The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that two MIT-led Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) received funding to continue their cutting-edge research. The centers are among 32 projects that were competitively selected from more than 200 proposals as part of a second round of funding for the program.
The EFRC program aims to accelerate transformative energy discoveries by combining the talents and creativity of the nation’s top scientists. These integrated, multi-investigator centers conduct fundamental research focused on one or more major energy challenges, such as solar energy, electrical energy storage, carbon capture and sequestration, and extreme environments.
The MIT-led Centers that received renewed funding are:
In addition to the two MIT-led centers, MIT is also a partner on one of the centers led by the National Renewable Energy Lab: The Center for Next Generation Materials. R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Gerbrand Ceder will play a leadership role in the center, and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Alexie Kolpak will lead a section of the research. The center aims to transform the discovery of functional energy materials.
Since their establishment, all of the EFRCs have produced 5,400 peer-reviewed scientific publications and hundreds of inventions at various stages of the patent process. EFRC research has also benefited a number of large and small firms, including start-up companies.
Twenty-three of the projects that received funding are headed by universities, eight are led by the Energy Department’s National Laboratories and one project is run by a non-profit organization.
To learn more about the Center for Excitonics, visit: rle.mit.edu/excitonics
To learn more about the Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center, visit: s3tec.mit.edu
To learn more about DOE’s EFRC program, visit: science.energy.gov/bes/efrc
This article appears in the Autumn 2014 issue of Energy Futures.
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