R&D

The original IOF-WV industrial sectors of aluminum, steel, glass, chemicals, wood products, metal casting, and crosscutting technologies were closely linked to the U.S. DOE’s national-level Industries of the Future (IOF) program. IOF originated within the Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT), which was subsequently renamed the Industrial Technology Program (ITP). ITP has since been changed to the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and their programs are no longer organized around the original IOF industry sectors.

AMO partners with industry, small business, universities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging technologies with the potential to create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the United States. The AMO is extensively involved with multi-agency partnership programs such as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities, Critical Materials Hub, SBIRs, CHP, Next Generation Manufacturing Processes, and Next Generation Materials.

In order to stay in sync with the AMO and remain consistent with the IOF-WV mission to help West Virginia businesses create value through energy efficiency, outreach activities, and collaborative research, IOF-WV efforts are currently organized around the following areas:

1. Energy Intensive Industrial Processes including the original IOF industry sectors where energy represents a significant cost of manufacturing. These manufacturers can improve their competitiveness by reducing energy intensity through the adoption of energy efficiency innovations, technologies and practices. IOF-WV works with the WVU Industrial Assessment Center on delivery of best practices, including Superior Energy Performance Certification, to state and regional companies.

2. Advanced Manufacturing & Materials will support the development of emerging technologies to create high-quality manufacturing jobs. At the state level, this initiative supports the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort to bring together industry, universities, and the federal government to make strategic investments in the development of emerging technologies. IOF-WV will continue to collaborate with industrial partners, academic researchers, and national labs to develop next generation manufacturing processes and materials to improve energy productivity and to produce high quality products at a competitive cost.

3. Shale Gas to Materials and Products will focus on the petrochemical value chain for downstream applications of natural gas extracted from shale formations. The rationale for this research initiative is the vast potential to create a sustainable competitive advantage for the Chemical Industry in the state and region through the development, scaling and commercialization of key enabling technologies to create intermediate and end-use chemicals. The program will promote research and partnership opportunities for WVU, support creation of new business opportunities and jobs, and increase the demand for domestically extracted shale gas.

4. Biomass to Renewable Fuels and Chemical Feedstocks will support the DOE and other programs to convert bio-based raw materials into renewable fuels and products via select pathways including thermochemical, biochemical, and algal conversion technologies. IOF-WV is uniquely positioned to facilitate the multidisciplinary resources resident at WVU that are needed to address these diverse research opportunities.

5. Clean Power Generation/CHP/Energy Recycling is a diverse initiative promoting clean energy technologies, distributed energy systems, and waste heat recovery to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, optimize fuel flexibility, and lower company operating costs. A goal is to work with the West Virginia Division of Energy (WVDE) and other partners to advance CHP and waste heat recovery in West Virginia. At a state level, this initiative will support the national goal to achieve 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020.

6. Data Centers and Commercial/Institutional Buildings will support the growing interest to reduce energy use in these sectors. Data centers also represent an important and growing market and an economic development opportunity for West Virginia. The AMO offers tools and resources to help data center owners and operators benchmark data center energy use, identify savings opportunities, and adopt energy efficient practices. The DOE’s Building Technologies Program (BTP) works with the commercial building industry to accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency technologies and techniques in both existing and new commercial buildings. IOF-WV will facilitate the use of these DOE resources to target specific demographic opportunities in the state such as our ongoing E3-WV program with sustainable communities.

7. Electrochemical Processes and Industries, including corrosion monitoring and prevention, is a dynamic cross-cutting area that can impact many energy intensive industries as well as the energy infrastructure in the state such as natural gas pipelines. IOF-WV has actively participated in corrosion projects in the past and is currently active in the development of a corrosion sensor. This sector includes R&D on batteries, fuel cells, and other electrochemical-based technologies. IOF-WV provides program management support to the newly created WVU Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage.

8. TransTech Energy Business Development refers to strategies that move us along the pathway to a lower carbon, industrially competitive, clean energy economy of the future. The TransTech Energy (TTE) program works with energy-intensive manufacturing companies and fossil energy industries to reduce emissions and improve efficiencies. IOF-WV conceived, developed, and organized the TransTech Energy Research and Business Development Program that included the inaugural TransTech Energy Business Development Conference held November 14 – 16, 2012 in Morgantown.