Livermore Lab part of new $3-million program to accelerate manufacturing processes

Livermore will lead program, partnering with Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge National laboratories

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be part of a new $3-million program in developing improved turbine blades for aircraft engines, reducing heat loss in electronics, waste reduction in paper manufacturing and improving fiberglass production.

These projects are among the first to be selected for funding and partnerships with national labs under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) High Performance Computing for Manufacturing program.

The Livermore Lab will lead the program with Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge National Laboratories as strong partners.

Selected companies will partner with national labs, which will provide expertise in and access to high performance computing systems aimed at high-impact challenges.

Each of the 10-phase project will be funded at approximately $300,000.

David Danielson, DOE's assistant secretary for the agency's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, announced the projects Wednesday.

The Advanced Manufacturing Office, that is part of Danielson's responsibilities, created the new program to advance clean energy technologies, increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes, accelerate innovation, shorten the time it takes to bring new technologies to market and improve the quality of products.

The program also supports the Energy Department's broader Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to increase U.S. competitiveness through manufacturing clean energy technologies, boosting energy productivity and leveraging low-cost domestic energy resources and feedstocks, Danielson explained.

The Livermore Lab launched four "seedling" projects and put in place a formal governance model in March 2015.

"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," Danielson said.

"The 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," he added. "The ultimate goal of their collaboration is to increase our global competitiveness in the race to develop clean energy technology and jobs."

Companies partnering with the national labs in Phase I of the project are Global Foundries of New York, Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow Consortium in Michigan, ZoomEssence Inc. of Kentucky, United Technologies Research Center of Connecticut, Procter & Gamble of Ohio, General Electric (GE) of New York, PPG Industries Inc. of North Carolina and the Ohio Supercomputer Center/Edison Welding Institute.

Danielson also announced that in the coming weeks, DOE will solicit the next round of proposals for qualified industry partners to compete for new funding this year.

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