Archives for February 16, 2016

e-ASIA Joint Research Program

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The e-ASIA Joint Research Program aims to develop a vibrant and collaborative r esearch community in Science and Technology, to promote innovation in the East Asian region, and to contribute to the region’s economicdevelopment. Calls for proposals in 2015 included the following:

– Health Research – specific research areas in 2015 are Infectious Diseases and Cancer Research

– Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

– Intelligent Infrastructure for Transportation

– Bioenergy

Transportation Research Board (TRB): IDEA Programs (Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis)

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The programs provide start-up funding for promising, but unproven, innovations in surface transportation systems. The programs’ goals are to seek out and support new transportation solutions that are unlikely to befunded through traditional sources.

Top 3 Criteria by Which Selection Committees Evaluate IDEA Proposals:
– Innovation — Emphasize the innovation. Say it first, say it fast, and make it clear. What problem does the project address? How is your solution better than current practice?
– Benefits — Describe the expected benefits. Why is this project worth investing in?
– Science — Stick to the science. Be sure the research approach is sound and sensible.

NSF: Civil Infrastructure Systems

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The Civil Infrastructure Systems (CIS) program supports fundamental and innovative research necessary for designing, constructing, managing, maintaining, operating and protecting efficient, resilient and sustainablecivil infrastructure systems. Research that recognizes the role that these systems play in societal functioning and accounts for how human behavior and social organizations contribute to and affect the performance of these systems is encouraged. While component-level, subject-matter knowledge may be crucial in many research efforts, this program focuses on the civil infrastructure as a system in which interactions between spatially-distributed components and intersystem connections exist. Thus, intra- and inter-physical, information and behavioral dependencies of these systems are also of particular interest. Topics pertaining to transportation systems, construction engineering, infrastructure systems and infrastructure management are a focus of this program. Research that considers either or both ordinary and disrupted operating environments is relevant. Methodological contributions pertaining to systems engineering and design, network analysis and optimization, performance management, vulnerability and risk analysis, mathematical and simulation modeling, exact and approximate algorithm development, control theory, statistical forecasting, dynamic and stochastic systems approaches, multi-attribute decision theory, and incorporation of behavioral and social considerations, not excluding other methodological areas or the integration of methods, specific to this application are encouraged. Additional research of interest exploits data/information, and takes advantage of relevant technological advances, such as social media. In general, research that has the promise of long-lasting, cascading (hopefully escalating) impact on the wider researchcommunity through its theoretical, scientific, mathematical or computational contributions is valued.
The program does not support research with a primary contribution pertaining to individual infrastructure components, materials, sensor technology, extreme event modeling, climate modeling, human factors, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental sciences, or hydrologic engineering, since these topics do not fall within the scope of the CIS program. Researchers focused in these areas are encouraged to contact the Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events (IMEE), Geotechnical Engineering and Materials (GEM), or Structural and Architectural Engineering and Materials (SAEM) programs. Additionally, researchers may consider contacting the Hydrologic Sciences program in the Earth Sciences Division (EAR) or the Physical and Dynamic Meteorology (PDM) program in the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division (AGS) of the Directorate for Geosciences.

The CIS program encourages knowledge dissemination and technology transfer activities that can lead to broader societal benefit and implementation for provision of physical civil infrastructure systems.

AFOSR: Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments

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The objective of basic research in Aerospace Materials for ExtremeEnvironments is to provide the fundamental knowledge required to enable revolutionary advances in future U.S. Air Force technologies through thediscovery and characterization of materials for extreme temperatures (exceeding 1000 degrees Celsius), other extreme environments of stress-, magnetic-, electric-, microwave-, and ultrasound fields. Interest domain includes the fundamental science of single crystals, heterogeneous structures, interface of phases and grain boundaries. Materials of interest are ceramics, metals, hybrid systems including inorganic composites that exhibit superior structural, functional and/or multifunctional performance.

The function within a specific time domain of interest profoundly important and response characteristics defines the material more importantly than generalized properties. The following research concentrations are selected to highlight the aforementioned philosophy about function, environment and state of the materials that could create disruptive source of transformations.

Predictive Materials Science: Simulation-based materials design has the potential to dramatically reduce the need for expensive down-stream characterization and testing. Currently, we don’t even have a good grasp of how combining materials into particular compounds gives them certain properties, or how these properties give materials functional qualities. Often the modeling approaches make casual inference about the microstructural features. The aim is to explore the possibility for the quantification of microstructure through reliable and accurate descriptions of grain and particle shapes, and identifying sample distributions of shape descriptors to generate and predict structures which might revolutionize the design and performance. The quality of computerized representation of microstructures and models will be measured by its (a) geometric accuracy, or faithfulness to the physical landscape, (b) complexity, (c) structure accuracy and controllability (function), and (d) amenability to processing and high level understanding. In order to satisfy this objective, the approaches may require development of an accurate methodology for the quantification of 3-Dimensional shapes in both experimental and theoretical microstructures in heterogeneous systems, and to establish a pathway for an accurate comparison tools (and metric).

Materials Response Far from Equilibrium: The transformative breakthrough has not originated from the investigations of materials in equilibrium state but in contrary at the margins of the disciplines. In this context, this program embraces materials that are far from the thermodynamic equilibrium domain; bulk metallic glasses, highly doped polycrystalline laser materials, adaptive oxides, multiferroics, supersaturated-, frustrated structures (quasi-two-dimensional electron gas of layered structures). The aim is to link an effective property to relevant local fields weighted with certain correlation functions that statistically exemplify the structure and demonstrate clear scientific pathway to create new materials with specific tailorable properties. This subtopic area require elucidation of complex interplay between (first order) phase transitions for electronic/magnetic phase separation and untangle the interdependence between structural, electronic, photonic and magnetic effects. Realization of the multi-component systems that are far from equilibrium may also require new approaches to how computation itself is modeled or even an entirely new understanding of computation.

Combined External Fields: This portfolio stresses a fundamental understanding of external fields and energy through the materials microstructure at a variety of time scales and in a variety of conditions. This area includes a wide range of activities that require understanding and managing the non-linear response of materials to combined loads (i.e., thermal, acoustic, chemistry, shear or pressure fields) under high energy density non-equilibrium extremities. One example of this this objective is the interest to expand the scientific understanding of high electrical field applications through the incorporation of the new mathematical enterprises that captures the dynamic relationship between structure and properties across the space and time scales that exist at the hetero-interface. Another example is the discovery of new techniques for modeling, measuring, and analyzing thermal phenomena at multiple time and length scales in emerging novel material systems with the ultimate goal of exploiting these phenomena to design future materials and components that break the paradigm of today’s materials where the boundaries of performance/failure are defined by thermal conduction, convection, and radiation physics. As a whole, this subtopic also aims to expand the scientific base for understanding the formation, control, and mitigation of structures in external fields and use this scientific base to design and build materials far from equilibrium as well as thermodynamically stable structures.

Walmart: U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund

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Abstract
Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and the United States Conference of Mayors (“USCM”) are pleased to release a second Request for Proposals for 501(c)(3) organizations and public universities that are instrumentalitiesof a state government interested in receiving support for applied researchfrom the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund (the “U.S.Manufacturing Innovation Fund”). The U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, a collaboration among Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and USCM, is focused on the development of U.S. manufacturing, with the specific goal of making it more feasible and competitive to make consumer goods in the U.S.

Though this is not an exhaustive list of possible challenges, the U.S.Manufacturing Innovation Fund has selected a list of manufacturing focus areas that hold significant potential to turn the tide in favor of U.S.manufacturing for many consumer products. The U.S. ManufacturingInnovation Fund will provide grants in support of Projects advancing innovative solutions to key challenges that have the potential to:
– Lower the cost of making consumer products in the U.S.
– Lead to broader innovation for overall manufacturing processes
– Jumpstart innovation leading to commercialization of new manufacturingtechnologies in selected focus area industries
– Ultimately drive job creation within the U.S.

The U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund has prioritized textile manufacturingactivities for funding in 2015 – 2016.

The obstacles prioritized by the U.S. Manufacturing Fund for the current cycle are as follows:

Weaving
Weaving yarn into fabric is an important step in the value chain for textile products. Though weaving operations make use of automated looms and other machinery, the process involves several steps. Setting up the machinery and transferring the material between steps can drive labor intensity, making low labor – cost countries more attractive than the U.S. Further automating the weaving process would bring costs down and make weaving a more attractive proposition in the U.S.

Fabric dyeing
Fabric is dyed before being transformed into a final product. Current dyeing techniques are water and energy intensive, and produce wastewater that needs to be treated before being discharged. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation would like to promote the development of environmentally aware dyeing alternatives that make the process viable and cost-effective in the U.S. while satisfying regulatory and legal requirements. This approach is consistent with Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to sustainability as well as investing in American jobs

Cut and sew
Companies currently rely mostly on manual cut-and- sew processes to turn fabric and other components into textiles and apparel. Because these processes are relatively complicated, and because individual products feature unique designs and therefore require flexibility in manufacturing, there are limitations on the extent to which existing technologies can automate the process. The introduction of more sophisticated, flexible automation technologies would make it more cost-effective to cut and sew these products in the U.S.

NSF and NIST (limited submissions):Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Foresights

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The National Science Foundation (NSF), with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is calling for the advanced manufacturing research community to unite in the establishment of the Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Foresights (the “Consortium”). NSF is the program lead and is solely responsible for administration of the solicitation and the resulting award. NIST, acting on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, is the program co-sponsor with NSF and provides financial and administrative support to NSF. The Consortium will:
– Embrace all fields of advanced manufacturing, including emerging areas and areas overlapping with other disciplines.
– Serve as a catalyst and enabler for and give a voice to the national advanced manufacturing research community in shaping the future of advanced manufacturing.
– Consider issues, challenges and opportunities facing U.S. advanced manufacturing, and source novel and unanticipated perspectives on technology priorities that can inform both the broad advanced manufacturing community and agency work.
– Provide a resource for rapid response expert advice to help inform cross-cutting federal research and development initiatives in advanced manufacturing. It is anticipated that these responses might be provided within from several days for simple informational items to several months for more complex issues.
– Serve as an intermediary for the Administration in soliciting the input of the broader manufacturing community and supply chains on technology strategies.

In fulfilling its roles, the Consortium will:
– Enable the advanced manufacturing community to communicate to a broad audience the myriad ways in which advances in manufacturing will create a brighter future and encourage the alignment of advanced manufacturing research with pressing national priorities and national challenges.
– Facilitate the generation of visions for advanced manufacturing research and education and communicate them to a wide range of stakeholders.
– Provide flexible mechanisms that allow single or multiple federal agencies to sponsor and participate in studies of specific agency interest.
– Respond to federal agency requests and identify key technology challenges facing the private sector.
– Convene experts from U.S. industry and academia to consider issues, challenges, and opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
– Form focus teams to “deep dive” into particular technology areas.
– Engage experts from the private sector (industry and academia), with the support of and participation from federal agency leadership.
– Provide input to the federal government and engage with advisory committees and groups consistent with law and regulations, as appropriate for a body that is not chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

The Consortium may also be tasked with organizing and conducting activities that incorporate community outreach, such as advanced manufacturing national summits or regional workshops. It is expected that Consortium activities will employ, leverage or be co-located with events of other study groups, regional/national trade associations, or professional societies when it is efficient to do so. Activities can also be undertaken in cooperation with Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, to provide focused industry expertise from and visibility to the Institutes.

NSF: Solid State and Materials Chemistry

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This multidisciplinary program supports basic research in solid state andmaterials chemistry comprising the elucidation of the atomic and molecular basis for material development and properties in the solid state fromthe nanoscale to the bulk. General areas of interest include but are not limited to innovative approaches to design, synthesis, bulk crystal and/or film growth, and characterization of novel organic, inorganic, and hybridmaterials, as well as liquid crystal materials and multi-component material systems exhibiting new phenomena and/or providing new scientific insights into structure/composition/property relationships in the solid state. Relevant topics include original material design principles, new approaches to assembly or crystalline material growth, characterization of new material phenomena or superior behavior, investigations of surface and interfacial effects on material system structures and properties, and unraveling the relationships between structure/composition (e.g. self- or program-assembled materials, crystalline material growth, and nanostructured material systems) and properties (e.g. charge, ionic, thermal or spin transport, exciton diffusion, chemical reactivity and selectivity, etc.). Development of new organic solid state materials, environmentally-safe and sustainable materials, and fundamental studies of novel material and material systems for efficient energy harvesting, conversion and storage are encouraged. The SSMC program works closely with other programs within the Division of Materials Research (DMR) and in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and Engineering (ENG) directorates to accommodate the multidisciplinary nature of proposal submissions.

AFRL: Dynamic Materials and Interactions

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The objective of the Dynamic Materials and Interactions portfolio is to develop fundamental scientific knowledge of the dynamic chemistry and physics of complex materials, particularly energetic materials. The portfolio focuses on energetic materials science and shock physics of heterogeneous materials. Research supported by this portfolio seeks to discover, characterize, and leverage (1) fundamental chemistry, physics, and materials science associated with energetic materials; and (2) fundamental shock physics and materials science associated with complex, heterogeneous materials. The research will be accomplished through a balanced mixture of experimental, numerical, and theoretical efforts. This is required for revolutionary advancements in future Air Force weapons and propulsion capabilities including increased energy density and survivability in harsh environments.

Basic Research Objectives:
Research proposals are sought in all aspects of the chemistry and physics of energetic materials with particular emphasis placed on chemistry-microstructure relationships and the exploitation of fundamental shock physics in heterogeneous materials. Efforts that leverage recent breakthroughs in other scientific disciplines to foster rapid research advancements are also encouraged. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Mesoscale experiments, and associated models, to understand initiation in energetic materials;
– Predictive processing-structure-property relationships in energetic materials, including reactive materials by design;
– Detonation physics, particularly the steady state reacting front propagating in energetic materials;
– High strain rate and shock response of polymers, composites, and geologic materials;
– Shock loading and mechanical response of energetic crystals;
– High energy density materials that overcome the CHNO limitations, including scale-up techniques required for gram-scale characterization of materials;
– Bridging length scales in energetic and other heterogeneous materials.
Energetic materials research is critical to the development of next-generation Air Force weapon capabilities. The energy content and sensitivity of these systems are influenced by the energetic materials utilized. Research areas of interest emphasize the characterization, prediction, and control of critical phenomena which will provide the scientific foundation for game-changing advancements in munitions development and propulsion.

DISTINGUISH YOURSELF IN THREE EASY STEPS

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized. Find out more.

See the three steps at ORCID site.

NETL: Industry Partnerships for Cybersecurity of Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Research

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The objective of this Announcement is to enhance the reliability and resilience of the nation’s energy infrastructure through innovative RD&D cybersecurity solutions. This includes electricity generation,transmission and distribution as well as the production, refining, storage and distribution of oil and gas in accordance with DOE’s energy infrastructure role defined in Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21). Solutions should be interoperable, scalable, cost-effective advanced technologies and techniques that do not impede critical energy delivery functions, that are innovative and that implement common methods and best practices.

This Announcement includes five (5) Topic Areas. Only applications that specifically address Topic Areas described in the following section will be accepted under this Announcement.

Topic Area 1 – Detect Adversarial Manipulation of Energy Delivery Systems Components
Topic Area 2 – Secure Integration of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Resources
Topic Area 3 – Continual and Autonomous Reduction of Cyber Attack Surface for Energy Delivery Control Systems
Topic Area 4 – Supply Chain Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems
Topic Area 5 – Innovative Technologies That Enhance Cybersecurity in the Energy Sector