As part of the Biden administration Investing in America The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced five competitive colleges to serve as DOE Centers of Excellence. Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) program and will receive a total of $18.7 million in funding from the Bilateral Infrastructure Act.
In addition, DOE has announced $54 million Financing option law to expand the IAC program to local colleges, trade schools, and union training programs and to create new Construction of training and evaluation centers (BTAC) in higher education.
“Strengthening and diversifying the pipeline of high-quality manufacturing and construction efficiency jobs is part of President Biden’s Investing in America program, which aims to create an economy that enables our country to achieve a clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. . “This is a direct investment in the next generation of American workers that will help ensure America’s global leadership in advanced manufacturing and environmentally friendly construction techniques.”
Over four decades IAC program has delivered more than 20,000 assessments to small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMEs), which make up more than 90% of the country’s production base. IACs typically identify more than $130,000 in annual savings for each manufacturer evaluated. Today, DOE-supported IACs exist at 37 universities in 28 states across the country, with 17 participating pilot provide similar estimates for small and medium-sized commercial buildings.
The new Regional Centers of Excellence will enhance and expand the IAC program by serving as the program’s regional hubs, collaborating and coordinating with government, non-profit, labor and industry stakeholders to train clean energy workers and support small and medium-sized manufacturers in each respective region. Two of the five selected and seven partner institutions are minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
Each of the selected brings unique features to strengthen the IAC network:
- Great Plains Center of Excellence at Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK), in collaboration with Northern Oklahoma College, Wichita State University, and the University of Nebraska, will promote the use of technology-driven assessments in the IAC network—including through mobile apps, Drones, and virtual/augmented reality. This center also deepens the IAC network’s partnerships with community colleges and tribal communities.
- Georgia Tech University Southeastern Center for Excellence (Atlanta, GA)in partnership with Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, and Kennesaw State University leverages these universities’ internationally recognized expertise in energy management, industrial electrification, and complex assessments.
- Mid-Atlantic Center of Excellence at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA)in partnership with West Virginia University, expand the IAC network’s collaboration with unions, vocational schools and community colleges and develop new evaluation methods to better serve small manufacturers.
- Gulf Coast Center of Excellence at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX)which is a national leader in remote and hybrid assessments, accelerates the IAC network’s growing emphasis on industrial decarbonization, electrification, and sustainability engineering.
- Western Excellence Center at San Francisco State University (San Francisco, CA)in collaboration with San Jose State University, San Diego State University, Laney College, and Cuyamaca College—a group of five leading minority-serving institutions—are applying their expertise in data-based monitoring to assess and improve manufacturer performance, renewable energy, energy demand management, thermal system design, and waste and water management to improve the competitiveness of production in the western United States
Learn more about each option here.