Call for White Papers: Directed Funding Assistance for Collaboration with National Laboratories

Date: May 2, 2019
To accelerate innovation and adoption of new lightweighting technologies for on-highway vehicles, The Lightweight Materials National Laboratory Consortium, or LightMAT, is releasing its fourth-round opportunity for directed funding assistance (DFA).
 
Interested industry partners wanting to collaborate with research experts and leverage unique materials capabilities at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories are encouraged to apply. Automotive suppliers and original equipment manufacturers should submit white papers for research that will lead to cost-effective materials solutions for reducing the mass of automotive seats, wheels, and steering knuckles.
 
Applicants are encouraged to talk directly with LightMAT member national laboratories about teaming, or alternatively they can identify specific research tools needed and LightMAT will assist in making connections to the right national laboratory capabilities.
 
White papers will be accepted through 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 16.
 
LightMAT provides straightforward access to resources and capabilities in this network via a single point of contact and works to match industry research teams with expertise and equipment found only at national laboratories.
 
Areas of Interest
 
Seats
The average weight of a front seat for a mid-size sedan produced in 2015 was 22 kg, with steel as the primary structural material. Proposals for reducing the weight of seats could include material substitution and/or processing improvements for the structure, cushion, and electronic components of the seat.
 
Wheels
The average weight of a wheel for a mid-size sedan produced in 2015 was 45.5 kg, with steel as the primary structural material. Since the size of the wheel has the greatest effect on mass, proposals should demonstrate weight reduction for a wheel size with significant market impact and provide the baseline weight for the selected size. Proposals could include material substitution and/or processing improvements for the wheel or tire.
 
Steering Knuckles
The average weight of a steering knuckle for a mid-size sedan produced in 2015 was 7.5 kg, with cast iron as the primary material. Proposals for reducing the weight of steering knuckles could include material substitution and/or processing improvements.
 
How to Apply
 
To apply, industry applicants are asked to submit a concept white paper identifying a technical materials challenge that is impeding progress towards vehicle lightweighting as well as the LightMAT capabilities that can assist in accelerating the development of solutions. All submissions should be no more than 12 pages in length and should succinctly describe the technical problem, the approach to developing a solution, what LightMAT capabilities are needed, why DOE resources are necessary, and the impact anticipated towards vehicle lightweighting goals.
 
Who is Eligible?
 
All U.S. domestic businesses serving the automotive market are eligible.
 
Foreign entities, whether for-profit or otherwise, including U.S. incorporated subsidiaries with a foreign-owned parent company, are eligible to apply; however, a waiver request will be required. Approval of this waiver is subject to DOE discretion and is necessary to complete the CRADA contract. All project work (100 percent) under this DFA must be performed in the United States (100 percent of all direct labor).
 
About LightMAT
 
The Lightweight Materials National Laboratory Consortium, or LightMAT, is a network of 11 national laboratories with technical capabilities highly relevant to lightweight materials development and utilization. LightMAT provides straightforward access to resources and capabilities in this network via a single point of contact and works to match industry research teams with expertise and equipment found only at national laboratories.
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