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Images of particles made from a promising battery cathode material called NMC

Requests for Proposals

Precourt Institute Funding Opportunities in Energy for Stanford Faculty

The Precourt Institute for Energy works to build Stanford’s capacity to conduct high-impact research across the full range of energy sourcing, conversions, transmission, uses, emissions abatement and carbon management, as well as improve the financial, legal and regulatory environments that affect deployment of energy technologies.


This year, in lieu of seed grants, we plan to award  the new Precourt Pioneering Projects grants. These grant awards are aimed at tackling urgent and important problems in energy and those that are undeveloped relative to other areas at Stanford. The grants are to support faculty to build a strong collaborative team of 3-4 faculty members for projects that are expected to grow into bigger efforts. PIs must be able to explore outside funding opportunities based on this research.

 

Recent RFPs

Energy Efficient Computing

Awards: October, 2021

In this third call the Precourt Institute for Energy and the SystemX Alliance invite Stanford faculty to submit proposals for research in the focus area of energy efficient computing. Further details on RFP scope, how to apply, and the proposal selection process can be found in the RFP document here.

The Precourt Pioneering Projects will be funded to a level of $450,000 for two years. It is anticipated that one project will be funded per call and we plan to issue quarterly calls, each in a different focus area.

 

Carbon Removal

Awards: November/December, 2021

In this fourth call the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Woods Institute for the Environment invite Stanford faculty to submit proposals for research in the focus area of carbon removal. Further details on RFP scope, how to apply, and the proposal selection process can be found in the RFP document here.

 

It is anticipated that the Precourt Pioneering Projects will be funded to a level of $450,000 for two years. We plan to award one project per call and to issue quarterly calls, each in a different focus area.

  • Future calls for proposals will likely include areas such as hydrogen; and others.

Previous Calls

Re-inventing Plastics and their Lifecycle of Use

In this second call, the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Woods Institute for the Environment invited Stanford faculty to submit proposals for research in the focus area of re-inventing plastics and their lifecycle of use.

Plastics are durable materials used in many applications including packaging, building and construction, and the automotive industry. Composed of polymers, plastics are intrinsically linked to fossil fuels with the major starting feedstock monomers, ethylene and propylene being derived from fossil hydrocarbons. Most of the commonly used plastics are not-biodegradable and are difficult to break down to their monomer units for reuse in synthesis. As a result, much of the plastic that is not incinerated or recycled is discarded and accumulates as waste in the environment. Some portion of these is degraded by ultraviolet light to form microplastics – leading to further contamination of oceans and ecological systems.

This RFP was an opportunity to test new ideas to re-invent plastics and the polymers, monomers and subunits that comprise them, as well as to examine and create new ways to improve upon existing recycling and upcycling processes that reduce their environmental impacts.

Energy/Climate AI and Integrated Energy Systems

The energy system is complex and dynamic. Energy supply, conversion, transmissionand end-useinvolve an array of technologies most of which, at some point in their lifecycle use energy, emit greenhouse gases (GHG), and entail some kind of environmental disturbance in the form of GHG emissions or alteration of the landscape. AI is a powerful toolthat can be used to analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns and trends. When applied to the challenges in energy, AI could be used at the very nanoscale to identify chemicals or materials for batteries to the very large macro-scale to better predict when the wind might blow or the impacts of wildfires on the energy system or climate.

The Precourt Institute invited proposals for research on innovative applications of AI to tackle challenges related to energy technologies, the energy system and climate. Analyses that help us to better understand, predict and modify how parts of the energy system, new and old, interact and how they might impact the environment now and in the future are of particular interest. All research ideas proposed must have the potential to have impact at global scale and be forward looking in line with emissions reductions goals that strive to keep CO2 at levels that limit adverse environmental outcomes.

Details about the projects awarded funding will be coming soon.