Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

HPC4Mtls | FAQ

iron ore being smelted

Contracts and IP

Can proprietary information be used and protected under this program?

Existing proprietary information can be included in, as well as generated by the project and will be protected by the terms of the DOE Model Short Form CRADA (industry) or a sub-contract (academia). Please note that the abstract should not possess proprietary information. To the extent possible, the proposal should not contain proprietary information.

Must a DOE Model Short Form CRADA be used by projects in the solicitation?

Industry members submitting a proposal to the solicitation are expected to sign a DOE Model Short Form CRADA.

There is an issue with one of the terms of the Short Form CRADA. Can it be changed?

The HPC4Mtls programs are specifically designed for short-term projects with a need for accelerated placement and execution. To accommodate this, the HPC4Mtls programs have adopted the DOE Model Short Form CRADA, which was designed with favorable terms allowable within DOE guidelines. Awardees are expected to enter into a DOE Model Short Form CRADA, as is, with the national laboratory or laboratories that will be performing the work.

Clarifications can be requested through hpc4mtls@llnl.gov. Objections to the Terms and Conditions of the CRADA can be noted within the Concept Paper; however, this could lead to delays in processing, and/or rejection of your proposal.

Funding

Can the 20% cost share be "in kind" or does the company need to provide money to the national labs?

The cost share can be "in kind," e.g., supporting the industry staff to collaborate with the national labs on the project.

Do lab overhead costs apply to the projects?  How much effort from national lab personnel can be expected?

Standard lab overheads are applied to the costs of the lab efforts. On average, you can expect a 50% level of effort from a lab scientist for a year and as well as the needed HPC computer time.

If a commercial code is required for the project, will the funding be able to purchase licenses?

This is dependent on many things. Sometimes the industry or labs already have licenses that could be used.  If licenses are not available, then they must be purchased by one of the partners. 

Who can receive DOE funding as a result of the HPC4Mtls solicitation?

DOE funding is intended to support national laboratory staff and time on HPC systems to work with industrial members of the energy technology sector to accelerate the discovery, design, and development of materials for severe environments that will enable transformational power generation technologies. U.S. industry, as well as for profit and nonprofit organizations that support them, cannot receive direct funding from this solicitation.

What is the required amount of the participant contributed funding and what will it be used for?

An amount equal to 20% of the DOE funding must be provided by the successful U.S. Industry, University, nonprofit, or energy technologies supporting businesses to fund their involvement in the project.  For example, if a $300,000 award was made to a project to support the national lab participation, the awardee must contribute a minimum of $60k. This typically funds the awardee staff to provide an industry perspective on the challenge being faced, data to describe the problem and potential solution, and data to validate the solution.

Can the cost share be waived under special circumstances?

Yes, a special Cost Share Waiver is available for Domestic Institutions of Higher Education, Domestic Nonprofit Entities, or U.S., State, Local, or Tribal Government Entities, which may reduce the 20% participant contribution. The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has issued a Cost Share Reduction determination pursuant to Section 988(b)(3) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that is applicable to certain entities applying under this call.

Are there requirements on the source of the participant contribution?

The participant contribution cannot come from another federal source, unless otherwise allowed by law.

What level of detail is needed on the budget and who supplies this?

The example table below will be included in the full proposal (instructions to come).

  • Lab costs: Once the scope is defined, the lab PI will help fill out the lab costs, broken down by labor, travel, and procurements. There is a $300k cap on this budget, funded by the DOE.

  • Industry in-kind: Industry provides these cost estimates, broken down by labor, travel, and procurements. Procurements are unlikely and will require justification. A minimum in-kind contribution of 20% of the above DOE funding is required.

  • Industry cash contribution: This is an optional contribution. Industry includes a cash contribution to achieve additional scope on the project. DOE views this additional investment by industry as a strong indication of both commitment to and importance of the project by the industry partner.

  • Total project costs: The total costs of lab, in kind, and cash contribution for Phase I projects cannot be greater than $500k, a limit set by the CRADA terms.

Example budget sheet with maximum DOE funding, minimal industry cost share, and maximum industry cash contribution.


Task

DOE Funds

Industry Partner
Funds

National Lab Labor (cash)

290

140

National Lab Travel

5

National Lab HPC (200k core hours on Cab)

5

National Lab Procurements

0

Industry Partner Labor (in kind)

55

Industry Partner Travel (in kind)

5

Industry Partner Procurement (include licenses or subcontracts)

0

Totals

300

200

 

Other

Is there someone at the national labs I can talk to about my concept paper or full application?

Once the funding opportunity is published until the review of the concept papers, none of the national lab staff may discuss the concept. All questions must be directed to the applicable email address, hpc4mtls@llnl.gov. Outside the solicitation you may contact any of the national labs to discuss your concept. You may contact hpc4mtls@llnl.gov to obtain a contact with specific expertise. Once a submitter has been requested to submit a full proposal, they will be given a lab contract to co-develop the submission.

Are references included in the 6-page limit?

No.

Are letters of support from computing facilities (e.g. NERSC or OLCF) recommended?

Letters of support from computing facilities are not necessary, but articulating computing requirements is required.

Is any particular format or content recommended for Appendix C (Resumes)?

No. Applicants are free to provide information on qualifications and expertise of key personnel in whatever format they feel is most effective.

If a project requires use of commercial software, is there any mechanism for licenses?

Applicants can utilize existing licenses at participating institutions. If they do not exist, they should be purchased, with cost estimates reflected in the proposal budget table.

Is there a limit to the number of submissions from an organization?

There is no limit to the number of submissions from a given organization. However, diversity of the overall portfolio is considered when awarding projects, so submitting a large number of proposals by the same organization is strongly discouraged.

How much compute time is available?

No exact number has been established. The projects should state what is needed.  Note that full cost recovery for compute cycles is required.

Does one of the HPC4Mtls principal labs need to be involved in every project?

No, it is required that a DOE national lab be a partner on the project to leverage existing expertise and capabilities, but all national laboratories are eligible to participate in individual projects.

Can a portion of the funding be used to perform experiments?

While verification and validation of the project results is key to the success of the proposal, the project focus is on application national lab HPC expertise to the industry. If costs are minimal, it may be considered. It could also be acceptable for the industry cost share to be used to cover experimentation needed for validation of results.

Are verification and validation generally included in project scope, and if so, what approach is used for these processes? Specifically, is the ASME V&V standards applied?

V&V are included in the scope of the project. Specific requirements (e.g., ASME V&V standards) are not defined, but best practices relative to the size of the project are encouraged.

Are the labs only providing compute facilities or is there common research activity?

The laboratory partners provide both computing cycles, as well as a scientist to work on project in applying HPC to the stated goals.

Is there a complete list of codes available at the national labs?

No. Each lab maintains hundreds of codes with different capabilities. For any project, the problem would be analyzed to understand which lab code would best meet the needs of the project. It is also worth noting that the industry partners may have their own codes that could be used. In addition, commercially available codes could be used.

If you have a preference for a specific national lab, is it acceptable to identify the lab in the concept paper?

If you have a laboratory partner in mind you may state that in the concept paper, along with the reason for that choice. If you do not specify a lab, the Technical Review Committee will provide the name of a national lab with the expertise needed for your project.

Is there a limit on the number of proposals you may submit?

There is no limit on the number of proposals an organization can submit. However, the portfolio of selected projects will be selected with diversity in mind.

Who can submit proposals to the HPC4Mtls solicitation?

U.S. industries, nonprofit organizations supporting U.S. industries, other U.S. businesses supporting U.S. industry, and U.S. universities in partnership with a U.S. industry, are eligible to submit proposals to this solicitation. Foreign organizations that do not manufacture products in the U.S. cannot participate in this solicitation.

Can Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) submit proposals to the HPC4Mtls solicitation and receive DOE funding?

U.S.-based ISVs whose products support the U.S. manufacturing industry are eligible to respond to the solicitation.  However, they are not eligible to receive DOE funding.

Are national labs not currently affiliated with the HPC4Mtls Program eligible to submit proposals to this solicitation?

DOE national labs are not eligible to submit projects, but could be listed as a partner on proposal submitted by a US industrial firm.

How will the national laboratory partner(s) be decided for each project?

Once the Technical Merit Review committee down selects the Concept Papers to go forward for full proposal submission, they will determine which national laboratory or laboratories would best support the definition of the full proposal, based on available expertise and distribution of projects among the national laboratories. The industry participant would be notified of their potential partner(s). 

Can multiple companies submit a joint proposal?

Absolutely.  It is actually encouraged, as the impact would be assumed to be broader.

The broader the impact of development, the stronger the proposal. Examples on broad national impact include, an energy efficient power generation system, and a new or improved material that would withstand extreme conditions in power generation technologies.

Are foreign-owned companies eligible?

Eligibility is limited to U.S. manufacturers, defined as entities that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular State or territory of the United States, and which manufactures products in the United States.” Foreign-owned subsidiaries that manufacture in the U.S. may apply but must go through an additional review as part of the CRADA process if selected.

For the model validation, are you recommending standard procedures, such as given in the ASME V&V standards?

Model validation methods are determined by the project participants. Models are often validated against experimental data collected by the companies for their process or product. Unique code can be validated using standard techniques.

Can laboratory experts discuss proposal concepts with potential applicants while the solicitation is open?

Due to fairness of opportunity concerns, laboratory personnel are restricted from discussing specifics of proposals until after the concept paper down-select process. Selected concept papers will be assigned a PI from the laboratories to aid in writing the full proposal.