2018 Call for Projects Questions and Answers

PowerAmerica will post all questions and answers for the 2018 Call for Projects below. If you need to submit a question about the 2018 Call for Projects to the PowerAmerica staff please complete the form found on our 2018 Call for Projects page.

Q: If a Company or University applicant utilizes a Service Center at NC State University as a resource vendor, does that preclude or limit the faculty associated with the Service Center from submitting proposals? Does it impact the applicant as well/instead?

A: No, this will not have an impact provided all other requirements are met for a given applicant.

Q: We would like to submit proposal to build applications using device structures that Power America funded to create last year. This will enable wider commercialization of the last year’s development work. What is the best way to proceed since we will need 1) Specs of the device being developed; 2) some assessment on the progress that the device will indeed be ready for further application development. Essentially, we need collaboration with the last year’s awardee. Please advise how to proceed?

A: All our projects from the previous year are summarized on our website (https://poweramericainstitute.org/member-projects/)  under About/Member Projects. Please contact the project PI directly, to explore collaboration opportunities.

Q: For industry led projects, is it necessary to have collaborative partner from university, or is having a collaborative partner from national lab good enough? 

A: Having a collaborative partner from national lab in lieu of a university partner is acceptable.

Q: Is it mandatory for companies to partner with a University? Per the CFP, “Company-led teams must include a University Partner or an associated University project that provides research supporting the manufacturing goals of the project.”

A: Yes, university partners are required, or (see question above) an industry led project can have a national lab partner in lieu of a university.

Q: Can two projects submitted by two different divisions of a company have the same POC? Can the P.I. for one of the projects act as a consultant for the other?

A: No. The same project lead (or Principal Investigator, to use university terminology) cannot submit for two different projects. The only exception to this rule is that one can submit one additional project as long as it is in Focus Area 5.  Yes, the P.I. for one project can serve as a consultant on another project (provided that project has another individual serving as lead/P.I.).

Q: Can a university submit a proposal for Power America’s call without any partner companies?

A: As stated in the Teaming section of the Call for Projects document at the bottom of page 4, teaming between university and industry is required for Focus Areas 2-4, but is only strongly encouraged (but not required) for Focus Area 5.

Q: For projects using commercially available devices, funding up to $800K for Industry: Does it mean the PowerAmerica share is $800K and industry needs match another $800k so the project scale is up to $1.6M?

A: Yes, as described in the Expected Award Amounts section of the Call for Projects document at the bottom of page 3, the amounts listed throughout theCall for Projects document only represent the PowerAmerica award portion, and do not include the required 1:1 match, so yes in this instance total amount would be $1.6M, half federal funds from PowerAmerica and half cost-share contributed by industry.

Q: There are conflicting pieces of information in the CFP Summary table that need to be clarified. On Page 3, under Expected Award Amounts, it says, “For organizations teaming/participating in multiple proposals: the maximum dollar amount those organizations will be eligible to receive will be limited to the organization specific funding limit for the given sub-topic.” But, On Page 4, under Multiple Applications and Awards, it says, “Only one (1) award will be made to any division/site of any business (whether proposals were submitted as an individual organization or as part of a team).” Which is accurate? Can we participate and be awarded in one proposal as Prime and in one or more proposals as a subcontracted partner?

A: These items are not actually in conflict. Page 3 refers to the total funding ceiling for which a given applicant is eligible. You may participate in multiple teaming arrangements for multiple applications (but only serving as the lead on one). But regardless of whether only one or all of those applications are selected, your organization will only be eligible to receive up to the total award limit for the sub-topic (for example, $800K for industry for most sub-topics). 

Page 4 refers to the subaward itself–that is, the contract. So, to continue with the example from above, if both of the applications in which you participated were selected for funding, you would only receive one subaward, and it would be for the proposal in which you were the lead organization. For any other proposals accepted for PA funding, the lead organization on the team would be responsible for issuing a subaward to you. 

Q: We believe our team’s proposed project would fall under Topic 2.4, Gallium Nitride Power Devices. However, it would deal with vertical GaN development and we see that on Page 7 of the CFP document it says, “PowerAmerica does not have the capacity to fund: …Vertical GaN development (because it is at a low level of technical maturity)”. Does this mean you will not accept applications that deal with vertical GaN for this Call for Projects?

A: With respect to WBG power devices, we fund projects that take technologies that have been proven at high-yields, from small scale production to large volume US manufacturing. Although significant strides have been made in vertical GaN devices, they are still bellow this level of maturity. Thus, per our DOE mission, we will not fund vertical GaN device projects for this year’s CFP or for our rolling call for Open Innovation Fund projects.

Q: To apply for 2.4 Gallium Nitride Power Devices, would a teaming arrangement with University and fabless industry partner need to involve a US GaN power foundry partner in the proposal? Establishing a US GaN power foundry seems to be a separate effort covered in 2.2.

A: Yes, this is correct. A U.S. based GaN foundry must be identified for both topics 2.2. and 2.4.