Request for Information: Clean Energy Investment Center, 10853-10856 [2016-04625]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 41 / Wednesday, March 2, 2016 / Notices GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant. 3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b). (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/ fund/grant/apply/appforms/ appforms.html. 4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the NASNTI Program: a. The percentage change, over a fiveyear period, of the number of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates enrolling at NASNTIs. Note that this is a longterm measure, which will be used to periodically gauge performance; b. The percentage of first-time, fulltime degree-seeking undergraduate students at four-year NASNTIs who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same NASNTI; c. The percentage of first-time, fulltime degree-seeking undergraduate students at two-year NASNTIs who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same NASNTI; d. The percentage of first-time, fulltime degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at four-year NASNTIs who graduate within six years of enrollment; and e. The percentage of first-time, fulltime degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at two-year NASNTIs who graduate within three years of enrollment. 5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:10 Mar 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee’s approved application. In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). VII. Agency Contacts Don Crews, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, Washington, DC 20202. You may contact this individual at the following email address or telephone number: Don.Crews@ed.gov; (202) 453–7920. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VIII. Other Information Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Dated: February 26, 2016. Lynn Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. [FR Doc. 2016–04593 Filed 3–1–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10853 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Request for Information: Clean Energy Investment Center Department of Energy (DOE). Request for Information (RFI). AGENCY: ACTION: The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE or the Department) Clean Energy Investment Center (CEIC), a component of the Office of Technology Transitions, is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to gain public input on its efforts to expand and facilitate public access to the Department’s resources and to mobilize investment in U.S. clean energy technology. The CEIC also is seeking information through this RFI to further define the scope and priorities of the services it provides to the general public, specifically to mission-driven investors, as well as the investment community more broadly. The information collected may be used for internal CEIC planning and decisionmaking to ensure that future activities maximize public benefit while advancing the Administration’s goals for leading the world in building a competitive, clean energy economy; securing America’s energy future; reducing carbon pollution; and creating domestic jobs. DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before March 31, 2016. ADDRESSES: Comments must be submitted electronically to CEIC@ hq.doe.gov. Responses must be provided as a Microsoft Word (.doc) or (.docx) attachment to the email with no more than 3 pages in length for each category section listed in the RFI. Only electronic responses will be accepted. Response Guidance: Please identify your answers by responding to a specific question or topic if possible. Respondents may answer as many or as few questions as they wish. The CEIC will not respond to individual submissions or publish a public compendium of responses. A response to this RFI will not be viewed as a binding commitment to develop or pursue the project or ideas discussed. Respondents are requested to provide the following information at the start of their response to this RFI: • Company/institution name; • Company/institution contact; • Contact’s address, phone number, and email address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information may be submitted electronically to Marcos Gonzales Harsha at CEIC@hq.doe.gov or by contacting the Department of Energy at 202–586–5000. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1 10854 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 41 / Wednesday, March 2, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: In February 2015, the White House launched the Clean Energy Investment Initiative to catalyze expanded private sector investment in climate change solutions, including innovative technologies with breakthrough potential to reduce carbon pollution. To support this initiative, the Department of Energy formally launched the DOE Clean Energy Investment Center (CEIC) in January 2016, with the mandate to make the Department’s resources more readily available and understandable to the public and to create pathways that enable expanded access to the unique technical expertise and analytical capabilities within DOE’s programs, sites, and 17 national laboratories located across the country. The CEIC’s goal is to advance private, missionoriented investment in clean energy technologies that address the present gap in U.S. clean tech investment. The CEIC is also charged with enhancing the availability of the Department’s resources to investors and the public. To advance this mission, DOE supports a variety of commercialization and deployment activities in partnership with its national laboratories, universities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Existing programs include the Loan Programs Office, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Small Business Vouchers, Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer, Lab Corps, Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear Technologies, and the Technology Commercialization Fund. For more information on existing programs, visit: http://energy.gov/technologytransitions/ us-department-energys-clean-energyinvestment-center. However, recent investment trends are cause for some concern. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global clean energy investment has grown significantly over the last 10 years but slowed and even plateaued starting in 2009. Meanwhile, early-stage cleantech investment (a primary driver of innovation) has steadily fallen in recent years. The constrained level of investment in clean energy in recent years represents a significant hurdle for commercialization and deployment of emerging technologies with gamechanging potential. The CEIC’s role is to enable domestic investment with global impact. This role can take many forms and the next section discusses strategic areas where the CEIC can contribute. Fresh impetus for designing a robust CEIC arrived on December 12, 2015, when an historic climate agreement was VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:10 Mar 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 adopted by 195 nations at the United Nations climate summit in Paris, France. The goals and principles framed in that agreement, as well as the accompanying ‘‘intended nationally determined contributions’’ that defined targets for emission reductions and clean energy investment for each participating nation, will only be achievable with substantial private capital investment. This fact was explicitly recognized through the announcement of a public-private Mission Innovation partnership, in which 20 nations announced their intent to double public clean energy research and development (R&D) spending over the next five years. These announcements and commitments present a tremendous opportunity for forward-looking investors, and the CEIC is working to utilize DOE’s considerable resources and expertise to support the investor community as it gathers information, develops investment principles and policies, and identifies clean energy technology investment opportunities. The questions posed in this RFI primarily address the specific services and tools the CEIC can develop to maximize value of DOE engagement with the investment community and support clean energy investment decision making by the public. Purpose: The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders to assist the Office of Technology Transitions with further defining the scope and priorities of the services the CEIC will provide. This is solely a request for information. The CEIC is not accepting applications at this time. Disclaimer and Important Notes: This RFI is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or request for proposals (RFP) for a procurement contract; therefore, the CEIC is not accepting applications or proposals at this time. The CEIC may develop programs in the future and solicit contracts based on or related to the content and responses to this RFI. However, CEIC may also elect not to incorporate responses into its program and tool design. There is no guarantee that an RFP or FOA will be issued as a result of this RFI. Responding to this RFI does not provide any advantage or disadvantage to potential applicants if the CEIC chooses to issue a FOA or solicit a contract related to the subject matter. Any information obtained through this RFI is intended to be used by the government on a non-attribution basis PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 for planning and strategy development. The CEIC will review and consider all responses as it formulates program strategies related to the subjects within this request. In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations, 48 CFR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the government to form a binding contract. The CEIC will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred in responding to this RFI. Respondents are advised that DOE is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. Responses to this RFI do not bind the CEIC to any further actions related to this topic. Proprietary Information: Because information received in response to this RFI may be used to structure future programs and/or otherwise be made available to the public, respondents must NOT include any information in their responses that might be considered business sensitive, proprietary, or otherwise confidential. Responses must be submitted with the understanding that their contents may be publicly disclosed and, in the event of a public disclosure, DOE will NOT notify respondents or provide any opportunity to revise or redact submitted information. Review by Federal and Non-Federal Personnel: Federal employees are subject to the non-disclosure requirements of a criminal statute, the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905. The government may seek the advice of qualified non-federal personnel. The government may also use non-federal personnel to conduct routine, nondiscretionary administrative activities. The respondents, by submitting their response(s), consent to DOE providing their response(s) to non-federal parties. Non-federal parties given access to responses must be subject to an appropriate obligation of confidentiality prior to being given the access. Submissions may be reviewed by support contractors and private consultants. Request for Information Categories and Questions: Category 1: Information Access Background/Context The Department already has numerous programs designed to help U.S. energy innovation stakeholders cross the technological and financial ‘‘valleys of death’’ to bring new technology solutions to the market. However, there may be opportunities to expand public awareness of these E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 41 / Wednesday, March 2, 2016 / Notices programs raise the profile of individual projects/companies with investors by providing information about existing awardees supported by DOE and, potentially, about unsuccessful applicants who agree to have their information shared. This approach is reflective of other agencies that have relevant programs and connections to the clean energy investment space, including activities at the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the ExportImport Bank. While the CEIC will not be in a position to represent the work of these organizations, the Center may still serve as a helpful conduit to non-DOE programs. Information Requested The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, responses: 1. What type of information would be most useful to investors and organizations serving investors (information on individual awardees, market analysis, DOE-funded project and patent listings, indication of project results and/or others)? Specificity is welcomed. 2. Would a single internet location that provides a searchable web-based interface containing information about active programs (and, potentially, awardees and applicants) be a highvalue tool? Are there any examples of similar tools/databases that you consider to be useful? How would such a tool benefit the market in general? What elements would need to be included to ensure that this is a useful tool? 3. Are there any current DOE or other federal programs that help innovators bring technologies to market (financial or technical assistance)? If so, how and where do investors learn about it/them? 4. Is information on DOE open funding opportunity announcements, requests for proposals, and lists of awardees readily available and accessible in a useful format? 5. Currently, most DOE offices and programs have active Web sites. Are they useful to investors and provide necessary information? mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Category 2: Technical Energy Expertise Background/Context DOE’s national laboratory system maintains vital scientific and technological capabilities in support of U.S. national security, scientific discovery, and economic competitiveness. The laboratories offer unique opportunities for the private VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:10 Mar 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 sector to engage in collaborative research and development, licensing agreements, user facilities, and to obtain technical assistance. The recent establishment of DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions has heightened the Department’s focus on improving coordination and effectiveness of the national laboratories in executing their technology transfer missions. As part of the suite of services that the CEIC may offer, the Department is considering development of an online portal that would connect public inquiries with relevant experts within DOE’s programs and at its 17 national laboratories. The technical expertise resident at the national labs is complemented by program knowledge within DOE program offices. The Department recently released the 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review, a study that examines the most promising research, development, demonstration, and deployment opportunities across energy technologies to effectively address the nation’s energy needs, and the Department conducts ongoing reviews on the state of technologies. Though the Department is not in a position to recommend specific investments to private investors, the experts at the Department’s laboratories and programs are uniquely positioned to provide insight into the latest clean energy technology discoveries and emerging deployment trends. Information Requested The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, responses: 1. Is sufficient information available to investors about the clean energy technology landscape? Æ If not, what are key areas of research, analysis, or information sharing that would most contribute to better understanding the clean energy technology landscape and markets? Æ Are there any existing modes or channels of communication that the Department could use to reach a larger audience? Æ Would case studies about project/ company development made possible through DOE funding be useful? 2. DOE undertakes market analysis and mapping of technology development pathways. However, are there other key areas of research and analysis that would lead to a better understanding of challenge areas, broad technical risk, and the current state of clean energy technologies that DOE could conduct? 3. How can the CEIC and the Department better match existing national laboratory resources and expertise with the needs of investors? PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10855 4. Are clean energy investors aware of the resources/expertise available at the national laboratories? Do investors know how to access the people and capabilities around the national laboratory complex? If so, do investors reach out for information and technical assistance? 5. Do investors view DOE program and national laboratory employees as subject matter experts? Have investors ever tried to obtain information directly from DOE or any of the 17 laboratories? If so, are there best practices or lessons learned that can be shared? 6. Would a searchable web-based interface that facilitates connections between investors and technical experts at DOE’s programs and national laboratories be a high-value tool? Do investors have any examples of similar tools/databases that may be useful? If implemented correctly, could such a tool lead to more and/or improved clean energy investment deals? What questions remain that would need to be answered to determine the usefulness of the tool? 7. What publications/organizations/ methods do investors currently consult or regard as possessing expertise in specialized information on clean energy technology? As applicable, please specify sources used for technical review, market review, etc. Category 3: Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Background/Context Many organizations outside of the government are already working to provide information exchanges regarding clean energy technologies and partnering on shared objectives. However, the Department provides a powerful convening and communication forum for facilitated engagement between the government and the investment community. The joint public-private Mission Innovation announcement, during which 28 highnet-worth individuals from 10 countries announced their intent to commit billions of dollars to clean energy R&D through an initiative of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, is an example of the importance of a direct public role in spurring activity. The CEIC is able to build on this convening ability, and events such as Innovation Interface sessions can be resources for sharing information about the Department’s program offices. In this section, the CEIC is interested in learning more about where clean energy investors gather regionally and nationally, and how and where they prefer to receive information. E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1 10856 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 41 / Wednesday, March 2, 2016 / Notices Information Requested The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, responses: 1. Do clean energy investors see value in participating in a structured visit to DOE and/or any of its facilities/ laboratories? What kind of information would be most useful to obtain/learn about during such a visit? 2. Are you aware of/do you represent any organization(s) in the clean energy field that would be able to provide useful information to the CEIC team? What events present the best opportunities for the CEIC to engage in valuable dialogue/interactions, inform the general public about the clean energy landscape, and/or connect with new or prospective investors? In which events, conferences, or settings would you like to see CEIC participation? 3. What kinds of communication channels are most useful/effective? What is the best way for investors and the public to receive information and updates? 4. Do investors obtain most of your information from academic articles, data aggregators, analytical and advisory firms, or other sources? Where do investors search for information pertaining to innovations, early stage research, or clean energy investment? 5. Are there any other successful federal or non-federal models for engagement and communication that should be adopted by the CEIC? Category 4: Open Background/Context The CEIC recognizes that there may be tools and services other than those discussed in this RFI that may be useful to investors. This category serves as an open call for suggestions on how to effectively align the CEIC and its programs with the needs of its customers (the public, investors, and industry) and overarching Administration goals. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Information Requested The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, responses: 1. What are the greatest concerns with investing in the clean energy technology space? What sort of information/ assistance would provide greater comfort with this category? 2. In general, how can the CEIC (and the federal government more broadly) most effectively help to catalyze further clean energy investment? In particular, how can CEIC most effectively advance the following goals: a. Unlock new sources of capital and foster more effective investment models VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:10 Mar 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 to scale innovative clean energy companies; b. Facilitate match-making between early-stage companies and potential investors and customers; c. Support the development of innovative marketplaces for early-stage investment, including crowd-funding platforms; d. Enhance activity and engagement with corporate investors/strategic investors, including utilities; e. Catalyze the formation of long-term, patient capital funds for energy technology development; f. Leverage philanthropic capital through program-related investments, mission-related investments, and other mechanisms; g. Encourage more clean energy venture dollars focused on U.S.-based companies with high potential for domestic economic benefit; and h. Leverage existing programs (e.g., SBIR) to be of best use to the clean energy investment community. 3. Is there any other information, other approaches, or other data that would be useful to investors? 4. Are there any other tools that would be useful to investors or key stakeholders that were not discussed above? 5. What are the greatest challenges when it comes to investing in clean energy? 6. Is there any information about investment principles and/or investment policy statements as it pertains to clean energy investments that could be shared with other investors and the public? 7. What DOE (or other state/federal) finance and commercialization programs are available, and should anything about them be changed to enhance their utility? ACTION: Notice. The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), ‘‘Collection of Information on Anaerobic Digestion Facilities Processing Wasted Food to support EPA’s Sustainable Food Management Programs’’ (EPA ICR No. 2533.01, OMB Control No. 2050–NEW) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a request for approval of a new collection. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before May 2, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– RCRA–2015–0836 online using www.regulations.gov or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 228221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melissa Pennington, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3, Mail Code Issued in Washington, DC, on February 25, 3LC40, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; telephone number: 215–814– 2016. 3372; fax number: 215–814–3114; email Sanjiv Malhotra, address: pennington.melissa@epa.gov. Director, Clean Energy Investment Center. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2016–04625 Filed 3–1–16; 8:45 am] Supporting documents which explain in BILLING CODE 6450–01–P detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION viewed online at www.regulations.gov AGENCY or in person at the EPA Docket Center, [EPA–HQ–RCRA–2015–0836; FRL–9943–12– WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Region 3] Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Proposed Information Collection Docket Center is 202–566–1744. For Request; Comment Request; Collection of Information on Anaerobic additional information about EPA’s Digestion Facilities Processing Wasted public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/ dockets. Food To Support EPA’s Sustainable Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of Food Management Programs the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) AGENCY: Environmental Protection Evaluate whether the proposed Agency (EPA). PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02MRN1.SGM 02MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 41 (Wednesday, March 2, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10853-10856]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-04625]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


Request for Information: Clean Energy Investment Center

AGENCY: Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Request for Information (RFI).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE or the Department) Clean 
Energy Investment Center (CEIC), a component of the Office of 
Technology Transitions, is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) 
to gain public input on its efforts to expand and facilitate public 
access to the Department's resources and to mobilize investment in U.S. 
clean energy technology. The CEIC also is seeking information through 
this RFI to further define the scope and priorities of the services it 
provides to the general public, specifically to mission-driven 
investors, as well as the investment community more broadly. The 
information collected may be used for internal CEIC planning and 
decision-making to ensure that future activities maximize public 
benefit while advancing the Administration's goals for leading the 
world in building a competitive, clean energy economy; securing 
America's energy future; reducing carbon pollution; and creating 
domestic jobs.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before 
March 31, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Comments must be submitted electronically to 
CEIC@hq.doe.gov. Responses must be provided as a Microsoft Word (.doc) 
or (.docx) attachment to the email with no more than 3 pages in length 
for each category section listed in the RFI. Only electronic responses 
will be accepted.
    Response Guidance: Please identify your answers by responding to a 
specific question or topic if possible. Respondents may answer as many 
or as few questions as they wish.
    The CEIC will not respond to individual submissions or publish a 
public compendium of responses. A response to this RFI will not be 
viewed as a binding commitment to develop or pursue the project or 
ideas discussed.
    Respondents are requested to provide the following information at 
the start of their response to this RFI:
     Company/institution name;
     Company/institution contact;
     Contact's address, phone number, and email address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
may be submitted electronically to Marcos Gonzales Harsha at 
CEIC@hq.doe.gov or by contacting the Department of Energy at 202-586-
5000.

[[Page 10854]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Background: In February 2015, the White House launched the Clean 
Energy Investment Initiative to catalyze expanded private sector 
investment in climate change solutions, including innovative 
technologies with breakthrough potential to reduce carbon pollution. To 
support this initiative, the Department of Energy formally launched the 
DOE Clean Energy Investment Center (CEIC) in January 2016, with the 
mandate to make the Department's resources more readily available and 
understandable to the public and to create pathways that enable 
expanded access to the unique technical expertise and analytical 
capabilities within DOE's programs, sites, and 17 national laboratories 
located across the country. The CEIC's goal is to advance private, 
mission-oriented investment in clean energy technologies that address 
the present gap in U.S. clean tech investment. The CEIC is also charged 
with enhancing the availability of the Department's resources to 
investors and the public.
    To advance this mission, DOE supports a variety of 
commercialization and deployment activities in partnership with its 
national laboratories, universities, businesses, and nonprofit 
organizations. Existing programs include the Loan Programs Office, 
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Small Business Vouchers, 
Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer, 
Lab Corps, Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear Technologies, 
and the Technology Commercialization Fund. For more information on 
existing programs, visit: http://energy.gov/technologytransitions/us-department-energys-clean-energy-investment-center.
    However, recent investment trends are cause for some concern. 
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global clean energy 
investment has grown significantly over the last 10 years but slowed 
and even plateaued starting in 2009. Meanwhile, early-stage cleantech 
investment (a primary driver of innovation) has steadily fallen in 
recent years. The constrained level of investment in clean energy in 
recent years represents a significant hurdle for commercialization and 
deployment of emerging technologies with game-changing potential. The 
CEIC's role is to enable domestic investment with global impact. This 
role can take many forms and the next section discusses strategic areas 
where the CEIC can contribute.
    Fresh impetus for designing a robust CEIC arrived on December 12, 
2015, when an historic climate agreement was adopted by 195 nations at 
the United Nations climate summit in Paris, France. The goals and 
principles framed in that agreement, as well as the accompanying 
``intended nationally determined contributions'' that defined targets 
for emission reductions and clean energy investment for each 
participating nation, will only be achievable with substantial private 
capital investment. This fact was explicitly recognized through the 
announcement of a public-private Mission Innovation partnership, in 
which 20 nations announced their intent to double public clean energy 
research and development (R&D) spending over the next five years.
    These announcements and commitments present a tremendous 
opportunity for forward-looking investors, and the CEIC is working to 
utilize DOE's considerable resources and expertise to support the 
investor community as it gathers information, develops investment 
principles and policies, and identifies clean energy technology 
investment opportunities. The questions posed in this RFI primarily 
address the specific services and tools the CEIC can develop to 
maximize value of DOE engagement with the investment community and 
support clean energy investment decision making by the public.
    Purpose: The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from 
industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and 
other stakeholders to assist the Office of Technology Transitions with 
further defining the scope and priorities of the services the CEIC will 
provide. This is solely a request for information. The CEIC is not 
accepting applications at this time.
    Disclaimer and Important Notes: This RFI is not a Funding 
Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or request for proposals (RFP) for a 
procurement contract; therefore, the CEIC is not accepting applications 
or proposals at this time. The CEIC may develop programs in the future 
and solicit contracts based on or related to the content and responses 
to this RFI. However, CEIC may also elect not to incorporate responses 
into its program and tool design. There is no guarantee that an RFP or 
FOA will be issued as a result of this RFI. Responding to this RFI does 
not provide any advantage or disadvantage to potential applicants if 
the CEIC chooses to issue a FOA or solicit a contract related to the 
subject matter.
    Any information obtained through this RFI is intended to be used by 
the government on a non-attribution basis for planning and strategy 
development. The CEIC will review and consider all responses as it 
formulates program strategies related to the subjects within this 
request. In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations, 48 CFR 
15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be 
accepted by the government to form a binding contract. The CEIC will 
not provide reimbursement for costs incurred in responding to this RFI. 
Respondents are advised that DOE is under no obligation to acknowledge 
receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents 
with respect to any information submitted. Responses to this RFI do not 
bind the CEIC to any further actions related to this topic.
    Proprietary Information: Because information received in response 
to this RFI may be used to structure future programs and/or otherwise 
be made available to the public, respondents must NOT include any 
information in their responses that might be considered business 
sensitive, proprietary, or otherwise confidential. Responses must be 
submitted with the understanding that their contents may be publicly 
disclosed and, in the event of a public disclosure, DOE will NOT notify 
respondents or provide any opportunity to revise or redact submitted 
information.
    Review by Federal and Non-Federal Personnel: Federal employees are 
subject to the non-disclosure requirements of a criminal statute, the 
Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905. The government may seek the advice 
of qualified non-federal personnel. The government may also use non-
federal personnel to conduct routine, non-discretionary administrative 
activities. The respondents, by submitting their response(s), consent 
to DOE providing their response(s) to non-federal parties. Non-federal 
parties given access to responses must be subject to an appropriate 
obligation of confidentiality prior to being given the access. 
Submissions may be reviewed by support contractors and private 
consultants.
    Request for Information Categories and Questions:

Category 1: Information Access

Background/Context

    The Department already has numerous programs designed to help U.S. 
energy innovation stakeholders cross the technological and financial 
``valleys of death'' to bring new technology solutions to the market. 
However, there may be opportunities to expand public awareness of these

[[Page 10855]]

programs raise the profile of individual projects/companies with 
investors by providing information about existing awardees supported by 
DOE and, potentially, about unsuccessful applicants who agree to have 
their information shared.
    This approach is reflective of other agencies that have relevant 
programs and connections to the clean energy investment space, 
including activities at the Departments of Agriculture and 
Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Overseas 
Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank. While the 
CEIC will not be in a position to represent the work of these 
organizations, the Center may still serve as a helpful conduit to non-
DOE programs.

Information Requested

    The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, 
responses:
    1. What type of information would be most useful to investors and 
organizations serving investors (information on individual awardees, 
market analysis, DOE-funded project and patent listings, indication of 
project results and/or others)? Specificity is welcomed.
    2. Would a single internet location that provides a searchable web-
based interface containing information about active programs (and, 
potentially, awardees and applicants) be a high-value tool? Are there 
any examples of similar tools/databases that you consider to be useful? 
How would such a tool benefit the market in general? What elements 
would need to be included to ensure that this is a useful tool?
    3. Are there any current DOE or other federal programs that help 
innovators bring technologies to market (financial or technical 
assistance)? If so, how and where do investors learn about it/them?
    4. Is information on DOE open funding opportunity announcements, 
requests for proposals, and lists of awardees readily available and 
accessible in a useful format?
    5. Currently, most DOE offices and programs have active Web sites. 
Are they useful to investors and provide necessary information?

Category 2: Technical Energy Expertise

Background/Context

    DOE's national laboratory system maintains vital scientific and 
technological capabilities in support of U.S. national security, 
scientific discovery, and economic competitiveness. The laboratories 
offer unique opportunities for the private sector to engage in 
collaborative research and development, licensing agreements, user 
facilities, and to obtain technical assistance. The recent 
establishment of DOE's Office of Technology Transitions has heightened 
the Department's focus on improving coordination and effectiveness of 
the national laboratories in executing their technology transfer 
missions. As part of the suite of services that the CEIC may offer, the 
Department is considering development of an online portal that would 
connect public inquiries with relevant experts within DOE's programs 
and at its 17 national laboratories.
    The technical expertise resident at the national labs is 
complemented by program knowledge within DOE program offices. The 
Department recently released the 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review, a 
study that examines the most promising research, development, 
demonstration, and deployment opportunities across energy technologies 
to effectively address the nation's energy needs, and the Department 
conducts ongoing reviews on the state of technologies.
    Though the Department is not in a position to recommend specific 
investments to private investors, the experts at the Department's 
laboratories and programs are uniquely positioned to provide insight 
into the latest clean energy technology discoveries and emerging 
deployment trends.

Information Requested

    The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, 
responses:
    1. Is sufficient information available to investors about the clean 
energy technology landscape?
    [cir] If not, what are key areas of research, analysis, or 
information sharing that would most contribute to better understanding 
the clean energy technology landscape and markets?
    [cir] Are there any existing modes or channels of communication 
that the Department could use to reach a larger audience?
    [cir] Would case studies about project/company development made 
possible through DOE funding be useful?
    2. DOE undertakes market analysis and mapping of technology 
development pathways. However, are there other key areas of research 
and analysis that would lead to a better understanding of challenge 
areas, broad technical risk, and the current state of clean energy 
technologies that DOE could conduct?
    3. How can the CEIC and the Department better match existing 
national laboratory resources and expertise with the needs of 
investors?
    4. Are clean energy investors aware of the resources/expertise 
available at the national laboratories? Do investors know how to access 
the people and capabilities around the national laboratory complex? If 
so, do investors reach out for information and technical assistance?
    5. Do investors view DOE program and national laboratory employees 
as subject matter experts? Have investors ever tried to obtain 
information directly from DOE or any of the 17 laboratories? If so, are 
there best practices or lessons learned that can be shared?
    6. Would a searchable web-based interface that facilitates 
connections between investors and technical experts at DOE's programs 
and national laboratories be a high-value tool? Do investors have any 
examples of similar tools/databases that may be useful? If implemented 
correctly, could such a tool lead to more and/or improved clean energy 
investment deals? What questions remain that would need to be answered 
to determine the usefulness of the tool?
    7. What publications/organizations/methods do investors currently 
consult or regard as possessing expertise in specialized information on 
clean energy technology? As applicable, please specify sources used for 
technical review, market review, etc.

Category 3: Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

Background/Context

    Many organizations outside of the government are already working to 
provide information exchanges regarding clean energy technologies and 
partnering on shared objectives. However, the Department provides a 
powerful convening and communication forum for facilitated engagement 
between the government and the investment community. The joint public-
private Mission Innovation announcement, during which 28 high-net-worth 
individuals from 10 countries announced their intent to commit billions 
of dollars to clean energy R&D through an initiative of the 
Breakthrough Energy Coalition, is an example of the importance of a 
direct public role in spurring activity. The CEIC is able to build on 
this convening ability, and events such as Innovation Interface 
sessions can be resources for sharing information about the 
Department's program offices. In this section, the CEIC is interested 
in learning more about where clean energy investors gather regionally 
and nationally, and how and where they prefer to receive information.

[[Page 10856]]

Information Requested

    The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, 
responses:
    1. Do clean energy investors see value in participating in a 
structured visit to DOE and/or any of its facilities/laboratories? What 
kind of information would be most useful to obtain/learn about during 
such a visit?
    2. Are you aware of/do you represent any organization(s) in the 
clean energy field that would be able to provide useful information to 
the CEIC team? What events present the best opportunities for the CEIC 
to engage in valuable dialogue/interactions, inform the general public 
about the clean energy landscape, and/or connect with new or 
prospective investors? In which events, conferences, or settings would 
you like to see CEIC participation?
    3. What kinds of communication channels are most useful/effective? 
What is the best way for investors and the public to receive 
information and updates?
    4. Do investors obtain most of your information from academic 
articles, data aggregators, analytical and advisory firms, or other 
sources? Where do investors search for information pertaining to 
innovations, early stage research, or clean energy investment?
    5. Are there any other successful federal or non-federal models for 
engagement and communication that should be adopted by the CEIC?

Category 4: Open

Background/Context

    The CEIC recognizes that there may be tools and services other than 
those discussed in this RFI that may be useful to investors. This 
category serves as an open call for suggestions on how to effectively 
align the CEIC and its programs with the needs of its customers (the 
public, investors, and industry) and overarching Administration goals.

Information Requested

    The following questions may guide, but should not restrict, 
responses:
    1. What are the greatest concerns with investing in the clean 
energy technology space? What sort of information/assistance would 
provide greater comfort with this category?
    2. In general, how can the CEIC (and the federal government more 
broadly) most effectively help to catalyze further clean energy 
investment? In particular, how can CEIC most effectively advance the 
following goals:
    a. Unlock new sources of capital and foster more effective 
investment models to scale innovative clean energy companies;
    b. Facilitate match-making between early-stage companies and 
potential investors and customers;
    c. Support the development of innovative marketplaces for early-
stage investment, including crowd-funding platforms;
    d. Enhance activity and engagement with corporate investors/
strategic investors, including utilities;
    e. Catalyze the formation of long-term, patient capital funds for 
energy technology development;
    f. Leverage philanthropic capital through program-related 
investments, mission-related investments, and other mechanisms;
    g. Encourage more clean energy venture dollars focused on U.S.-
based companies with high potential for domestic economic benefit; and
    h. Leverage existing programs (e.g., SBIR) to be of best use to the 
clean energy investment community.
    3. Is there any other information, other approaches, or other data 
that would be useful to investors?
    4. Are there any other tools that would be useful to investors or 
key stakeholders that were not discussed above?
    5. What are the greatest challenges when it comes to investing in 
clean energy?
    6. Is there any information about investment principles and/or 
investment policy statements as it pertains to clean energy investments 
that could be shared with other investors and the public?
    7. What DOE (or other state/federal) finance and commercialization 
programs are available, and should anything about them be changed to 
enhance their utility?

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2016.
Sanjiv Malhotra,
Director, Clean Energy Investment Center.
[FR Doc. 2016-04625 Filed 3-1-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P