A new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to spur the use of high-performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing is now seeking a second round of proposals from industry to compete for approximately $3 million in new funding.
The High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program currently supports 15 projects partnering companies together with DOE’s national labs to use the labs’ high-performance computing (HPC) systems to upgrade their manufacturing processes and bring new clean energy technologies to market.
The 15 current projects underway, ranging from improved turbine blades for aircraft engines and reduced heat loss in electronics to improved fiberglass production, have each been awarded up to $300,000 for a total of nearly $4.5 million.
The partnerships use world-class supercomputers and scientific expertise from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), which leads the program, and partner
laboratories Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge National Laboratories (LBNL and ORNL), which in turn team up with U.S. manufacturers.
“We are thrilled with the response from the U.S. manufacturing industry,” said LLNL mathematician Peg Folta, the director of the HPC4Mfg program. “This program lowers the barrier of entry for U.S. manufacturers to adopt HPC. It makes it easier for a company to use supercomputers by not only funding access to the HPC systems, but also to experts in the use of these systems to solve complex problems.”
Concept proposals from U.S. manufacturers seeking to use the national labs’ capabilities can now be submitted to the HPC4Mfg program. It is expected that another 8-10 projects worth approximately $3 million will be funded, with the applications due by April 21.
A number of companies and their initial concepts will be selected and paired with a national lab HPC expert to jointly develop a full proposal in June, with final selections to be announced in August. More information about the HPC4Mfg program, the solicitation call, and submission instructions can be found at
Started March 2015, the HPC4Mfg program was created by the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Access to supercomputers in the Department of Energy’s labs will provide a resource to American firms inventing and building clean energy technologies right here at home that no international competitor can match,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. “The HPC4Mfg initiative pairs leading clean energy technology companies with the world-class computing tools and expertise at our national labs to drive down the cost of materials and streamline manufacturing processes. The ultimate goal of their collaboration is to increase our global competitiveness in the race to develop clean energy technology and jobs.”
Although the program is presently focused on using national lab HPC resources to bolster manufacturing, it is possible that other fields, such as transportation, more efficient buildings and renewable energy also could benefit from these national lab resources. As the program broadens, other national laboratory partners are expected to join.
As the HPC4Mfg program continues, it is anticipated that there will be two rounds of proposals sought each year, one in the spring and the other in the fall.