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US Energy Department to fund blockchain R&D projects focused on fossil energy

Thu, 10 Jan 2019, 04:37 am UTC

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $4.8 million in federal funding to support research and development (R&D) projects at universities, including those focused on emerging technologies such as blockchain.

The funding is part of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) University Training and Research initiative, which aims to nurture the next generation of science and engineering professionals in the fossil energy sector as well as develop related technologies and applications.

Among other things, the initiative aims to develop “early-stage technologies that increase the affordability of domestic energy resources and improving electric grid reliability and resilience.”

The latest funding opportunity announcement particularly focuses on four areas of interest (AOI):

  • Application of Novel Analytic Method(s)
  • Cybersecure Sensors for Fossil Power Generation
  • Modeling Existing Coal Plant Challenges Using High-Performance Computing
  • Coal Plant Effluent Water Reuse

According to the announcement, the projects selected under the second AOI, Cybersecure Sensors for Fossil Power Generation, will explore “emerging technologies (such as blockchain and decentralized, peer-to-peer internet protocols) that secure process signal data and other information flows within distributed sensor networks for fossil-based power generation systems.”

The DOE said that it expects to select up to 12 projects from this funding opportunity announcement.

The department has been awarding grants to blockchain startups through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Last year, it awarded nearly $1 million grant to Grid7 to support the development of a decentralized energy grid.

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