energy transfer equipment. 

2. Prospective Applicants should use their judgment regarding "life cycle energy consumption" based on what they are proposing to develop or replace. 

Question 296: If a collaborative project involving multiple universities and/or companies, and if two (or more than two) of the participating organizations play equally important leading roles, does a separate Letter of Intent need to be submitted from each of the multiple leading organizations, or is only one Letter of Intent from one of the leading organizations sufficient?
Answer 296:

There can be only one lead organization per application.  Only one letter of intent should be submitted per application. 

Question 297: I have a question about the requirements for subcontracts that may be placed for execution of any programs that will be awarded for the subject FOA. Specifically, page 45 of the solicitation talks to "Sub-recipients" and "Vendors" - and seems to imply that the "vendor" category is for vendors providing commercial supplies or services only. My question is: can I place a procurement type contract (i.e. FFP or CPFF) with a supplier that is providing non-commercial services (i.e. specialized research and development test and evaluation)? In this case, the supplier would not be providing cost-match, so it seems that they would not be a sub-recipient, but it is unclear if they qualify under the vendor category.
Answer 297:

Please see OMB Circular A-133 §___.210 Subrecipient and vendor determinations.  This section can help potential applicants to classify their contracts as vendors or subrecipients. 

Question 298: Would you please advise if funding for the -560 FOA is allocated and available? I have heard that the DOE funding picture is very grim. Is it that there is funding for DE-FOA-0000560 for the multiple awards described in the FOA?
Answer 298:

As noted in the FOA, any awards funded pursuant to the FOA are subject to annual appropriations.  Currently, we are unaware of our final budget based under Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 funds, as Congress must still finalize the budget for the DOE and the Industrial Technologies Program (ITP). 

Question 299: Please clarify the Technology Readiness Level requirement in regards to whether it is necessary to have completed a DOE grant at TRL 1 before being eligible for this TRL Level 2-6 grant.
Answer 299: TRL 1 is defined as basic research work and this FOA will not support it.  For any research and development work at TRLs 2-6 proposed under this FOA, basic research should have been completed; it does not matter whether it was done under a DOE Grant. 
Question 300: We are in the process of completing the registration and submitting our letter of intent for the FOA#DE-FOA-0000560, CFDA#81.086 and would like an explanation or clarification on the question regarding: Lead Organization Percent Effort (1-100). Please provide clarification on the definition of Percent Effort and/or what this is requesting.
Answer 300:

Percent of effort is based upon the Lead Organization's proposed budgeted dollars as a percentage of the proposed total budget. 

Question 301: I was trying to locate the patent waiver clause referred to in Section VIII(G) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement ("Notice of Right to Request Patent Waiver"). Would it be possible for you to send that to me? The pdf is not currently available at the indicated website/link.
Answer 301: Please use this link for the Patent Waiver Clause:  http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/gcprod/documents/patwaivclau.pdf
Question 302: Three out of the 4 prime team members are from government entities (NASA and AFRL). Do these entities fall under the “government owned and operated” eligible applicants and can they be considered the lead participant. Also, the question is asked what percentage is non-federal share...each team member ( which includes the 3 government participants) will contribute toward the 20% cost share. How should this be reflected in this section of the Letter of Intent funding tab (since there are three federal participants...federal share)?
Answer 302:

For the purpose of the IMI FOA, in context of its goal to solicit applications from all qualified organizations in the US, and the offering of a cost-share waiver for early stage (TRL 2-3) work only to "not for profit" organizations, NASA Research Center and similar other federal government research centers will be treated as a "national laboratory" and "FFRDC" even if they do not formally have such designation.  Such applicants, either as prime or sub-recipient, will have to submit authorization letters from their Agency, similar to those required for "national laboratory" and "FFRDC" as described in Section III.C of the FOA. 

Question 303: With permitting and construction timelines, we have a prototype research project that will continue beyond 2014. The majority of the spending will occur during the 3 year window, but additional operations and data collection are expected beyond 2014. Would this project be eligible for the funding? (2.) Are funds approved and appropriated for this FOA, or will the appropriation be determined after the next budget bill? Are funds appropriated for all three years of the FOA? (3.) Once an award is granted, are we guaranteed to receive the funding for the full three year period, assuming our project meets the stated objectives? Or, must the funding be renewed each year?
Answer 303:

Question #1

Please refer to Section II.E of the FOA.  Proposed projects should have a period of performance of up to three (3) years from the date of award.  Please note that this FOA is to support R&D projects and not commercial plant construction projects.

Question 2

Please refer to FAQs, as this question has already been answered.

Question 3

Please refer to Section II.E of the FOA.

Question 304: Does an individual such as myself qualify as an entity for this grant application? I have a patent application on a "WAVE AND TIDE ACTUATED RENEWABLE ENERGY PUMP". 1/2 of 1% of the energy in the ocean waves is sufficient to provide the entire world's energy requirements.
Answer 304:

Please refer to Section III.A, Eligible Applicants, in the FOA.  It is referenced here for your convenience:

An eligible applicant is: 1) a legal entity established pursuant to United States Federal or State laws, with operations in the United States or its Territories or 2) a foreign legal entity having a place of business in the United States or its Territories. 

Question 305: Does the cost share waiver, for 20% cost share, apply to private organizations who propose $1,000,000 or under at a TRL level of 3 or less?
Answer 305: Only the following Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3:  institutions of higher education, U.S. National Laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and non-profit organizations (as defined in 10 CFR 600.3).  Please see Section III.B for more information regarding cost share requirements and the cost share waiver
Question 306: I am planning to submit a proposal in response to this initiative from university and wondering if having an industrial partner is a mandatory requirement.
Answer 306:

Having an industrial partner is not a mandatory requirement, however, applicants are encouraged to review Section V, Application Review Information.

 

Question 307: The cost share section on page 41 of the solicitation says that institutions of higher education are eligible for the waiver for TRL-2 and 3. What about TRL-4?
Answer 307:

As specified in Section III.B.2 of the FOA, only the budget for work at TRL 2 -3 will be eligible for a cost share waiver.

 

 

Question 308: The instructions for the budget require that we use form SF424-A. However, no specific form or template is listed for the budget justification. Should we use the standard PMC123.1 budget justification spreadsheet?
Answer 308:

Instructions for providing a budget justification to support the SF424a can be found in Section IV.C.6 and Appendix D.  It is up to applicants to determine the format to provide this information.  You may use the standard PMC 123.1 Budget Justification, but this form is not mandatory.

 

 

Question 309: Are cost benefit analysis type activities allowed as project costs – for example energy analysis, market research, etc ?
Answer 309:

DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of particular costs or budget items prior to award selection.  It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project and project costs adequately address the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.

 

 

 

Question 310: The FOA appears to focus on improvements to manufacturing processes and materials. Will the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative also consider proposals for a company to manufacture transformative products that improve the energy and carbon intensity of its customers? In other words, is the manufacture of transformative new commercial or consumer products an eligible activity? 2. Are capital expenditures allowable? 3. Are start-up companies eligible as prime applicants? 4. Must the lead applicant identify all partners and team members in its letter of intent? 5. Must the lead applicant identify all sources of cost-share in its letter of intent? 6. What types of “services” are eligible as cost-share? 7. Who owns the rights to the materials, processes or technologies?
Answer 310: 1.  It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA. 
2.  DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of particular costs or budget items prior to award selection.
3.  Please refer to the eligible applicant criteria located in Section III.A of the FOA.
4.  Please refer to Section IV.B of the FOA for information required to be in the Letter of Intent.
5.  Please refer to Section IV.B of the FOA for information required to be in the Letter of Intent.
6.  Please refer to Section III.B and Appendix C in the FOA for information about what qualifies as cost share.
7.  Please refer to Sections VIII.F and VIII.G in the FOA for intellectual property rights specific to your type of organization. 
Question 311: Does this announcement mean there is $25M in funding still available or does the extension to 1 Sept mean most of the funding has been allocated to other projects previously submitted and there is only a fraction of the original award remaining?
Answer 311:

A total of approximately $120 million in DOE funding is expected to be available for all the awards made from this FOA.  Approximately $25 million is expected to be available to start the projects in FY 2012, with additional funding expected to be available later in FY 2012, FY 2013 and FY 2014.  All funding is subject to the availability of annual appropriations.

Question 312: How much information is required for item 8. (Estimated total DOE funding request) in a Letter of Intent? Will an estimated number suffice or is additional backup information required with the letter of intent?
Answer 312: The letter of intent should include an estimate of the total DOE funding requested. No backup information on the requested funding is required with the Letter of Intent.  Please refer to Section IV.B for more information on the Letter of Intent. 
Question 313: I am wondering if you are requiring a 20% contribution if we use a private lab or an academic institution? I am experiencing difficulty in getting into the public labs, so I need to evaluate other options. Also, if you do require a 20% contribution, may this be made up from state funding? I am eligible for funding from a couple of different state funding sources.
Answer 313:

This FOA requires 20% or higher cost share for all projects.  Cost share is based on the total allowable costs for the project. (i.e., the sum of the Government share, including FFRDC contractor costs if applicable, and the recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project) and must come from non-Federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law.  In accordance with the Cost Share Waiver granted by the Acting Assistant Secretary for EERE for this FOA, the following Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3:  institutions of higher education, U.S. National Laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and non-profit organizations (as defined in 10 CFR 600.3).

Please refer to Appendix C and Section III.B of the FOA for more information on cost sharing. 

Question 314: As a prime applicant from a national lab, if my topic is on TRL 4~5, am I eligible for the waiver of cost share? 2. If not, can our newly-built and existing setup that will be used as a major tool to do our proposed work be the contribution of the cost share? (supported by LDRD)
Answer 314:

1.  As specified in Section III.B.2 of the FOA, only the budget for work at TRL 2 -3 will be eligible for a cost share waiver.

2.  DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of particular costs or cost share items prior to award selection.  Refer to Section III.B and Appendix C in the FOA for information about what qualifies as cost share. 

Question 315: Can you please clarify what information is required in the LOI? Section 4B of FOA indicates eight (8) items that must be included, but those same items are part of the online application and appear to be required as part of the process. Do these 8 items have to be included in the LOI and completed online?
Answer 315: For the submission of Letters of Intent, use the Concept Paper buttons on the EXCHANGE website.  Answer the questions on the main page and other tabs as appropriate.  In the Abstract box, provide a brief one paragraph description of the project.  Prepare a separate Letter of Intent (LOI) document that provides all the requested information found in Section IV.B of the FOA.  Upload this LOI to EXCHANGE under the 'Upload and Submit' tab. 
Question 316: I am unclear on how to submit the Letter of Intent .Do I first have to log in with a user name and password to view the " concept paper buttons " or is there some other way to view the " concept paper buttons " . I would appreciate being given a step by step procedure on how to submit the letter of intent. Thank you.
Answer 316:

Applicants must register through the EERE eXCHANGE system before submitting an Application.  Please refer to the "REGISTRATION AND APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS" in the FOA.  A “User Guide” for the EERE eXCHANGE can be found on the EERE website https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Manuals.aspx after logging in to the system.

 

 

Question 317: We are submitting an LOI for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative. For submission of the LOI, do we only follow instructions listed in Amendment 3, Section IV-B? Do we need to submit an SF-424 form as part of the LOI submission which is in Section IV-C?
Answer 317:

Section IV.C provides information regarding submission of the actual application.  Applicants should not submit the SF-424 with the letter of intent.  Please refer to Section IV.B for information required in the Letter of Intent.

 

 

 

Question 318: We are considering submitting three applications for funding. Two of those applications utilizes a similar innovative manufacturing technology, but is comprised of independent consortium members (except for one), and is aimed at different target markets. Would they be considered distinct concepts as required from page 15 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement? Also, two applications utilize different technologies but are after the same market application. Would these be classified as distinct concepts?
Answer 318:

Development of a technology for utilization in two market applications would be considered one concept and so only one Application can be submitted. However, activities for both market applications and corresponding project team members can be combined into one Application, provided the proposed duration and budget are still within FOA limits. Development of two alternative technologies to serve the same goal and market application would be considered two different concepts, and two separate Applications would be allowed.

 

Question 319: On the letter of intent, point 2 asks for "anticipated team members". Does this include the cost-sharing sponsors, or just the research organizations?
Answer 319:

Anticipated team members" refer to subrecipients/partners that will perform part of the work.

 

Question 320: I am interested in submitting a proposal to the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative program. I am currently a professor at (name removed) and have a potential to be employed at (name removed), maybe in a month or so. My question is: If I submit a letter of intent through [the original organization] (due on 9/1), would it be possible that the full proposal be submitted through [the new organization] (due 10/5)? If I have to submit the proposal through [the original organization], when the proposal gets funded a few month later and I am then employed at [the new organization], would the fund go to [the new organization]?
Answer 320: The lead organization that submits the LOI and gets the Control Number has to submit the Application as the lead for the team.  Please note that awards are given to an organization and not the Principal Investigator.  
Question 321: To whom should the Contracting Officer’s authorization letter for the subject FOA be addressed?
Answer 321: The letters may be addressed to the contracting officer for this FOA, Tina Kouch. 
Question 322: Would the contribution of state funds be permitted to cover the cost share portion of a lead small business?
Answer 322:

Unless prohibited by state law or any other restrictions tied to the funding, state funds are permitted as cost share.  However, if these funds originated from a Federal source, then the funds are not allowed as cost share unless the Applicant could prove it has lost its Federal status (e.g. documentation from the State Comptroller).

Question 323: Can capital equipment costs for new machinery developed to meet the objectives of the project be used as cost matching or are only usage and depreciation costs approved?
Answer 323:

Costs related to equipment will not be prohibited unless the costs are not adequately justified or if they are unallowable according to the applicable Cost Principles.  For a reference to the applicable Cost Principles for each entity type, please see Appendix C of the FOA.  For more information regarding cost share, please refer to Section III.B and Appendix C. 

Question 324: FOA page 12 B. 1. there is a specific statement [cost sharing] must come from non-Federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. Does this prohibit “national laboratories” from cost sharing? If not, how do they cost share?
Answer 324:

Cost sharing from "national laboratories" is permitted if the funds originate from a non-federal source or if otherwise allowed by law. 

Question 325: Section III.B.1 says this FOA requires 20% or higher cost share for all projects based on their nature of work (research and development). Yet Appendix C states that cost sharing requirements under Section 988 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 establishes cost sharing requirements that generally specify a 20 percent cost share for research and development and a 50 percent cost share for demonstration and commercial application activities. Given those two directives, please clarify what is the minimum cost sharing requirement for projects with TRL levels 4-6?
Answer 325:

This FOA seeks Applications to select and fund research and development (R&D) projects at TRL 2-6.  This FOA requires 20% or higher cost share for all projects based on their nature of work (research and development).  Please refer to Section III.B for more information regarding cost share requirements.

 

Question 326: Will you allow supplemental funding request upon a good showing of accomplishment in the lab?
Answer 326:

A complete project and budget should be proposed, with all required tasks, within the budget and time limit specified in FOA.

Question 327: The Narrative section IV C. 3. lists parts of the proposal, but does not list the actual detailed proposal. Where would the proposal (background, methods, outcomes, etc.) go?
Answer 327:

"All technical and management aspects of the proposal (Application) should to be presented within the various sections of the Project Narrative and within the prescribed page limit."  Refer to Sections IV and V for more information.

 

Question 328: Is it possible to get an extension on the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative, FOA-0000560?
Answer 328:

 Currently, there are no plans to extend the letter of intent or application due dates.

Question 329: The budget instructions state that budgets must be presented for each year of project as well as the cumulative budget. In Form SF424A, can the 'Grant Program Function or Activity' be used to list Year 1 through Year 3, so that the cummulative amount shows in the last column? Or does Sheet 1 of SF424A.xls need to be replicated for each year and for the cummulative budget? If this is the case, what would be the entries in the 'Grant Program Function or Activity' column?
Answer 329:

You must provide a separate budget (SF 424A) for each year of support requested and a cumulative budget for the total project period.  Please refer to Section IV.C.5 in the FOA and the Instructions for the SF-424A on the document.

Question 330: Regarding DE-FOA-0000560, for projects at TRL 4-6, the maximum DOE share is $9M and the maximum period of performance is 3 years. Does this mean that the maximum DOE share is $3M/year or is it possible to have a higher DOE share in some years and lower share in others (e.g., $1M in Year 1, $2M in year 2 and $6M in Year 3)
Answer 330:

Budget dollars do not have to be spread evenly among budget periods but should be commensurate with the activities for that budget period.

 

Question 331: In two of your responses listed on the FAQ you state: 1)For submission of Letter of Intent, use the Concept Paper buttons on the EXCHANGE website. Answer the questions on the main page and other tabs, as appropriate. In the Abstract box, provide a brief one paragraph description of the project. Prepare a separate Letter of Intent (LOI) document that provides all the requested information found in Section IV.B of FOA. Upload this LOI to EXCHANGE under the 'Upload and Submit' tab. Be sure to note the Control Number, as it will be required later to submit the Application. 2) Provide name(s) of anticipated team member organizations (not the participating key personnel). Does this mean that we do not need to complete the “Key Participants” section of “Team Members” for the Letter of Intent? Also, can team members and/or percents of effort change if we are encouraged to submit a proposal?
Answer 331:

Using the Concept Paper buttons on the EXCHANGE website, answer all questions on the main page and other tabs.  In the FAQ, Number 2 quoted in your question was referring to the Letter of Intent that is uploaded to EXCHANGE under the 'Upload and Submit' tab.  This document should contain all of the information required by Section IV.B of the FOA.

 Even after submission of LOI, an applicant may make changes, to its teaming arrangement, work distribution, and budget if it becomes necessary.

Question 332: We became aware of this solicitation only yesterday. We are working some technologies that may meet the DOE requirements. My question is: are we legally allowed to communicate with the appropriate DOE technical lead regarding our potential technical approach? If so, who should we contact? Can we expect any technical feed-back to our Letter of Intent?
Answer 332:

Unfortunately, DE-FOA-0000560, “Innovative Manufacturing Initiative”, is a competitive solicitation and private discussions while the announcement is open are prohibited.  DOE will not be providing feedback on Letters of Intent.

Question 333: I have identified the anticipated team members for our project in the letter of intent, just like the FOA requires. Anticipated is the key word. I have yet to get them committed. Yet the submission process is looking for details, names, and % of effort for each team member, which is not available at this time. To submit the LOI, I have allocated 100% of the work to [name redacted] with intent to distribute the work to partners in the proposal to come. Is this an appropriate way to handle the team member issue for the LOI submission?
Answer 333:

List the team members in the letter of intent you anticipate as part of your future application.  Even after submission of LOI, an applicant may make changes, to its teaming arrangement, work distribution, and budget if it becomes necessary.

Question 334: I am attempting to submit a LOI for the funding opportunity DE-FOA-0000560. I tis TRL 3, for an institution of higher education, and requests a cost share waiver. However the system does not allow submission without cost share listed. Can I get some guidance as to how to handle this?
Answer 334:

Please check the box that states that you are eligible for the cost share waiver

Question 335: On SF-424A what is Grant Program Function or Activity and Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for DE-FOA-0000560? Also is the prime recipient budget only for the prime recipient’s expenses or does it include the entire project (prime + subrecepients)?
Answer 335:

The CFDA Number for this FOA is  81.086 in the Industrial Technologies Program within the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office.  The prime recipient's budget should contain any subrecipient costs. 

 

Question 336: Are the National Labs and other organizations identified as partners (but not as prime recipients or applicants) also required to complete the SF-LLL form if applicable (per p. 22 and 23 of the FOA/Amendment 3) and is the prime applicant required to include such forms from its partners with its proposal?
Answer 336:

The SF-LLL must be provided if applicable. 

Question 337: How do we find the portfolio of projects currently in the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative? I would like to better understand the integration of our proposed project.
Answer 337:

For more information on the Industrial Technologies Program, see http://www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/

Question 338: Our submission starts off in TRL level 4 and, assuming work progresses well on the project, over a 3 year period, could wind up in TRL level 8. This is what we put in our Letter of Intent. Does the fact that we potentially wind up in TRL 8 hurt us in our ability to get a positive response to our Letter of Intent submission?
Answer 338:

This FOA seeks Applications to select and fund research and development (R&D) projects at TRL 2-6.  DOE will not be providing feedback on Letters of Intent.

Question 339: Regarding FOA-560, we are interested in knowing how you want the energy savings calculations criterion to be met. Do you want us to use the Energetics CPAT tool? If this is the case we are having trouble getting the CPAT tool working and have requests into Energetics to see how best to get their software working. Are there any alternatives?
Answer 339:

There is no specified tool to be used for calculation of energy savings because of the variety of technologies covered by the FOA. The prospective Applicants should use a tool that they believe is most appropriate for their project. In all cases, the Merit Review Criteria will apply for both the magnitude and timing of potential energy savings and validity of assumptions to make these projections.

 

 

Question 340: Does the Bayh-Dole Act for IP ownership apply for a small business/not-for-profit entity if they are a sub-contractor and the prime is a large for-profit company?
Answer 340:

Under this FOA, DOE anticipates awarding Financial Assistance cooperative agreements.  Under a cooperative agreement, Bayh-Dole would apply to a domestic small business firm subcontractor or a non-profit organization subcontractor regardless of the type of entity of the prime contractor.  "Small business firm" and "nonprofit organization" are defined at 35 USC 201.  A "not-for-profit entity" is not the same as a "non-profit organization." 

Question 341: We submitted our LOI on 8/30 and it is listed as “submitted” on our account. When will we be able to submit the full application?
Answer 341:

We are currently evaluating all Letter-of-Intent submissions.  Applicants will be notified once evaluations are complete.

 

Question 342: Will the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative funding opportunity be continued in the future, perhaps next year?
Answer 342:

DOE anticipates making awards that will have period of performance of up to about three (3) years from the date of award. 

Question 343: In addition to CCR are we required to register with FedConnect?
Answer 343:

Yes. Please refer to Section IV.H.2 in the FOA for more information.

Question 344: I have a question regarding DE-FOA-0000560 with respect to the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Our company has not taken part in any lobbying activities, does this mean that we are not required to complete SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Form? I am a little confused, can you clear this up for me?
Answer 344:

Only complete this form if it is applicable to your organization.

Question 345: Does DOE Budget Form SF 424 Research & Related Budget (R&R) need to be submitted with the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative grant application?
Answer 345:

Please refer to Section IV.C for required application forms/files.

Question 346: Appendix D references Task and a SOPO. I don’t see a SOPO noted as a requirement in the FOA, is this true?
Answer 346:

Please refer to Section IV.C for required application forms/files.

Question 347: When submitting the Application for Federal Assistance SF-424, does the form containing the list of certifications and assurances for Field 21 (contained in document http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/CERTSASSURANCESSF424.pdf), actually need to be inserted into the single submission file for the Application for Federal Assistance SF-424? Or by signing the Application for Federal Assistance SF-424, has the applicant agreed to everything contained in CERTSASSURANCESSF424.pdf, and nothing from CERTSASSURANCESSF424 needs to be actually submitted with the Application for Federal Assistance SF-424.
Answer 347:

As noted in Field 21, by signing the 424 application, Applicants certify to the statements contained in the list of certifications and assurances.  Please refer to Section IV.C for required application forms/files.

Question 348: Is the maximum award dependent on the Ending TRL level or BOTH (Starting & Ending) TRL levels for a proposed project? For example, I have a project starting with TRL 2 and propose ending in TRL 6 - what is the maximum award size? I assume it would be $9M max. Is this correct?
Answer 348:

The maximum award amount is $9 million.

 

Question 349: Please clarify how the prevailing wage requirements in ARRA (PL 111-5) apply to the budget justification for personnel working on this project (DE-FOA-0000560).
Answer 349:

This award is not funded by ARRA.

 

Question 350: The web page I am looking at has amendment 3 on it. Where can I find Amendment 1 and 2.
Answer 350:

Only Amendment 003 is available.

Question 351: Are fees allowed and, if so, what is the cap?
Answer 351:

Reimbursement of actual costs will only include those costs that are reasonable, allowable and allocable to the project as determined in accordance with the applicable cost principles prescribed in 10 CFR 600.127, 10 CFR 600.222 or 10 CFR 600.317. In specific regards to Fee or Profit, no increment above actual costs may be paid to a recipient or subrecipient under a DOE Financial Assistance award or subaward.

Question 352: I submitted the Letter of Intent for the above referenced FOA and received an “Application Not Submitted” response. However, the Letter of Intent shows as though it was uploaded to your site at 4:59pm on 9/1/2011. Please advise if we are clear to submit the full application on October 5, 2011.
Answer 352:

Uploading and submitting Letters of Intent are two separate functions.  After uploading the Letter of Intent, you must then click the Submit button.  Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent by the Due Date to be eligible to submit a Full Application.

Question 353: Per the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance website, the Program Title for CFDA # 81.086 is “Conservation Research and Development”. Is that what we should put on the SF424A form under Section A “Grant Program Function or Activity (a)”?
Answer 353:

Please refer to the Instructions for the SF-424A on the document.

Question 354: A letter of intent has been submitted under Company X with other team members. Is it possible to remove Company X and replace with Company Y, and submit the actual proposal under Company Y's direction?
Answer 354:

The control number provided at the time the letter of intent was submitted is unique to that entity (lead Applicant) and, therefore, any subsequent documents must be submitted by that entity.

Question 355: Can indirect cost be used as matching for any part of the project for the primer?
Answer 355:

Refer to Section III.B and Appendix C in the FOA for information about what qualifies as cost share.

Question 356: The RFP does not include any place for us to include a task plan. Normally there is a SOPO, or some other section established for this. The closest I have found here is a project timetable, which seems inadequate for evaluating a proposed task plan. Another bidder pointed this out, and was simply referred to Section IV.C, which describes the content and form of the application. As already mentioned, the required content doesn't include a task plan. Is the project timetable, together with the merit review criteria, considered sufficient for DOE to evaluate the strength of our plan?
Answer 356:

The Project Narrative must include a Merit Review Criteria Discussion.  The Merit Review Criteria for this FOA includes evaluation of both the project objectives and the project management plan. It is up to the Applicants to decide how best to address Merit Review Criteria depending upon the nature of the project.

 

Question 357: How does the indirect cost rate apply to sub-recipients? What if sub-recipients don’t have an indirect cost rate? If the primary is using one indirect cost rate, does it apply to everyone that is receiving a cost share?
Answer 357:

Indirect rates are unique to each organization.  Applicants may include Indirect costs in their proposed budget. Indirect rates must be supported by an approved Federal Rate Agreement or Rate Proposal, and must be in accordance with the applicable Federal Cost Principles.  Please see Appendix C in the FOA for the references to the applicable cost principles. 

Question 358: We have submitted a Letter of Intent for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative (DE-FOA-0000560) which was due September 1st 2011. It sounds like we are eligible to submit a full proposal if we have submitted a letter of intent by the due date. Is this true or do you need to wait for an invitation from you to submit a full proposal?
Answer 358:

An invitation is necessary to submit additional documents.

 

 

 

Question 359: I understand that the DOE will now be asking for a Concept paper before the final submission of proposals for DE-FOA-0000560. In that case, will the final proposal deadline be extended?
Answer 359:

Please refer to Amendment 4 of the FOA for modified dates.

Question 360: The award information states that TRL 4-6 can be funded up to $9mm. If the project goes into TRL 7-9 can we use the DOE funding to cover 7-9?
Answer 360:

Funding is only allowable for those TRL levels noted in the FOA.

Question 361: It was stated that for funding awarded exclusively under TRL 2 or 3, that there will be no cost sharing required from [named removed] or its partners. Please confirm. For work at levels TRL 4 - TRL 6, [named removed]'s partners would be required to pay the 20% cost share. Please confirm. Under any award, [named removed] as an FFRDC, would not be required to pay any cost share.
Answer 361:

This FOA requires 20% or higher cost share for all projects.  Certain Recipients and Sub-Recipients that receive funding under this FOA are eligible for a waiver of the cost share requirements for projects at TRL 2 and 3 only.  The cost share waiver applies only to the work and budget of the types of organizations eligible for the waiver, and not to the work and budgets of other team member organizations who are not included in the waiver. Please refer to Appendix C and Section III.B of the FOA for cost sharing requirements.

Question 362: In section III,B.2, the FOA states, "If a project involves work at TRL 2 - 3 as well as 4 - 6, the Applicant should show a breakdown of the proposed budget by TRL." In our proposed 3-year project, we expect to progress from TRL 3 to TRL 4 after 18 months. This is also the project's most critical go/no-go decision point. After 18 months, we plan to further develop the technology to TRL 5. Under this scenario, is it acceptable to use two 18-month budget periods to properly categorize the costs by TRL, or do you recommend using three 12-month budget periods as suggested in section II.E with an additional break-down of the budget period 2 costs by TRL?
Answer 362:

It is recommended that the budget be broken down by one-year budget periods.

 

Question 363: Can we include confidential or proprietary information in the Concept Paper, and if so, should those sections be identified and marked with a disclosure legend as required by the full proposal?
Answer 363:

Although DOE does not plan on publishing or posting the Concept papers, Concept papers may be releasable to the public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Upon receipt of a FOIA request that includes the Concept paper, the Concept paper will be reviewed and a determination will be made, by DOE, on whether any parts of the concept paper fit into an exception to FOIA including 'trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.'  Any part of a Concept paper that does not fit into an exception to FOIA shall be released to the requesting party.  Therefore, while parts of the Concept paper may be protectable from FOIA, Applicants should be aware that the Concept paper may be releasable through FOIA and should plan accordingly.  Applicants are encouraged not to include any proprietary information in the Concept paper unless necessary and, if so, the proprietary information should be marked as such.

Question 364: Do the invitations to submit concept papers represent a selected subset of the submitted LOIs or were all LOI submittals invited to submit concept papers by default?
Answer 364:

All applicants that submitted a timely Letter of Intent were invited to submit a Concept paper.

Question 365: In working out our budget and determining allowable and unallowable costs, I came across section 31.205-6(p)(1) which refers to “compensation of a senior executive in excess of the benchmark compensation amount determined applicable for the contractor fiscal year by the Administrator”. Can you tell me what this “benchmark amount” is? Further, 31.205-6(p)(2)(ii)(B) excludes the “five most highly compensated employees in management positions”. For us this is our entire management team, and this seems highly discriminatory toward the small business. Is there further interpretation or guidance as to whose comp we must exclude in a truly small business? I cannot believe that this is to be taken at face value for all scales.
Answer 365:

Executive compensation benchmarks can be found at the following web address:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/procurement_index_exec_comp/

This link also provides additional information on executive compensation.

Question 366: Our University, lead participant, TRL#3 proposal involves purchasing commercial items from several commercial for profit organizations. We plan on classifying them as vendors and purchased items will listed as materials and supplies in our budget worksheets. However each organization has a developmental capability and significant expertise relative to advanced materials that are essential to the proposed activities. Their senior technology personnel are expected to provide valuable technical input that will help shape laboratory based R/D actions and decisions. Can these corporate personnel cost share their time as a R/D technical advisory committee cost shared team member sub-recipients, while their company is listed as a vendor for purchased materials, i.e. Can one company be classified as a 100% cost shared sub-recipient team member and also as a vendor supplying goods and services that any organization can purchase?
Answer 366:

Generally, vendors do not provide cost share.  However, if a budget is submitted with vendor cost share, the cost share must be allowable and will be subject to further negotiation with DOE.

Question 367: As we have gone through the eligibility terms in the manuals, as it was mentioned that a firm should be united states and its territories but our company is well established in OMAN here i would like know the solution for this program for us to attended, can please suggest us on this.
Answer 367:

 Please refer to Section III.A., Eligible Applicants, in the FOA.

Question 368: I understand that we can’t us DOE funding to cover TRL 7-9. Can we change our TRL in the concept paper and if not, when can we change the TRL?
Answer 368:

The TRL levels of the proposed project can be changed in the Concept Paper. The TRL levels should be consistent with the scope of proposed project activities. Only proposed projects within TRLs 2 and 6 will be considered responsive to the FOA.

 

 

Question 369: Are Co-PIs allowable and/or encouraged on the project? If yes, must they be from the applicants company or can they be from one or more of the sub-recipients?
Answer 369:

The FOA asks for designation of only one Principal Investigator (PI) and that person must be from the Primary Applicant. Other significant contributors should be designated as key personnel and they can be from the same organization or sub-recipient organizations.

Question 370: Will an application be rejected if it was stated at the time of the LOI submission that the project will to go to TRL 7?
Answer 370:

No, an application will not be rejected based on the TRL in the Letter of Intent.  However, please refer to the evaluation criteria for the Concept Paper in Amendment 004 of the FOA.

 

 

Question 371: Can you please advise when you anticipate notifying applicants whether they are encouraged or discouraged from applying for the full application?
Answer 371:

Following completion of the concept paper phase, applicants will be notified as to whether they are encouraged or discouraged to submit a full application.  DOE anticipates notifying applicants before the end of October 2011.

  

 

Question 372: Regarding submission of concept papers for DE-FOA-0000560, Innovative Manufacturing Initiative, there does not appear to be a mechanism to submit these. There is no apply button or anything else that I can see to upload the concept paper. Please advise. Thank you.
Answer 372:

You must have submitted a Letter of Intent by the deadline to eligible to submit a Concept paper.  After you log in, go to 'My Submissions' and click 'edit' next to your control number.  Edit the tabs as necessary, and upload the Concept Paper in the Upload and Submit tab.

 

 

Question 373: I have a question about the Concept Paper due by 9/22/2011. As a lead organization, we submitted two LOI and now intend to submit a Concept Paper for each. It may be desirable for us to slightly modify our team members (i.e., where the Concept Paper team members and/or their percentage of effort would be different from what was stated in the LOI). Is this allowable? If so, should we explain it in the Concept Paper?
Answer 373:

Team members may be added or deleted in the Concept Paper without explanation.

Question 374: 1) We submitted a Letter of Intent (LOI) but do not wish to move on to the next phase of the application. Is any action required to formally withdraw?
Answer 374:

1) No formal action is required to withdraw.

 

Question 375: We want to replace a team member that was originally identified in the letter of intent and we want to know if they have to remain a team member or could they become a partner in a joint submission. As a result, the original budget estimate will change and perhaps be increased and is this acceptable?
Answer 375:

There can be only one lead applicant.  For the Concept Paper, it is permissible to change the budget and team members from what was originally proposed in the letter of intent.

Question 376: Appendix D of the announcement gives examples on the information that needs to be listed on the Budget Justification spreadsheet (SF-424A). This examples show a detailed breakdown and the SF424A spreadsheet does not reflect the same data entry. Is an additional spreadsheet needed to give more detailed information?
Answer 376:

The Budget Justification and the SF-424A are two separate documents.  Please refer to Section IV.C for required application forms/files.

Question 377: 1. We submitted a letter of intent and are considering changing the principal investigator (PI) on this project. The new PI would be listed on the concept paper. Is that allowed? 2. Can one PI submit multiple concept papers? 3. We are considering changing the title of our project from the original listed in the letter of intent. Is that allowed?
Answer 377:

1.       Yes

2.       Yes, but only one concept paper per Control number is allowed.  Applicants should not submit multiple applications based on the same concept but under different subtopics.

3.       Yes

Question 378: The online submission form for FOA #DE-FOA-0000560 Innovative Manufacturing Initiative requires an Abstract with the instructions: “Please ensure that this Abstract matches the Abstract in your application document.” This is for a Concept Paper submission. Yet the guidelines for the Concept Paper limit itself do not require an Abstract. How should we deal with the requirement for a matching Abstract online when the submission itself has no Abstract?
Answer 378:

The applicants can edit the abstract they  entered in the Abstract box when submitting the Letter of Intent as they see fit. The Abstract should briefly describe the proposed project as presented in the Concept Paper.

 

  

 

Question 379: Is there a definition of what this questions is looking to address: 2. Technical merit and level of innovation of the proposed R&D.
Answer 379:

Both terms – technical merit and level of innovation – are standard terms commonly used in the research and development community, and they are intended for the same meaning for the Concept Paper.

  

 

 

Question 380: We have submitted 2 applications. We would like to know if we can combine the 2 applications into a single concept paper. This will be more in line with the FOA requirements of sustainable manufacturing.
Answer 380:

Yes, as long as the Concept Paper is submitted by the same lead entity that submitted the Letter of Intent.  Please only submit one Concept Paper per project (i.e. do not do anything with the control number you choose not to use going forward). 

Question 381: We submitted a letter of intent (LOI) for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative. Since that time, we have considered expanding our project dramatically. Given that, are the following items listed in the LOI considered binding when submitting concept papers, or can they be changed: award amount, current TRL level, partnering organizations, project duration?
Answer 381:

Changes are allowed to award amount, current TRL level, partnering organizations and project duration as long as they remain consistent with the requirements in the FOA. 

Question 382: Can you overlap funds? Can you use TRL 4-6 funding during the same time period that you are completing and using TRL 2-3 activities and using those funds?
Answer 382:

If a project involves work at TRL 2-3 as well as 4-6, the Applicant should show a breakdown of the proposed activities and budget by TRL into separate project phases (i.e. TRL 2-3 work should have a separate budget from TRL 4-6 work).  The maximum DOE share for a TRL 2-3 project is not to exceed $1,000,000 and the maximum DOE share for a TRL 4-6 project is not to exceed $9,000,000.  

Question 383: We are preparing a requested Concept Paper in response to DE-FOA-0000560 and would lilke to find out if the subtopic designation can be changed at this point. In our Letter of Intent we listed a subtopic of 1D and are considering changing it to 2B. Our proposed project could fit into either subtopic, but the 2B one may be a better match. Can the subtopic designation be changed at this point?
Answer 383:

Yes

Question 384: 1. I have removed participating organizations and updated the budget for our proposal in the concept paper. The instructions state to update the EERE, which I have done. I have not however made these changes in the LOI nor have I attempted to resubmit an LOI. Is this necessary? 2. My cost share includes a TRL3 waiver portion of $1MM to be conducted by a National Lab that is considered a FFRDC. I have checked the waiver box, however my cost share percentage appears as lower than 20% because it does not allow me to reflect the split. Do I need to do anything further for Concept Paper submittal? 3. Where can I find specific detailed information regarding In-Kind Cost Share Components not specified in Appendix C?
Answer 384:

1)      You do not need to make changes to the previously submitted LOI.

2)      No additional action is necessary since the cost share waiver box was selected.

3)      Please refer to the Cost sharing or matching section in 10 CFR 600 applicable to your entity.

 

Question 385: I am partnered with a Company that submitted a letter of intent. The team was shown as TBD in the LOI. How much change is allowed to the title, team, team lead and scope of what was submitted? Does the company that submitted the LOI need to submit the concept paper or can it be someone else on the team that is now the lead?
Answer 385:

The lead organization that submits the LOI and gets the Control Number has to submit the Application as the lead for the team. Title, team members and scope can be changed for the Concept Paper submission.

 

Question 386: Can the budget, budget allocation and/or partnering organizations change between the concept paper stage and the final proposal submission (if "encouraged"), as long as the overall scope and proposal idea is kept consistent with the concept paper ?
Answer 386:

After the Concept Paper has been submitted, and assuming the team is encouraged to submit a full application, the Total budget and scope of the project must remain the same, because that was the basis for evaluation of Concept Paper. The teaming arrangement can be changed, but only if there is a situation beyond the control of the prime (for example, a partner company gets bought and the new owner does not want to participate). The budget allocation can be changed as the work gets better defined during the preparation of the full application.

 

 

Question 387: If we over spend in matching funds of 20% in level TRL 2-3, can we carry over any money beyond the 20% of match into TRL 4-6?
Answer 387:

DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of cost share prior to award selection.  Refer to Section III.B and Appendix C in the FOA for information about cost share. 

Question 388: We’re trying to write the budget for the concept paper and worried we’re not including enough information for justification. Is there a format or a list of detail required for the budget section on the concept paper?
Answer 388:

There is no concept paper template.

Question 389: How detailed is the budget requirement in the concept paper? Do we just need to submit the overall dollar amount for TRL 2-3 and TRL 4-6?
Answer 389:

It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the Concept Paper and adequately address the evaluation criteria.

Question 390: 1) Can we use funds spent on TRL2-3 activities within the scope of a TRL2-6 project toward the cost share for DOE-share that is funding TRL4-6 activities? (i.e., must the TRL level of cost share match the TRL level of the corresponding DOE share?). 2) Is the 20% cost share a requirement for each individual year of the project, or is it only an aggregate requirement over the entire project duration? 3) Can TRL7 activities that are related to the overall effort but fully paid by the applicant be used as cost share?
Answer 390:

1)  Budgets should match respective TRL activities.

2) Cost share is based on the total allowable costs for the project. (i.e., the sum of the Government share, including FFRDC contractor costs if applicable, and the recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project)

3) No.

 

Question 391: I have submitted a Letter of Intent for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative under a company name such as "Maria - A LLC", a subsidiary company of another corporation. Can the applicant company change from Maria-A LLC to a Maria-B LLC another subsidiary of the same parent company?
Answer 391:

No, the lead applicant must remain the same.

Question 392: We are submitting a concept paper by Sept 22, and assume it will take DOE at least one week (if not two) to review 1,400 papers and send notifications, which leaves only about 2 weeks to develop a full proposal. Can DOE extend the November 17 due date to allow one month for proposal development?
Answer 392:

DOE does not anticipate extending the deadline for full applications at this time. 

Question 393: When we submitted the LOI, we were told to “use” the “concept paper” buttons. Now that the LOI is in and a concept paper is due, where do we upload the 3-page (max) forms? There should be a one-page cover and a two-page concept paper. Where do I load those?
Answer 393:

Refer to Amendment #4 of the FOA for submission guidance.

Question 394: Question 1: We plan to obtain letters of support for our proposal can we have those sent directly to DOE or should they only be included in proposal appendix? Question 2: I am unclear on the SF424A form where one includes or how one designates where to account for in-kind dollars. That is the dollars awardee plans to count as part of their matching funds such as materials, cost of employees time, etc. How does one designate in-kind in the budget justification file?
Answer 394:

1. All Letters of Support must be attached as an Appendix to the Project Narrative File. 

2. The SF424A Budget form and the Budget Justification must include both Federal (DOE), and Non-Federal (cost share, both cash and in-kind) funds, thereby reflecting TOTAL PROJECT COSTS proposed. Please refer to the instructions on the SF424A Budget form.  There is a column for Non-Federal portion.  Please refer to Appendix D for instructions on the Budget Justification.

 

 

Question 395: If a sub-recipient receives a matching waiver, does the primary have to cover the matching to meet the 20% requirement? If a sub-recipient receives a matching waiver, does the primary have to cover the matching to meet the 20% requirement?
Answer 395:

By accepting Federal funds under this award, the Prime Recipient/Consortium Lead agrees to be responsible for any subrecipient/Consortium Member cost share requirements if the subrecipient/Consortium Member does not meet its cost share requirements.

  

 

Question 396: Do you know when there might be a next round or similar opportunity?
Answer 396:  This will be  the only posting of this FOA.
Question 397: The concept paper is 3 pages as required including the cover sheet. However I start the narrative on the bottom cover sheet is this acceptable?
Answer 397:

No. The Cover page should only have the information that was requested to be put on the Cover Page. The Narrative should not start on the Cover Page.

 

Question 398: Concept papers are due today. Could you please check your response to question 386 as this is contrary to the instructions on page 3. The FOA instructions say that we are to keep the budget the same as the LOI but can change it prior to the full application submission. This is what I have been instructing the personnel to do. Which is correct please.
Answer 398:

The information is not contrary.  The FOA indicates that the Concept paper budget figures must match the same figures that will be entered into eXCHANGE by the applicant when they submit the Concept paper.

Question 399: Approximately when can applicants expect to hear from DOE on whether they are selected to submit a full proposal?
Answer 399:

DOE anticipates notifying applicants in the beginning of November.

Question 400: The FOA requires an SF424A for each year of support and a cumulative budget for the total project period. However, it is unclear to me how to complete sections D and E on the form for each year of support. Can these sections be completed only for the cumulative budget and left blank for the budgets for the individual years?
Answer 400:

Section D is for forecasted funds for the First year broken down by quarters and Section E is for subsequent year totals (not by quarter).  These sections should be filled out for the individual year budgets and left blank for the cumulative.

Question 401: Under Review Criteria 1, the first two subcriteria are: “The scientific and technical merit of the proposed technology” and “Innovation, originality, and feasibility of the proposed technology”. With reference to these two merit review criteria, what is the intended distinction between “scientific and technical merit” and “feasibility” of a proposed technology? Can you please provide an example of the difference?
Answer 401:

Scientific and technical merit, innovation, feasibility are all standard terms commonly used in research and development community and they are intended for the same meanings in evaluation of the Applications of this FOA. It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.

Question 402: From the other questions, the DOE will give us information on whether we should apply for grant by the end of October and the actual application is due 11/17/11. Is there any way the final timeline is going to be pushed back to allow the applicant appropriate time to complete a 25 page application?
Answer 402:

 Currently, there are no plans to extend the application deadline.

Question 403: 1) Regarding Item 16 on the SF-424, could you provide a definition of “all District(s) affected by the program.” Would this include the Congressional District of each of the subrecipients or only the District of the applicant? 2) Regarding Item 17, what are the current proposed start date and end date of the project? 3) Regarding Item 18, please reconfirm that the Estimated Funding should be for the “complete project period” as stated in the FOA and not the “first funding/budget period” as stated in the Instructions for the SF-424. 4) Also, regarding Item 18, is cost share from subrecipients included in 18b Applicant or 18e Other?
Answer 403:

 1)  This includes any District that will be affected by the cooperative agreement.

2)  These dates are selected by the applicant. 

3.)  Item 18 is funding for the entire Project Period

4.)  Cost share from subrecipients is included in 18b “Applicant”

Question 404: 1) The most recent FOA states the anticipated award announcements to be made in January and the awards made in February. If a company gets selected for an award, what is the earliest they can begin project work? Is it at the time of the announcement or the award? 2) With regard to funds budgeted for travel, does the DOE have any limitations on money used for international travel to relevant conferences? In order to understand our market thoroughly, international conferences are the best way to get information on what others in the field are doing. Is there any limit on government funds to support such travel? 3) Recommendations from the concept papers are supposed to come at the end of October with a full application deadline of November 17. How will applicants be notified whether they should proceed with a full application? Email?
Answer 404:

1)      Please refer to Section IV.G for information regarding Pre-Award costs

2)      International travel costs must allowable, allocable, and reasonable, must be within the scope of the project, and are subject to DOE approval.  Please refer to the applicable Cost Principles for each entity type in Appendix C of the FOA. 

3)      Applicants will be notified via email when the decision is available in eXCHANGE.

Question 405: Are there limits to what can be included in the appendix? Should an intellectual properties agreement be included in the appendix? Should plans for building renovation be included in the appendix?
Answer 405:

Only Letters of Commitment may be attached as an Appendix to the Project Narrative File.

 

 

Question 406: The original FOA indicated that notification of awards would be made in January 2012, and awards would begin by February 2012. With the changes to the application and decision process and dates, have those January and February targets for notifications and awards respectively been changed?
Answer 406:

 

Currently, DOE has no plans for modifying the award dates.  

 

Question 407: If a proposed R & D project consists of a separate facility construction costs that will be necessary for completion of the R & D project, would construction costs be allowable as part of the proposed R & D project under this FOA?
Answer 407:

DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of particular costs or budget items prior to award selection.  It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project and project costs adequately address the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.

Question 408: I was wondering if there was a SF424 Application in Excel format and or a savable pdf that I can use to attach within application?
Answer 408:

Please refer to the Project Management website at: https://www.eere-pmc.energy.gov/Forms.aspx for a savable PDF SF424.

 

 

Question 409: Earlier, the FAQ stated that applicants will probably hear from DoE by mid-October if they've been selected to submit a full proposal. As this has since been changed to end-October, will DoE consider extending the Nov 17 deadline? If so, some advanced notice on the change in deadline would be most appreciated.
Answer 409:

 

The deadline for submissions is currently under review..

 

Question 410: I have four questions regarding this solicitation. 1. Does sub-contractor need to have a Dun number and register through Fed Connect and CCR just like a sub-receiptant? 2. Does sub-contractor need to provide a separate budget and justification if they are receiving more than $100,000? 3. Do we need to identify the cost-sharing items in the budget justification and the budget or does a commitment letter from the company suffice? 4. Is there a cap for how much a consultant can receive hourly and annually for this specific project?
Answer 410:

1.       Please refer to Section VI.B for Administrative requirements.

2.       Please refer to Section IV.C.9 for subcontractor budget information.

3.       Cost shared items should be identified in the budget justification and the commitment letter.

4.       Consultant wages must be reasonable and verifiable.  Please refer to the Cost Principles applicable to your organization for additional information on consultants.

 

Question 411: Instructions specify that the cover page of the full proposal should not include proprietary information as it may be subject to FOI requests. Is the project narrative section expected to be exempt from FOI requests? Obviously concerned about disclosures. I understand that DOE and contracted reviewers are bound by NDAs with DOE.
Answer 411:

Please see Section VIII – Other Information (D) Proprietary Application Information of the Funding Opportunity Announcement regarding the use and treatment of proprietary information in the application.  In response of a FOIA request, the application would be reviewed to determine what sections of the application, if any,  are exempted from FOIA under one of the statutory exemption categories, e.g., trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential (5 U.S.C § 552(b)(4)).

 

 

 

Question 412: Based on the answer to the question 386, after the submittal of the concept paper "total budget and scope of the project must remain the same" in the full application. If, based on the concept paper, we are encouraged to apply for funding and correct our error in the application, will the application be automatically rejected? If we do not correct the error in the full application and are later selected for an award, will there be an opportunity to renegotiate the budget and correct the error?
Answer 412:

Under the facts provided and assuming the team is encouraged to submit a full application, cost share can be increased to meet the FOA requirements, but total DOE share and scope must remain the same.

Question 413: Is there a difference between the SF 424 "Application for Federal Assistance" and the SF 424A mentioned in the FOA. If so where do I find the SF 424? I have an excel version of the 424A already.
Answer 413:

The SF424A is the budget form and the SF424 is the application.  Both forms can be found on the DOE Recipient web site at: https://www.eere-pmc.energy.gov/Forms.aspx

 

Question 414: According to Amendment 004, the due date for Full Applications is November 17, 2011. This is 9 days from award announcement. Has the due date been changed to permit the submission of well written and thought out proposals?
Answer 414:

Please see Amendment 005 on Exchange for revised due dates

Question 415: Where should I see the results of Concept Paper Evaluations - Innovative Manufacturing Initiative FOA (0560)?
Answer 415:

Please refer to the Status of your paper by logging into EXCHANGE and viewing the information under your control number for this FOA.

 

Question 416: Where can one access the comments related to their concept paper submission?
Answer 416:

The comments provided in the email sent to applicants via Exchange on November 8 constitute your debriefing.  No further comments regarding the Concept Paper will be provided. 

Question 417: Will you please provide detailed instructions for where and how to enter the control number to retrieve the recommendation?
Answer 417:

To access the encourage/discourage decision information please log in to EERE Exchange then in the My Submissions table click on the control number.  This will return the Concept Paper Details page.  Scroll down to the Concept paper Response section to find the Concept Paper Review response.

Question 418: Could you tell us how many proposals received an "Encourage" rating to submit a full proposal?
Answer 418:

DOE will not be releasing the number of applications that received “Encourage” or “Discourage” recommendations. 

Question 419: Our Letter of intent included a partner and task that were not carried forward into the Concept paper. Based on the statements that team members could change after the LOI, we anticipated being able to restore this partner and their task in the full proposal. Their task is completely in line with the objectives of the proposal. Under these circumstances, would we be able to include this partner in the full proposal?
Answer 419:  

After the Concept Paper has been submitted, and assuming the team is encouraged to submit a full application, the Total budget and scope of the project must remain the same, because that was the basis for evaluation of Concept Paper. The teaming arrangement can be changed, but only if there is a situation beyond the control of the prime (for example, a partner company gets bought and the new owner does not want to participate). The budget allocation can be changed as the work gets better defined during the preparation of the full application. 

Question 420: I have a question regarding the full application for DE-FOA-0000560. On page 27 of the latest revision of the FOA it states that the Letter of Commitment should be attached to the Project Narrative file. When I go to the submission website there is a place for uploading the Letter of Commitment as a separate file. Should we attach the Letter of Commitment to the Narrative and additionally upload it as a separate file on the website where it is requested?
Answer 420:

All Letters of Commitment must be attached as an Appendix to the Project Narrative File.

Question 421: We (a university) has submitted a concept paper and intends to submit a full application to DE-FOA-0000560 in partnership with a foreign company. The company is willing to establish a place of business in the US to become eligible to receive more than 20% of total estimated DOE funding as required by Section III, Part A in the FOA, but they prefer to do so after we know if the application is successful. Would the partner company qualify for more than 20% of DOE funding if they established a US place of business after the consortium received notification of grant approval?
Answer 421:

Please see Section V.A.1.  If an application fails to meet the eligibility requirements as submitted, it may be deemed non-responsive and eliminated from full Merit Review.

Question 422: If a DOE National Laboratory (FFRDC) is a team member are we required to submit a subrecipient SF424A and subrecipient Budget Justification for the FFRDC as part of our full proposal submittal or can a total dollar figure be provided as part of their letter of commitment and the detailed budgetary information be provided as part of the Field Work Proposal (FWP) process that is to be finalized during negotiations per the paragraph at the bottom of page 20 of the FOA?
Answer 422:

 Please refer to Section IV.C.8 in the FOA for subrecipient budget requirements.

Question 423: We submitted a Concept Paper that did not correctly describe the overall market or energy savings. Since the Concept Paper was submitted, we have formed an additional relationship with a company that will collaborate with us to develop and commercialize products that will be produced using the technology described in the Concept Paper. This will not only lead to reductions in electricity required to fabricate these products, but also create significant life cycle enhancements in fuel efficiencies and overall tremendous decrease in harmful emissions. The potential improvements in fuel efficiencies far exceed the energy size savings reported in the Concept Paper. I know it's possible to submit even with a "discourage" response for the Concept Paper. We are debating whether to submit considering the much higher energy savings, etc. that we anticipate achieving with the inclusion of the new market area. The overall concept is exactly the same. It's just the scope and reach of the project that has changed...dramatically for the better. What is your opinion on this? If we re-submitted perhaps we could include a summary at the beginning of the proposal explaining that the potential of the technology has significantly increased since the submission of the Concept Paper? Then DOE could decide at that point whether the proposal deserved consideration or not. I know this is a difficult question, but we really feel this opportunity is perfect for the technology and DOE.
Answer 423:

Because this is a competitive solicitation, DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the application review process. 

Question 424: We have one question regarding the suitability of a foreign location for the pilot project for the technology being proposed. The end-user participant in our consortium is a major US company that operates plants in the US and throughout the world. Although the technology would be widely applicable across their US plants, the customer's preferred location to demonstrate the technology is a plant near Quebec City, Canada. This is due to the technical considerations in the configuration of the plant and the fact that this plant is the one where new technologies are usually demonstrated and tested before being deployed elsewhere. All work will be carried out by US organizations, in the US, with the exception of the physical installation of the equipment, which would be performed by local contractors and constitute much less than 20% of the total DoE contribution. Would the location of the demonstration project being in Canada be a factor - positive or negative – in the consideration of our proposal?
Answer 424:

Please refer to Section V.A for criteria that will be considered in evaluation of applications under this FOA.

 

 

Question 425: FOA Required Documents list does not include Budget Justification Excel file. Should we create an Excel file based on Appendix D OR where can we find the DOE’s Excel file?
Answer 425:

 

Instructions for providing a budget justification to support the SF424a can be found in Section IV.C.6 and Appendix D.  It is up to applicants to determine the format to provide this information.  You may use the standard PMC 123.1 Budget Justification, but this form is not mandatory. 

Question 426: We are working on a full proposal based on the concept paper that was encouraged to move forward. However, we have a specific question regarding the possibility of substituting one participant for another. We understand one of the Q&A’s related to the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative posted on your website indicated that it was not possible to alter the teaming with few exceptions. If you could let us know what are the exceptions that would be greatly appreciated.
Answer 426:

The teaming arrangement can be changed, but only if there is a situation beyond the control of the prime (for example, a partner company gets bought and the new owner does not want to participate).

Question 427: Since our White Paper provided a rough order of magnitude budget for the project, how much (%) deviation from the proposed budget is acceptable.
Answer 427:

After the Concept Paper has been submitted, and assuming the team is encouraged to submit a full application, the Total budget and scope of the project must remain the same, because that was the basis for evaluation of Concept Paper.

Question 428: "Letters of Commitment from parties participating in the project, exclusive of vendors, who will not be contributing cost share, but will be integral to the success of the project, must be included as part of this Appendix to the Narrative." We are a for-profit Small Business that was "encouraged" to submit full application. We will be contributing towards cost-share from our own funds but have universities as project partners on the program. Do we need Letters of Commitment from each of our University participants?
Answer 428:

Yes. 

 

 

Question 429: Could you possibly put me in touch with some of the personnel involved in the concept paper review and decision making process? I have some congressional representatives who would like to encourage reconsideration of our Innovative Manufacturing application.
Answer 429:

 

Because this is a competitive solicitation, private conversations between DOE personnel and applicants are prohibited.  Please note that a “discourage” rating does not prevent an applicant from submitting a full application. 

Question 430: We received an "Encouraged" response to our concept paper for DE-FOA-0000560. During submission of the concept paper, there was an inadvertent mismatch between the budget information in the text of the cover page for the Concept Paper that we submitted and the budget information entered on the Exchange Website. The budget information within the Concept paper contains the correct numbers. Our plan is to edit the budget information on the Exchange Website for the full application so that it matches the correct numbers submitted with the concept paper. Can you please verify that this is an acceptable course of action?
Answer 430:

Yes, it is permissible to correct a budget discrepancy between the Concept Paper and Exchange to reflect the accurate number as listed in the Concept Paper.

Question 431: Regarding SF-424: 1) What is the CFDA title (I know the number)? Is it "Industrial Technologies Program"? 2) What is the Competition Identification Number and Title?
Answer 431:

Please refer to the instructions on the form.  Required items are identified with an asterisk.  Neither of these items are required.

Question 432: We are developing process control and optimization technology that can be used in a wide range of industries. The test case is being done using a glass plant as an example. Is it possible and helpful to include letters from organizations in other industries to demonstrate the potential commercial breadth of applicability of our proposed technology? These other industry organizations would not take part in the development, but they see great potential to use the technology once it has been developed and demonstrated. If these letters are acceptable and helpful, how should they be incorporated into the proposal application?
Answer 432:

Please refer to Section IV.C.7.  Only the Letters of Commitment described in this section are required and will not count towards the Project Narrative page limit.  Applicants should use their judgment as to whether to provide additional letters in the Project Narrative.

Question 433: Could you please provide clarification on the naming convention we should for file names? The Summary of Required Forms/Files table on pp 28-29 is very clear; however, the fourth paragraph of section IV.C on page 24 appears to modify those instructions to require further modification to the end of the file name if multiple proposals are being submitted. We are submitting multiple full proposals to different topic areas. Using the Project Narrative as an example, say we are submitting our second proposal and it is in response to Topic Area 1A. Which naming convention is correct: Control#_Institution_Technical.PDF, Control#_Institution-2-Topic 1A_Technical.PDF, or Control#_Institution_Technical_Institution-2-Topic 1A.PDF?
Answer 433:

Follow the instructions under Section IV.C, as stated below: 

If your organization is submitting more than one Application to different topic areas, you must identify an application number and the Topic Area Number at the end of each file name.

Question 434: The FWP (for FFRDCs/DOE National Labs) and CO Authorization (see pages 19-21 of FOA) are not listed on teh the “Summary of Required Forms/Fils on page 28-29 of the FOA. Also, I could not find where to include these items on the full-application.
Answer 434:

Please refer to Section III.C.Value/Funding.  Field Work Proposal and other documents will be requested from successful applicants during award negotiation.  The authorization and authority statement must be included in the application as an Appendix to the Narrative. 

Question 435: I am proposing a three year project that has three distinct phases. The work dictates that Phase I is 11 months (TRL 3), Phase II is 10 months, and Phase III is 15 months in duration (both TRL 4). The solicitation suggests one year budget periods. Is it acceptable to propose budget periods that align with the proposed work schedule instead, i.e. BP 1 = 10 months, BP 2 = 11 months, and BP 3 = 15 months?
Answer 435:

Please refer to Section II.E for information regarding the period of performance and an explanation of budget periods. It is recommended that the budget be broken down by one-year budget periods. 

Question 436: After being encouraged to submit a full proposal, one of our team members learned that “the budget request I had in place for this project was eliminated”. Consequently they cannot participate but they have recommended a capable replacement. Would DOE please confirm that: (1) this is in fact something that would be considered “beyond the control of the prime” as noted in Answer 419 and would not prejudice nor disqualify review of the full proposal, and (2) there would be no restriction on replacing the industrial partner with an academic partner offering similar capabilities?
Answer 436:

DOE cannot pre-determine if individual circumstances are “beyond the control of the prime” until after reviewing the explanation submitted with the application.  It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements and justify the change.

Question 437: I am not able to locate any Federal Entity Identifier #s associated with that submission, however could you please check that we should leave SF-424 cover page item 5a. blank or is there a Federal Entity Identifier number associated with [our organization]? Also, what does CAGE acronym stand for and is it generic to organization or particular to each application?
Answer 437:

 Please refer to the instructions on the form.  Required items are identified with an asterisk.  Federal Entity Identifier is not required for new applications. 

CAGE code is a five-character code which identifies companies doing, or planning to do business with the federal government and is assigned through the CCR.

Question 438: We have a sub-contractor who is concerned about rights to the IP developed under a DOE funded project. Apparently, the company has run into IP control and issues licensing the technology from past DOE funded projects. They have stated that the government impeded the process and was not quick to transfer the IP to the companies that developed it. Can you please explain the rights companies have to the IP they develop under this initiative, and if there is an IP transfer process they must complete with the Government to actually own this IP?
Answer 438:

Please refer to “Section VIII – Other Information (F) Intellectual Property Developed under this Program” of the Funding Opportunity Announcement regarding intellectual property rights under an award.  A domestic small-business or a non-profit organization has the right retain title to its subject inventions under the award (or sub-award) in accordance with the Bayh-Dole Act.  DOE has the right to title to any subject invention of a large business or a foreign entity unless DOE waives its rights.  Therefore, a large business or a foreign entity sub-awardee must petition for a DOE patent waiver to take title to its subject invention.  Otherwise, DOE can take title with the sub-awardee having a royalty free non-exclusive license to the subject invention.      

 

 

Question 439: We are in the process of preparing our full application and have a question. We plan to propose the purchase of a piece of equipment which is essential to accomplishing the scope of work. We have been approached by several industry partners regarding the possible use of said equipment for proprietary work during the performance of the DOE IMI program. This work, while not being posted as cost share, would directly relate to the overall scope of the program. The reason they seek to do this is to more rapidly evaluate the technology ahead of the year three implementation, without diluting the DOE IMI project. Can the equipment be used in this manner? And, would the same hold true if the equipment were leased rather than purchased?
Answer 439:

Costs related to equipment will not be prohibited unless the costs are not adequately justified, or if they are unallowable according to the applicable Cost Principles.  For a reference to the applicable Cost Principles for each entity type, please see Appendix C of the FOA.  DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of particular costs or budget items prior to award selection.

Question 440: I had a quick question regarding the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative FO – what department of the DOE is responsible for issuing new clean energy manufacturing/R&D Funding opportunities? It is within the EERE, which department specifically may I speak with to learn more about how the DOE decides on the structure and direction of its various FOs?
Answer 440:

This FOA is issued by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Golden Field Office.

Because this is a competitive solicitation, private conversations with DOE personnel are prohibited.

Question 441: This is a question related to the innovative manufacturing initiative FOA. Can the principal investigator be from a sub-contractor, or does the PI have to be from prime? Can we switch the PI from who we listed on the Concept Paper?
Answer 441:

The Principal Investigator must be from the Prime.  A change of PI is permissible but justification must be provided in the application.

Question 442: We have a small question regarding cost-share requirements for the IMI FOA. We notice that instituitions of higher learning and non-profit organizations are exempted from the 20% cost-share requirement. Thus, Example 2 of Appendix C of the Innovative Manufacturing Solicitation FOA specifically shows the cost-share calculations for an eligible prime recipeint, with non-eligible sub-recipients. However, no examples are shown for non-eligible prime recipients and eligible sub-recipients, the converse of the above example. We assume the cost-share calculations would be similar and fairly straight-forward, but could you clarify the same? Specifcally, on Pages 18 and 19 of Amendment 5, Article 2, it states that a waiver from cost share has been made for 4 classes of recipients including subrecipients. Can you clarify, if a subrecipient is a 501 c 3 not for profit or a university (instituition of higher learning), can their costs be excluded from the total project cost for purposes of calculating cost share? For example, if total project costs are $1,000 and the sub applicant’s costs are $100, would the cost share be based on $900 instead of $1,000?
Answer 442:

The cost share waiver applies only to the work and budget of the types of organizations eligible for the waiver, and not to the work and budgets of other team member organizations who are not included in the waiver.  See Appendix C and Section III.B for the applicable cost sharing requirements, cost share waiver information and how cost share is calculated.

Question 443: Dear DOE, could you please confirm new deadline for full application to DE-FOA-Innovative Manufacturing Initiative is 12/7. I request on behalf of a company that has been Encouraged to submit in response to Concept Paper review.
Answer 443:

Please see Amendment 005 of this FOA.

Question 444: 1. On the application submission site, there is a submission box for the letters of commitment. However, the FOA states that LOC must be attached as an Appendix to the Project Narrative file. Should they also be submitted as a separate PDF? 2. It appears that only 1 sub-recipient budget and 1 sub-recipient budget justification can be uploaded, but our team includes 4 sub-recipients. Please clarify how to submit the required documents. 3. In the General tab, an abstract is required, but the application does not require any item titled “Abstract.” What does DOE want in this box? 4. In the Location(s) of Work tab, is the primary location equivalent to the prime applicant’s location? Is the percentage based on budget?
Answer 444:

1.       Submit the LOC as an appendix to the Project Narrative and not as a separate PDF.

 

2.       Scan or merge the subrecipient budget documents into a single .PDF file.  Scan or merge the subrecipient budget justification documents into a single .PDF file.  Then upload these two documents in the appropriate document upload field in EERE Exchange.

 

3.       The Abstract field should contain a brief description of your project.

 

4.       Location of work refers to the location(s) where the project work will occur.  Percentage of work is based on budget.

Question 445: We plan to submit a proposal to DE-FOA-0000560 where the Prime is a private company that is partnering with a FFRDC national laboratory. The proposal includes work that covers both TRL2 and TRL4 and both types of work will be performed over 3 year duration of the project. The Prime is not requesting a waiver for cost-share for the work at TRL2. Both aspects of work (i.e. TRL2 and TRL4) will be done in parallel since they utilize similar principles and equipment. The FFRDC will do majority of the TRL2 work and some TRL4 work, while the prime will do majority of the TRL4 work and some TRL2 work. Q1: Do we need to submit separate detailed Budget Justification for TRL2 and TRL4 work, as listed in Appendix D - Budget Justification on Page 51-54 of the FOA? Or, is it sufficient to show a summary Q2: Within the proposal narrative, does the distinction between TRL2 and TRL4 parts of the project need to be shown in Spend Plan, Project Management Plan and elsewhere.? table on the proposal cover sheet that shows the breakdown of overall budget (i.e. Prime Cost, FFRDC Cost, DOE total cost, Industry cost-share) separately for TRL2 and TRL4 work?
Answer 445:

Q1.: Yes, if a proposed project involves work at TRL 2-3 as well as 4-6, the Applicant should show a breakdown of the proposed activities and budget by TRL into two separate project phases in the budget and budget justification.

Q2:  Yes.

Question 446: I am writing to ask about cost sharing exemption. I read the explanation in FOA and it only details a case where an exempt party(non-profit) is prime and a non-exempt sub. What about the case where there is a non-exempt prime and an exempt sub. If we assume a 1,250,000 project. Federal Share is 80% or 1,000,000. The non-exempt prime will receive 30% of federal share (award), and exempt prime will receive 60% of federal share (award). Does the non-exempt prime still have to provide the entire 20% cost share required of $250,000, or is that $250,000 requirement reduced by exempt sub’s award percent. Since exempt sub receives 60% of award, is the cost share reduced for the non-exempt team members to 40% of 250k, or 100,000?
Answer 446:

Recipients not eligible for the cost share waiver must provide at least 20% of that Recipient’s allowable project costs (i.e. the sum of the DOE share and the Recipient’s share of allowable costs equals the allowable project cost).

Question 447: I received a notice from Grant.gov that there is a modification # 7. It is not posted on your website. Is it available?
Answer 447:

There is no modification #7.  Please refer to EXCHANGE for the most recent amendment which currently is Amendment 005.

Question 448: How does the DOE treat IP that is jointly developed and owned? For example, our arrangement with our team, which consists of Non-profit, small business, and large business, is that any IP we jointly develop with DOE funding, we jointly and equally own. Would the DOE give the non-profit and small business right to retain title to its share of IP and take control of the large business’ share of the IP?
Answer 448:

 

The right to title to a subject invention (i.e., an invention conceived or first actually reduced to practice) is controlled by statute.  Domestic small business firms and non-profit organizations have the  right to retain title to its subject inventions pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 202.  Title to subject inventions of foreign or large business firms vest with DOE unless DOE waives its rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5908.  If a subject invention is jointly invented by a domestic small business firm or a non-profit organization and a large business firm, then the subject invention would be jointly owned by the domestic small business firm or the non-profit organization (provided it elects to retain ownership) and DOE unless DOE waives its rights.   In such a situation, the large business firm would petition to have DOE waive its rights in favor of the large business firm not the small business firm or the non-profit organization.  Therefore, provided that a waiver was granted, the small business firm or the non-profit organization (through 35 U.S.C. 202) and the large business firm (through the DOE waiver) would be joint owners of the subject invention.       

 

Question 449: 1. Can we just update their DUNS number in our EERE-Exchange account without any impact to our grant proposal? 2. Or, if our client updates their DUNS number in the CCR, will that change process have any impact on our submission through EERE-Exchange?
Answer 449:

 Changing the DUNS number will not have any impact on the application process.  Please refer to Section VI.B for Administrative Requirements of this FOA.

Question 450: One of our subs, who is allocated to receive 60% of award, over $100,000, only broke down their tasks as Year 1 and Year 2 for SF424 purposes. They did not expose any details in the justification. Is this an acceptable SF424 breakdown in general or do you require more resolution in their cost-per-major-activity)? Also, do you require a separate sealed envelope sent to the Government for a sub’s SF424?
Answer 450:

Please refer to Section IV.C.8 and Section IV.C.9 for subrecipient budget and budget justification requirements.  Please refer to Section IV.E for submission information.

Question 451: I am still unclear as to the required amount of cost sharing required. If total project costs are $1,000, and team members will provide 20% cost sharing, or $200, and the DOE will fund the other 80%, or $800. Assuming the sub applicant’s budget to receive $100 of that $800, and that they get a cost share waiver, would the other team members then only have to come up with cost sharing on the $900 amount, instead of the $1000 amount? Please define what the cost share waiver means. Answering another example would help. If total project size is 1,000 and the sub, who is eligible for cost share waiver, will receive $600 of the $800 DOE award, is the total project size which the cost share is based on for the other team members reduced by the $600 to $400? So the other team members would now need to cost share 20% of the $400?
Answer 451:

The amount of cost-share required by “non-eligible” entities is (at a minimum) the difference between the “total project cost” less any “eligible cost-share waiver entities’” total proposed budget. 

 $100 total project cost

-$60 done by a non-eligible entity (e.g., for profit)

______________________

$40 for TRLs 2-3 (waiver eligible)

                $20 of the $40 by a waiver eligible entity

                $20 remainder by another non-eligible entity

______________________

 $100 total project cost -$20 (waiver eligible entity) = $80

Therefore, the minimum cost share requirement for the non-eligible entities is $16 (20% of $80 = $16)

Question 452: Given the new deadline of December 7th, when do you anticipate (ballpark?) that the award announcements will be made for the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative?
Answer 452:

DOE anticipates notifying Applicants selected for award in February 2012 and start making awards by March 2012.

Question 453: The solicitation states that the budget must be broken out by TRL (TRL 2-3 and TRL 4-6). However it also states that a separate budget (SF424A) must be provided for each year and for the cumulative budget and that this must be in saved in a single file. If the TRLs cross over budget years should there be 3 SF424A forms, one for each TRL and then one for the project as a whole and all of those budgets saved into one file or should the SF424A only be for the project as a whole and breakdown between TRLs be reflected in the project description?
Answer 453:

You must provide a separate budget (SF 424A) for each year of support requested and a cumulative budget for the total project period.  If a project involves work at TRL 2 - 3 as well as 4 - 6, the Applicant should also show a breakdown of the proposed budget (SF 424A)  by TRL (i.e. TRL 2-3 work should have a separate budget from TRL 4-6 work). Save the information in a single file.

Question 454: My question concerns the SF-424. Do all contractors and sub-recipients need to fill out a separate SF-424 ?
Answer 454:

No

Question 455: Hello, I have two quick questions regarding the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative FOA. 1. In Appendix D, under "Fringe", it states that "If there is not a current, federally approved rate agreement negotiated and available, provide a copy of the proposal with the application." Is there DOE-specific guidance on what such a proposal should include and how it should be presented? 2. Once this proposal is developed should it be included as a separate attachment along with the grant application or should it be embedded in the budget justification excel?
Answer 455:

There is no required format.  It is up to applicants to determine the best format for the rate proposal.  A sample rate proposal can be found here: https://www.eere-pmc.energy.gov/Forms.aspx.  The proposal should be included in the budget justification documents. 

Question 456: Is the Prime Recipient SF 424A [5 "Prime Recipient SF424A Budget (XLS)"] and accompanying budget justification [6 "Prime Recipient Budget Justification (XLS)"] supposed to be the culmination of the total project, i.e. Prime PLUS Sub-recipient costs, or just those incurred by the Prime?
Answer 456:

The Prime’s SF424A and Budget Justification should contain total project costs including subrecipient costs.

Question 457: How do I upload more than one document when I have more than one Subrecipient Budget Justification? I can only seem to do one and then not another. This is an excel spreadsheet.
Answer 457:

 

Scan and merge these documents or use separate sheets for each subrecipient within the same excel document.

 

Question 458: In order for us to submit the best possible package for the subject initiative [our company] is respectfully requesting an extension in the Full Application Submission Deadline from 12/7/2011 5:00 PM ET until 12/22/11 5:00PM ET.
Answer 458:

Requests for application extensions cannot be accepted. 

   

Question 459: For the subrecipient budget file names: is the “Institution” the prime or the name of the organization that is the subrecipient?
Answer 459:

 

"Institution” refers to the lead organization. 

Question 460: Can you please give the exact direction as to the naming of the files?
Answer 460:

The applicant can put the control number and organization name in the file name, but eXCHANGE will use the control number and organization name that has been entered in eXCHANGE.  Do not use brackets in the naming convention of your document.

Question 461: This question concerns the Answer to Question 444 on the EERE website. The answer states that because we have more than one sub-recipient we are to submit the sub-recipient Budget Justification and SF424A as merged documents in PDF format. However, the FOA specifically states that the sub-recipient SF 424A and sub-recipient Budget Justification are to be submitted as .XLS files only ?
Answer 461:

EXCHANGE has been modified to allow for uploading PDF versions of sub-recipient budgets.

Question 462: Per FAQ 444, I tried to upload the subrecipient SF424A forms as a single pdf. However, an error occurred (This file extension isn't allowed). Please advise.
Answer 462:

Please try to re-submit in PDF format.  EXCHANGE was updated to accept budgets in PDF format.

Question 463: How do sub-tier suppliers that need to submit pricing data directly to you on this effort go about it? Can they use the web site and reference our proposal number, or is there another preferred method?
Answer 463: