Call for Projects FAQ

Please consult the list of frequently asked questions below before submitting your question here.   It is very likely you will find the answer.

Q: Can current and/or future government SBIR funds that are awarded to a small business be considered for the 50% cost matching requirement?

A: Per the Terms and Conditions of NC State’s Cooperative Agreement with DOE, “the Recipient may not use Federal funds to meet its cost sharing obligations, unless otherwise allowed by Federal law”.

Q: If a university applicant is part of an Industry project, would the funding allocated to them for their particular Topic/Subtopic limit their total funding for other university projects they may be pursuing?

A: Yes. Also note that a university is only eligible to receive one award per P.I. in Focus Areas 2-4. However, a university P.I. is eligible to receive one additional award on Focus Area 5.

Q: I just want to confirm that National Laboratories can submit proposals, either as the Prime or as a subject partner, in response to Topic 4 of the Call for Proposals.

A: National labs can submit proposals. They are still subject to the 1:1 cost matching requirement. Labs may partner with industry to obtain some or all the cost matching.

Q: Could the matching from companies be in the form of in-kind?

A: A link to the Cost Share Matching Requirements and the definition of in-kind contributions can be found here: (https://www.poweramericainstitute.org/2018-call-for-projects/)

 Q: Can two sections within Focus Area 2 (2.2 and 2.5) be combined into one Concept Paper/Proposal?

A: Yes.  Please note we are looking for technologies that are beyond the concept feasibility stage, a demonstration by the end of the 12 month project period, and a path to commercialization. Universities and National Labs are encouraged to collaborate with large companies to have a commercial path for their innovations. 

Q: Where can the quad chart template be found?

A: The quad chart template can be downloaded from the PowerAmerica website: https://www.poweramericainstitute.org/2018-call-for-projects/

 Q: For topic 4 projects, would the funding allocation for industry/academia project be exact $800K for industry and $300K for academia? Or can it be flexible?

A: For topic 4 industry/University project collaboration, the funding will be up to as much as $800K for industry and up to as much as $300K for academia. The allocation is firm.

Q: For Collaborative Industry/University Projects, does it mean both industry and university need join PowerAmerica? Or just at least one member joining is fine?

A: PowerAmerica funding is only available to members. Both industry and university need to join PowerAmerica to receive funding.

 Q: We wanted to inquire whether the proposal/concept paper can be multi-year (say in response to topic 3.1), or whether they should strictly be for 1 year following the maximum funding guidelines mentioned in the Call for Projects.

A: The concept paper should be strictly for 1 year following the funding guidelines mentioned in the Call for Projects.

Q: For Topic 3.1, the funding limit is up to $800K for industry, and up to $400K for university and national labs. For a project team composed of an industry institution, a university and a national lab, please clarify whether the university and national lab can each receive $400K, or whether the $400K needs to be divided between the university and national lab in some way.

A: For a project team composed of an industry institution, a university, and a national lab, each would receive the amounts listed. Total funding for such a project would be up to $1.6M.

Q: Is there any strict requirement on the company background in terms of shareholder structure? like 100% US ownership or some equity percentage can be owned by the foreign entities outside the USA, e.g.: 30% equity is owned by a Germany company etc..

A: No, there is no strict requirement on the company background in terms of shareholder structure.  Institute membership is open to all U.S. industrial organizations (incorporated or formed under the laws of a State or territory of the United States that maintain a significant manufacturing presence in the U.S.), academic institutions, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and other U.S. based entities committed in furthering technology related to Wide Bandgap Semiconductors and Power Electronics.

Foreign-owned or partially foreign-owned organizations with a U.S. manufacturing presence may, with the approval of the Executive Director, be eligible for membership when the organization’s participation in the Institute would be in the economic interest of the United States and aligned with the vision and mission of the Institute.

Q: Are applicants required to become members of PowerAmerica before whitepapers/proposals are submitted, or can they wait until after proposal selection to become members?

A: Waiting until selection of a Full Proposal is acceptable.

Q: What is the total page limit for the Concept Paper?

A: Concept Papers are limited to six pages. The required Quad chart is additional.

Q: Is it possible to submit a project that is an extension of an already submitted OIF white paper?

A: The concept papers and projects will be evaluated on their own merits independently from previous submissions.

Q: Can PowerAmerica help obtain high voltage devices (10 kV and 3.3 kV) for projects to be conducted in Budget Period 5?  

A: PA will assist with obtaining 3.3 kV, 6.5 kV, and 10 kV engineering samples. $50K should be allocated in the budget toward the cost of high voltage device/modules. No detailed device/module cost breakdown is needed at the concept paper stage.

Q: For the contact person information, should I put myself (PI) information there or the university Business/Administrative POC?

A: List whoever should receive the notification of the encourage/discourage notice. There is also a spot to add an email address for someone else who is not the person completing the submission but needs to be informed of status updates.

Q: In the membership application form, there are manufacturing related questions, for example: “Number of manufacturing workers based in the U.S.”, “Location of principal U.S. manufacturing site(s) related to WBG”, “Manufacturing presence outside U.S.”. As an academic member, we don’t have this information. Can we put N.A. as the answer?

A: Yes, please put N/A.

Q: For Topic area 4 can a university partner with an industry that is not a PowerAmerica member (but a leading manufacturer of products in the topic areas) with that industry not receiving any funds from PowerAmerica? Will this qualify as a path towards commercialization? What IP rights will the industry have in this scenario? How will it be affected if the industry also provides cost share – either cash or in-kind?

A: University proposals are encouraged to partner with Industry. Partnerships with industry with a strong commercialization plan greatly strengthen a proposal. The industry partners do not have to be PowerAmerica members, but the commercialization efforts should have a US manufacturing component.  No PowerAmerica funds will go to non-members. If an industry member is contributing to the university’s cost share match, the value of that match should be documented and described in the cost share commitment letter (Full Proposal only). IP rights are determined by the membership agreement and bylaws.

Q: I know you have clarified that National Laboratories can participate in this call, but our contracting office requests verification that we can participate as an FFRDC (Federal Funding Research and Development Center). Can you confirm?
We are aware of the cost share requirements.

A: Yes, FFRDCs can participate.

Q: If two companies team for a proposal, does the cost share have to be shared proportionally? Or can the team members divide the cost share as they want (as long as the total cost share requirement is met)? 

A: The total cost share must be met. It doesn’t have to be proportional.

Q: Can the Quad Chart, the Gantt chart and the budget estimate each take one page in the Concept Paper?

A: The Quad Chart, the Gantt chart, and the budget estimate can each take one page in the Concept Paper as long as total number of concept paper pages is not exceeded.

Q: For university-led projects, could industry collaborators provide cost share if they are not PowerAmerica members?

For university-led projects, if industry partners would receive a small amount of the fund as Co-PIs, sub-contractors, or consultants, do they need to be PowerAmerica members in these cases?

A: Collaborations can occur in a variety of ways. Non members can provide cost share.

Membership is encouraged for industry collaborations where technical collaboration is occurring but can be evaluated on a case by case basis. Some small services or purchases  by subcontract do not require membership.

Q: We have a sub-contractor (small US based entity) on our team, who is not a PA member. Can the sub-contractor cost share any of the funding or does the
entire cost share have to come from the lead organization? For e.g. on a concept paper requesting $400K of PA funds ($800K total), if $150K were allocated
to the sub-contractor, can the sub-contractor show $150K of cost share (in kind or cash) or the entire cost share should have to come from the lead.

A: The subcontractor can cost share part of the funding.

Q: When you say that university can get $300K on a project, is that $300K total or $300K from PA and $300K from cost share for a total of $600K?

A: The latter. A university can receive up to $300K from PA and the university must match that with another $300K for a total university project budget of $600K.

Q: I see the EERE Budget Justification excel file has a space for the Award Recipient name at the top of the Instructions page. In this case, I’d expect a separate file should be submitted for each partner requesting an award within a proposal?

A: A given full proposal should have only one (1) EERE 335.1 budget justification submitted by the lead organization. Partner organizations should be considered “contractors” and listed as such in the EERE 335.1 of the prime. The only exception to this would be if a contractor is budgeted for $250K or more federal dollars, in which case the prime partner would need to submit their EERE 335.1 as noted above *plus* a separate EERE 335.1 detailing the budget of the partner contractor.

Q: Although you are requesting only one EERE-335.1 Budget form although our proposal is made up of 3 organizations all each seeking a DoE cost match, will the DoE matching funds be disbursed separately to each organization by PowerAmerica? We were under the impression that PowerAmerica manages all subcontracting rather than the lead organization. Please clarify.

A: Only one EERE 335.1 form is needed for a project unless one of the contractors has a budget of $250K or greater. As discussed in the Call for Projects document, we expect proposals to be submitted by one lead organization with any partners incorporated into the budget/SOPO as contractors. So federal dollars flow to the lead organization and flow through that organization to the other partners in the form of subcontracts. PowerAmerica will only issue one subaward to the lead organization.

Q: We have a project in which there are two subawards. For the cost share requirement, can just one of the entities cover all of the cost-sharing for the entire project or is it required that each entity has to meet the 1:1 match for their own budget?

A: One entity can cover all of the 1:1 cost matching requirements.

Q: Is the membership fee based on calendar year or just for project duration. In other words, is the total membership fee $100K or $50K only because the project is only for one year duration?

A: Membership is for a 12 month period that starts when your membership paperwork is completed. Your membership year does not have to correlate exactly with the funding year timeline. A $50k membership at the affiliate level would cover one year of membership.

Q: We are planning a proposal that would include a company as subcontractor/collaborator.; To receive an award would both the university and the company have to become members? And is it accurate that the annual fee for a university is $10,000? Would that membership fee be able to used as part of the project match (my reading of the cost share guidelines suggest the answer is no, but I would like to confirm). Thank you

A: Yes, for a collaboration project award both the university and the company have to become members. Annual fee for a university is $10K. Membership fee cannot be used as part of the project match.