Welcome to the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) resource page.

 

A courtesy copy of the FY18 TCF Solicitation can be found here.

 

The pre-recorded FY18 TCF Solicitation Webinar can be found below:

0:00 / 0:00

Slides from the FY18 TCF Solicitation Webinar can be found here.

 

A copy of the FY18 TCF Budget Template can be found here.

 

FY18 TCF Full Proposal Questions and Answers (Q&A)

Questions are sorted by subject, and have a number assigned to them for cross-reference, if necessary. Questions may have been edited for clarity or brevity. OTT is not addressing duplicate questions

Q # Date Asked Subject Question Answer
48 03/22/18 Application Process/Changing the Project Budget Since submitting my concept paper, and after further discussions with my proposed partner, I'd like to broaden the scope of my project - and increase the TCF request along with the non-federal contribution. Is this possible?

 

Yes. As long as you are not exceeding the TCF funding limits, and your non-federal share is at last 50% of total project costs. You can make this change yourself online in the Budget Information section of the full proposal input screen. Please make sure your budget template conveys the same information.
47 03/22/18 Application Process/ Page Limits Can I submit team member resumes with my proposal? Do they count against the page limits?

 

Please see page 20 of the solicitation, and the response to Q#35.
46 03/21/18 Application Process/Page Limits/Resources How should references be incorporated into the TCF application? Can these be submitted as a separate document or will they count against the proposal page limit?

 

References may be included within the body of your proposal, or as footnotes, or as end notes. In any case, they count toward the 5 or 10 page limits. References may not be submitted as an appendix or as a separate document.
45 03/20/18 Subcontract Approval/ Non-Partners We would like to issue a subcontract using some of the TCF funds for testing and validation of the laboratory developed technology. The subcontractee is not a partner on the TCF proposal (we will merely be paying to use their testing facilities). We still plan to issue a CRADA with the cost share partner on the TCF proposal. Does this use of a subcontract still require prior OTT approval?

 

No approval is required if the subcontractee is not listed as a partner and doesn't otherwise have a role in the project.
44 03/20/18 Application Process/ Changing the PoP Can the laboratories alter the proposed period of performance and partner organizations originally listed in the concept paper (assuming the period of performance is still within the limits listed for each Topic Area)? If so, how?

 

Yes. Applicants may change periods of performance in addition to partner organizations. Just as for the the response to Q#43, please email tcf@hq.doe.gov with your project ID number (TCF-CP-18-xxxxx), along with the updated period of performance. OTT will make the change in the INL system.
43 03/20/18 Application Process/ Adding Partners Since submitting my concept paper, I have identified a couple of more project partners but it seems there is no way to include them on my full proposal. Is there a way to include new partners in my full proposal?

 

Yes. Applicants may make changes to partner organizations between the concept paper and full proposal stages. OTT will need to make those changes in the INL system. Please email tcf@hq.doe.gov with your project ID number (TCF-CP-18-xxxxx), along with the name of the partner organization(s) and the point(s) of contact information (Salutation; First Name; Last Name; Organization; Phone; Email; Country; State; City).
42 03/19/18 Application Process/Changing Topics We have a follow-up question to item #24:

A. Who should be contacted at OTT for approval to use a subcontract as a partnering vehicle?

B. What are the anticipated approval criteria?

C. If a subcontract is anticipated, is approval required before the proposal is submitted?

 

This questions references Qs #10, 24,27, and 38.

A. Applicants should send to tcf@hq.doe.gov their requests to use any partnership mechanism other than a CRADA, which is default agreement.

B. Please describe the rationale, including details such as who the potential subcontract partner is, what the potential partner's role would be, and why you want to use a mechanism other than a CRADA.

C. Please see the response to Q#38.

41 03/19/18 Budget Template I receive a "404 - File or directory not found" error message when I click on the link to the budget template within the INL submission system. Can you update the link or send me the budget template?

 

***Updated 3/20/18: OTT has had two reports of this problem. While we look for a solution, here are several workarounds:

1. Instead of left mouse clicking on the link to open file, try right mouse clicking on it and selecting the option to open link in a new window.

2. Try pasting the address of the document directly in the URL field -https://proposals.inl.gov/Uploads/2018 %20TCF%20Budget%20Template.xlsx

3. Update: The budget template is also available on the TCF Resource page: https://proposals.inl.gov/Home/TCF_Resources.aspx.

40 03/19/18 Application Process/Changing Topics If a Topic 1 concept paper was approved for full proposal submission, and an industry partner was subsequently identified who would like to collaborate and is willing to provide the required cost share, can the proposal team submit a Topic 2 full proposal?

 

Yes. The OTT will need to make the change within in the INL system. Please provide the project ID number (TCF-CP-18-xxxxx), along with the name of the partner organization and the point of contact's information (Salutation; First Name; Last Name; Organization; Phone; Email; Country; State; City).
39 03/14/18 Project Start Dates What is the expected start date for Topic 1 awardees?

 

There is not a specific date that OTT expects TCF projects to begin. OTT anticipates making selection announcements during the summer, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. OTT would expect TCF projects to as soon as realistically possible following negotiations with the relevant DOE program office, execution of any CRADA (or other partnership agreements), and the transfer of funds.

 

38 03/13/18 Subcontracts/ Timing of OTT Approval Funds to industry partner - I am applying under topic 1 and the cost-share will be provided by the national lab. We will probably need the technical assistance of an industry partner and will need to send them some funds via a subcontract. The solicitation and previous responses state that permission must be secured from OTT ahead of time. Does the "ahead of time" mean before submitting the full proposal or before beginning work if the proposal is accepted for funding?

 

The question references Q#10.

The request to use a subcontract (or any mechanism other that a CRADA, which is the default and preferred agreement) must be made before submitting a full proposal. If you think you might use a partnership mechanism other that a CRADA, you should request OTT's permission ahead of submitting a full proposal - even if you aren't yet sure that you will execute the alternative agreement.

37 03/06/18 Full Proposal Deadline Did the deadline to submit Full Proposals change because there was a slight delay in sending out the eligibility notifications?

 

Yes. The new deadline for Full Proposals is 10:00 p.m. MT on March 28, 2018.
36 03/05/18 Cost Share/Cash Contributions Can you confirm that there is no minimum cash requirement for cost share in the FY18 call for proposals? It is our understanding that any cost share provided by a partner can be either cash or in-kind, unlike the FY17 call for proposals which required a minimum cash contribution of $10k.

 

As stated on page 10 of the Solicitation, "all projects require matching funds of at least 50% of the total project cost, which must come from non-Federally-appropriated funds. If a DOE Facility is providing the matching funds, it must be a cash contribution. If a private partner is providing the matching funding, it can be a cash or in-kind contribution."

There is no minimum cash contribution, unless a DOE Facility is providing the match - in which case, it must be in cash.

35 03/01/18 Application Process/ Page Limits Three separate PDF documents need to be uploaded along with a Budget Excel spreadsheet. The solicitation guidelines state that Topic 2 proposals cannot exceed 10 pages and only the first 10 pages will be reviewed if longer. So, am I to generate a complete document here with all sections included along with the budget table and make sure that the total text and figures plus budget table are not longer than 10 pages and then break down that 10 page or less document into the 3 separate PDF file sections (excluding the Budget table) as called out on the proposal submission site and upload those along with the Budget Excel spreadsheet. I want to make sure we provide sufficient information for all areas but definitely do not want to violate any total page limit. Please advise.

 

The full proposal includes the following documents that applicants must upload as attachments:

- Technical Summary/Abstract

- Commercialization Plan

- Technical Narrative

- Budget Information

As stated on page 20 of the Solicitation, "…page limits exclude the following supplemental pages: Budget form, technical summary/abstract for public release, and any appendix of team members' resumes and/or letters of support. Only the first 5 pages of a Topic 1 proposal and the first 10 pages of a Topic 2 proposal will be reviewed. DOE leaves it to applicants' judgement to best determine how to allocate the page allotment."

34 03/01/18 Budget Spreadsheet/ Multiple Cost-Sharing Partners The Budget spreadsheet asks for the Non-Federal Cost share and has one column (for cash and one for in-kind). My proposal involves 3 separate companies with each contributing a different amount that cumulatively make up the 50% cost share. So, I am assuming that I lump everyone's together to show we are making the total 50% and not worry about specific breakdown per non-federal partner. Is that correct?

 

Yes, that is correct.
33 03/01/18 Concept Paper Eligibility Can you please clarify the timing around the requirement that "the topic 1 project was successfully completed..." Does this mean successfully completed prior to submitting concept paper? prior to submitting the proposal? or prior to receipt of funding?

 

The requirement was for Topic 1 projects to be complete by the Concept Paper deadline.
32 02/28/18 Concept Paper Will we receive any further information as to why a Concept Paper was not approved to move forward? Our PIs are quite interested in finding out the "why".

 

In its notification letters to applicants, OTT provided summary statements about conformance and mission area relevance. OTT does not intend to follow up with additional information.
31 02/28/18 Eligibility/Cost Share For a topic 1, is the $100,000 a minimum amount necessary to apply? One of our partners can only commit $85,000 (in kind/cash). Should we go ahead with the proposal for the $85K?

 

The funding ranges are flexible on the lower ends. Applicants may submit full proposals for lesser amounts that the funding ranges in the Solicitation. Applicants may not, however, request funding amounts greater than those published in the Solicitation.
30 02/28/18 Application Process/ Page Limits The funding opportunity identifies the following are excluded from the Topic 1 and Topic 2 page limits:

- budget form

- technical summary/abstract for public release

- appendix of team members' resumes and/or letters of support

Is the Commercialization Plan to be considered within the page limit of each topic or is it excluded as well?

 

The page limits include the commercialization plan.
29 02/26/18 Patent Rights We recently had an invention disclosed to us for which we intend to pursue a TCF proposal (and indeed submitted a concept paper on). As we were performing our diligence on the invention, we discovered that the inventor was not in fact a lab employee, but was instead a graduate student here as part of work performed under a partnership with an outside university. As part of our agreement with the university, this inventor would his assign his rights to the university, not our lab.

Nevertheless, all of the work was done here on site at the lab, the tool which is the result of the work physically exists here at the lab, and the tool would be of great use in commercializing other aspects of lab IP moving forward, as well as furthering internal research capabilities if the TCF proposal was awarded.

Despite this technology being literally "developed at a National Lab", my suspicion is that this technology will not be eligible for a TCF award because the lab does not own the associated patent rights. I just wanted to confirm that assumption prior to informing this team that they are no longer eligible for a TCF award and to refrain from filing a full proposal.

 

You are correct. The technology is not eligible for TCF funding because the lab does not own the associated patent rights.
28 02/14/18 Partners I am trying to put together an application for TCF, Topic 2 and working on setting up CRADAs in support of that proposal. I talked to a company that is interested, but because they are in the process of being acquired they do not want to have contractual obligations either giving or receiving money (I proposed to them that they would be both cost share partners and contractors on the federal share). Would it be possible to get an exemption from having to match the cost share because of this situation?

 

Unfortunately, there are no exemptions to the cost share requirement.
27 02/05/18 Cost Share As a follow-up to Question 10: If a CRADA is the sole partnership mechanism that can be used, then partner scope is capped at the cost share amount due to the fact that DOE funds cannot flow to a partner via CRADA. To enable a partnering scenario where partner scope exceeds cost share (requiring federal funds to the partner), would a hybrid approach consisting of both a CRADA and subcontract in parallel be allowable? The CRADA would encompass lab scope and in-kind cost share; the subcontract would fund the partner for an additional element of scope; and the combined scope would constitute the TCF project plan.

 

Please see answer to Q#24 for further information on this topic.

FY18 TCF Concept Paper Questions and Answers (Q&A)

Questions are sorted by subject, and have a number assigned to them for cross-reference, if necessary. Questions may have been edited for clarity or brevity. OTT is not addressing duplicate questions

Q # Date Asked Subject Question Answer
26 01/29/18 Application Process I am not able to find the budget template that is referenced in the FY18 TCF solicitation. Can you please send me a copy of it?

 

***Update 3/1/18*** With the full proposal stage open, the budget template is now available in the INL proposal management system: https://proposals.inl.gov/. After you create a full proposal, there is a clickable link to the template in the budget section.
25 01/23/18 Application Process/ Tracking ID We notice that the tracking ID is generated at the time of submitting the concept paper. Yet the tracking number is supposed to be in the body of the pdf of the concept paper. The logistics of this seems problematic. Can you clarify?

 

Please see the applicant webinar, which is available here: https://proposals.inl.gov/Home/TCF_Resources.aspx. Per slide 41, users need to click "save" in order to generate a Tracking ID number and upload documents.
24 01/23/18 Cost Share The DOE answer to question 10 in the Q&A implies money can go to a (corporate) partner through a subcontract, says specifically that CRADA funds cannot flow to a partner, and then also says specifically that TCF projects involving partners are expected to use a CRADA. They further say the partner's SOW for funding cannot be part of a CRADA works scope.

 

In an effort to clear the confusion about if and how funds may flow to a partner the following is offered for clarification: For TCF projects, the default partnership agreement that we expect you to use with a partner is a CRADA. Other types of agreements may be used with the prior approval of OTT. It is possible to have more than one agreement with a single partner. Each agreement must cover different work scopes or different aspects of the work contemplated. For work scope that is covered by a CRADA, by law none of those TCF funds can flow to the partner. If a contract is used as a partnership vehicle, TCF funds applied to the contract could flow to the partner.
23 01/22/18 Multiple Partners/ Multiple CRADAs I have a question regarding the CRADA for Topic 2 application. We would like to have multiple cost share partners as part of our submission, and I have noticed that last year there were several awards that were in this situation. We would like to know if it would be acceptable to have several CRADA’s negotiated that reference they are for the same proposal. It would make negotiation and statement of work much easier to define because once corrections and modifications are made they wouldn’t have to be approved by all participants.

 

Yes, it would be acceptable to have multiple CRADAs with multiple partners for a single project.
22 01/19/18 Application Process/ Concept Paper Attachment Is there a way to attach an industry letter of support to the concept paper?

 

No. As stated on page 20 of the Solicitation, eligible applicants may attach an appendix to their full proposal, which may include letters of support (and team member resumes). Please see the response to Q#13 about the purpose of the Concept Paper.
21 01/19/18 Eligibility/IP In Q4 of the Q&A you have provided details on patent eligibility. Are there similar requirements for other types of Intellectual Property, such as software copyrights?

 

Yes. In cases where the applicant's IP is subject to copyright, the applicant will need to have received DOE's approval to assert copyright. Please see the response to Q#18 for information about the timing of the requirement.
20 01/17/18 Application Process/ Concept Paper Narrative/ Character Limit The solicitation states that the concept paper narrative must not exceed 5,000 characters. Are we able to include figures in addition to text in the concept paper narrative?

 

No, applicants may not include addition information beyond the 5,000 character limit. Please see the response to Q#13 about narrative’s intent.
19 01/17/18 Eligibility/IP In a since-completed DOE project, we (a national lab) collaborated with an industrial partner to guide development of a technology. The partner holds all IP on the current version of this technology. If funded, our TCF collaboration would improve and commercialize the technology, generating new jointly held IP. Is a technology eligible for Topic 2 of the 2018 TCF if its existing IP is held entirely by the industrial partner, rather than by the national lab?

 

No. Per page 9 of the FY18 Solicitation, eligible projects for Topics 1 and 2 must involve currently existing laboratory technology or intellectual property.
18 01/17/18 Eligibility/Patents & Disclosures From your FAQs (Q#4), I get "For a Topic 1 proposal, an IDR must have been filed and a patent application submitted for at least a provisional patent. For a Topic 2, there must be a non-provisional patent application filed." Please clarify at which stage the IP requirements have to be met; is it with submission of concept paper, or with submission of full proposal, or before any awarded funds start flowing?

 

The IP requirements may be met at either the Concept Paper or Full Proposal stage, but they must be met by the time the project is funded.
17 01/17/18 Cost Share For Topic 1 submissions, company partnership is not required. However, the guidelines state that all projects must have at least 50% non-federal cost share. Can you explain how to get cost share without company partnership?

 

In the absence of a partnership with a private entity, the sponsoring DOE Facility would be responsible for proving the 50% non-federal cost share, likely from its royalty fund.
16 01/16/18 Full Proposal/ Eligibility Decision Can you tell us the time frame of which we will receive notice of approval for concept papers (approved for full proposal)?

 

As stated on page 14 of the Solicitation, "DOE anticipates making eligibility notifications by 5:00 p.m. (MT) on February 23, 2018.".
15 01/16/18 Application Process/ Concept Paper/ Discrepancy Between Solicitation and INL Application Portal The The TCF solicitation section on concept papers (page 18) asks for a 300 word or less “Brief Overview”. Yet, the INL concept paper portal submission page only asks for a 500 character Brief Project Description, which is not referenced in the solicitation. Does the “Brief Project Description” replace the “Brief Overview” requirement?

 

OTT apologizes for its error here. The information Solicitation stands. INL has updated the portal with the term “Brief Overview.” in lieu of “Brief Project Description.” INL also changed the limit to approximately 300 words (2,000 characters). OTT contacted prospective applicants who had started a Concept Paper by 1:30 p.m. ET on January 17 to advise them directly that they may add to their Brief Overviews, if they so desire.
14 01/12/18 Application Process/ Delegates I am helping a Principal Investigator (PI) with a TCF Concept Paper and I had a question about the submission process. Is the PI required to submit his/her own concept paper, or can I submit on their behalf? Is their a proxy capability in the system?

 

Lab employees may upload applications on behalf of a PI. There is a delegate capacity.
13 01/10/18 Concept Paper Narrative/Confidential or Propriety Information The concept paper asks for a project narrative that may be used for public release by the DOE. This indicates that we should not add any technical information that may be considered proprietary? However, might the lack of technical details hurt in the evaluation process?

 

As a reminder, the purpose of the Concept Paper is to provide DOE with information to assess whether the proposed project fits within one of the designated Mission Areas. It will not be used to make determinations on the technical merit of the proposed project. Also, as indicated in the Solicitation, DOE may use information from the Concept Paper narrative for selected projects only. If you think it is important to include proprietary or confidential information in your Concept Paper narrative to justify a Mission Area you may do so. Please mark it as such: “May contain trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential and exempt from public disclosure.”
12 01/04/18 Patents The answer to Q#4 states, "For a Topic 2, there must be a non-provisional patent application filed." As part of our Patent Strategy we often file a PCT Patent Application in lieu of a US Patent Application to delay our Nationalization decision for up to 30+ months, giving us more time to find a Licensee for our "At- Risk" patent filings. When Nationalization, and thus prosecution commences in the PCT, we often nationalize only in the US unless we have a Licensee willing to pay for foreign patent prosecutions. Since a PCT Application does not get prosecuted until you enter the National Phase, for purposes of TCF, are you willing to classify a PCT Patent Application as a "non-provisional patent application"?

 

A PCT patent application which designates the US should be considered equivalent as a US non-provisional application. Both applications have requirements to fully describe the invention and are reviewed by patent authorities, USPTO or an authorized International Searching Authority (ISA).
11 01/04/18 Application Process Is there a template we should use for writing the Concept Paper narrative?

 

No, there is no template to download and fill in. As stated on page 19 of the FY18 Solicitation, the document must contain the following information:

    i. Project Title

   ii. Tracking ID #

  iii. DOE Facilities(s) and proposed Partner(s), if applicable

  iv. A brief Project Narrative not to exceed 5,000 characters (including spaces and punctuation), which DOE may use for public release (selected projects only)

The document must be saved as a PDF and conform to this naming convention: 2018 TCF Concept Paper "Tracking ID #".pdf

10 01/04/18 Cost Share If warranted by the required lab/partner levels of effort, is it acceptable to direct a portion of DOE funds to the commercialization partner via a subcontract? For example, would the following hypothetical total project cost split be acceptable: 50% in-kind cost share by partner; 15% DOE funds to partner; 35% DOE funds to Lab?

 

Yes, the concept is acceptable. There are the following caveats however. As a reminder, you cannot flow CRADA funds to a partner, so the works scope that the partner would accomplish cannot be a part of a CRADA work scope. We acknowledge your question specifically said a subcontract. The solicitation, in Section II.B states that TCF projects involving partners are expected to use a CRADA. If there is a desire to use a different partnership mechanism, you must secure permission from OTT ahead of time.
9 01/03/18 Primary & Secondary Technology Areas/Partners

In the webinar, it says that Concept Papers will be reviewed in their Primary and Secondary Technology Areas. Let's say it is approved for submission because of the Secondary Technical Area. The webinar then explains that Merit Review is done only for the Primary Area. Shouldn't the Merit Review be for the selected area if the submission is not for the Primary Area?

 

 

 

If you have multiple partners for a proposal, and the partners are in different Technical Areas, and you are selected for say your Secondary Area. Does this mean that one of your partners can no longer participate?

 

If an applicant selects an optional Secondary Technology Area - and the Concept Paper passes the mission area relevance review only in that Secondary Area, OTT will only accept a Full Proposal in that Technology Area. For example, let's say XYZ project submits a Concept Paper with a Primary Technology Area of Energy Storage (OE-ES), and a Secondary Technology Area of Vehicle Technologies (EE-VTO). XYZ project's Concept Paper is reviewed for mission area relevance in OE-ES and EE-VTO. Let's say the determination from OE-ES is that XYZ project is not relevant to its mission area, and EE-VTO determines that the project is relevant to its mission area. OTT would then inform the applicant that it is eligible to submit a Full Application under the EE-VTO Technology Area. EE-VTO is XYZ project's new Primary Technology Area, and the Full Proposal will be independently merit reviewed by subject matter experts in Vehicle Technologies. NB: If an applicant selects only a Primary Technology Area, and fails that mission area relevance review, OTT will not accept a Full Proposal for that project. If an applicant selects Primary and Secondary Technology Areas and passes both mission area relevance reviews, the Full Proposal will be independently merit reviewed only in the Primary Area.

 

No. The Primary and Secondary Technology Areas relate to the project and its technology - not to its partners.

8 01/02/18 Eligibility We have an employee who is seeking approval for an outside activity to form a company to commercialize a lab technology he helped develop. If the lab approves the outside activity and the employee's company secures a license (with local DOE approval), would the technology be eligible for TCF funding?

 

 

Would Topic 1 be an option, or are licensed technologies limited to Topic 2?

 

Does it make a difference if the technology is licensed exclusively, non-exclusively, or exclusively in a field of use that leaves other fields of use available for licensing?

 

If the lab approves the outside activity and the employee's company secures a license (with local DOE approval), the technology would be eligible for TCF funding.

TCF Proposals must be submitted by DOE facilities. Therefore, current lab employees must submit Concept Papers and Full Proposals, and must act as PIs. If the employee seeking to engage in outside activity remains a current staff member at the lab, he may submit the Concept Paper/Full Proposal, and act as the PI. Otherwise, another current lab employee must submit Concept Paper/Full Proposal, and act as PI. As referenced in the answer to Q#7, Concept Paper/Full Proposals may be submitted by lab employees other than the PIs. 

           

Topic 1 would be an option. If the lab wanted to pursue Topic 2, it would still need to find a partner. A license is not considered to be a partnership agreement under the TCF.

 

 No. Any of these scenarios would be appropriate for Topic 1. They would also be appropriate for Topic 2 assuming the presence of a commercial partner. In any case, a CRADA is the default partnership agreement, and non-federal matching funds are required.

7 01/02/18 Application Process Is there a Word template of the Concept Paper application? Rather that have PIs fill out and submit their own Concept Papers, the lab wants a single POC to upload and submit all of the labs's TCF Concept Papers. A Word Template would make that easier.

 

No. As stated on page 1 of the FY18 Solicitation, the online application portal at INL is the only means of submission. Labs may devise their own systems to collect Concept Paper or Full Proposal data in order to facilitate upload and submission by a single lab POC. Please keep the deadline in mind, however. As stated in the applicant webinar, "...unless you are in the system at 7:59 pm MT and it crashes, there will be no extensions." In the unlikely event of a system crash at 7:59 pm MT, OTT would only consider a possible extension for the specific Concept Paper of Full Application being submitted at 7:59 pm MT.
6 12/21/17 Amount of FY18 TCF Budget by Program Office Is a TCF budget breakdown available by funding office and program?

 

No. As stated in the Solicitation, "future amounts are subject to congressional appropriations," OTT will make available a budget breakdown by Program Office as soon as practical after there is a final FY18 appropriations bill - likely 6-8 weeks later. As of December 21, 2017, there is a continuing resolution in place until January 19, 2018.
5 12/21/17 Cost Share Can historic investment from an industry participant be counted towards cost share in Topic 2 proposals?

 

No. As stated in Appendix B of the Solicitation, which discusses cost share/matching funds, "...DOE generally does not allow pre-award costs prior to the signing of the Selection Statement by the DOE Selection Official." Cost share contributions must be made during the life of the TCF project.
4 12/19/17 Eligibility/Patents and Disclosures Do we need to have a patent issued or filed to be eligible to apply for the fund? If we have an invention disclosure filed, are we eligible to submit a proposal?

 

The purpose of the TCF is to support commercialization of DOE facility energy technologies. It is highly unlikely that a private company will move to license a technology from a facility without the DOE facility having IP rights secured. Therefore, all projects need to have some form of Intellectual Property protection in place. For a Topic 1 proposal, an IDR must have been filed and a patent application submitted for at least a provisional patent. For a Topic 2, there must be a non-provisional patent application filed.
3 12/19/17 Applicant discussions with DOE Program Managers about prospective TCF proposals Would it be appropriate to talk with DOE Program Managers about TCF concepts to see if they are considered of interest to HQ? Worth putting together a proposal? Evaluating which Program Office(s) and Technology Area(s) to submit to?

 

There is no prohibition on talking with HQ Program Managers about a prospective TCF proposal. There are some caveats to be considered if you choose to do so. IF the discussion were to involve protected information, the HQ Program Manager should be clearly informed of the protected information and reminded of the rules for protecting such information. PI's are reminded that the TCF is not necessarily an extension of current program efforts, but rather is designed to pick up where programmatic efforts have left off in developing technologies for commercialization. HQ Program Managers are not a part of the decision making process and may not be aware of all of the considerations that go into assessing the merits of a TCF proposal. Please be reminded that the Concept Paper is not being reviewed to determine whether there is programmatic interest or merit in a proposal. It is being used to determine whether the proposal is appropriate to the funding source that would be used to fund the proposal if selected.
2 12/19/17 Carbon capture utilization In the Solicitation, FE’s Technology Area “carbon capture utilization” includes a description of “carbon capture” only— not “CO2 utilization”. Does this mean the research on “CO2 conversion to valuable products” is not suitable? Research on CO2 utilization, including “CO2 conversion to valuable products,” is eligible for TCF funding.
1 12/15/17 Partners Can a TCF topic II industrial partner be a Canadian company, with a U.S. affiliate? There is no prohibition against having a partnership with a foreign company in the TCF solicitation and OTT does not have a policy in this area. Any proposed TCF partnership with a foreign entity is required to comply with all of the statutes, policies and practices currently in place at DOE for doing business with a foreign entity.