Bits & Watts funds three types of research projects: Seed Grants, Flagship, and Member Collaboration projects. Each type has a distinct purpose, selection process, and funding limits.
Seed Grants (annual solicitation): At the beginning of each Spring quarter, Bits & Watts invites proposals for seed funding of projects that, if successful, could equip investigators to obtain additional funding for follow-on research from other sources. Such projects inevitably involve risk; the evaluation of the proposals attempts to balance the risk and potential impacts of a successful project. This research funding is intended to encourage faculty to move into interdisciplinary energy research that is a departure from ongoing work in their research groups. Seed grant projects are typically funded up to $100K per year for two years.
Flagship Projects (unsolicited): The purpose of flagship projects is to achieve a leap forward in answering key engineering, economic, and policy challenges identified by Bits & Watts global industry members. The Bits & Watts leadership team and industry members take an active role in designing these projects, monitoring progress and disseminating results. A flagship project is usually large in scope, funded up to three years with an annual budget between $300K and $1M per year.
Member Collaboration (a rolling basis): Member collaboration projects allow for more in-depth collaborations between Stanford faculty and industry members on specific mutual research interests. Bits & Watts industry members accept and approve proposals on a rolling basis (no specific deadline). Bits & Watts works closely with both industry members and the Stanford faculty to understand what the interests are and cultivate these collaborations by consistently facilitating conversations and engagement. The number and funding size of the projects vary depending on the availability of funds from members.