DOE Smart Manufacturing Institute Announces New Project Call to Address Manufacturing Challenges

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) announced up to $4 million in new funding to improve energy-intensive manufacturing processes and strengthen America’s manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing competitiveness is a top priority for the Trump Administration. In 2018, the White House identified advanced manufacturing, including smart manufacturing, as one of the vital industries of the future in its report entitled, “Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing.” Increased implementation of smart manufacturing (SM) technologies—such as sensors, data, and platforms and controls—will lead to a more competitive U.S. manufacturing sector.

To accelerate the adoption of SM technologies, CESMII seeks research and development projects that can apply SM solutions to real-world manufacturing process and operation challenges that enable improved energy productivity, performance, quality and efficiency.

“Smart Manufacturing technologies have potential application and impact across the entire manufacturing sector. Creating innovations in new, integrated, systematic processes with a highly skilled smart manufacturing workforce and vibrant supply chain is vital to a global transformation of the manufacturing industry,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Alex Fitzsimmons. “DOE’s investments in smart manufacturing allow the American manufacturing sector to become more productive, more energy-efficient, and more competitive on a global scale.”

For this request for proposals, CESMII anticipates making awards with periods of performance of up to six months. Industry partners must provide at least 50% of the total project funding. Projects may range from $50,000 to $200,000 (federal + cost share).

Learn more about the application deadlines, areas of emphasis, and submission requirements.

Founded in 2016, in partnership with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, CESMII is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. CESMII accelerates smart manufacturing adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data analytics, platforms and controls to improve energy productivity and efficiency in manufacturing.

CESMII is a part of Manufacturing USA®, a network of federally funded institutes that have a specialized technology focus to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.

Illinois Veteran’s Day Webinar: Renewable Energy Career Pathways for the Military Community

Nov 11, 2020 1 pm
Register here.

Wind technician and solar installers are the first and third fastest growing jobs in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Did you know these sectors employ Veterans at a rate 61 percent higher than the national average?

Join Power Up Illinois and our partners Solar Ready Vets this Veterans Day to learn about certification and career-readiness training opportunities in partnership with Illinois’ community colleges and labor apprenticeship programs.

This webinar is intended for both the military community (transitioning service members, Veterans, National Guard, reservists and military spouses) and for educators (counselors or military transition specialists) to provide insight on career opportunities in Illinois.

As the third fastest growing state in the U.S. for new wind and solar generation, Illinois is poised to be a leader in job creation in the advanced energy field.

PFAS Consumer Products Regulations

Read the full story at JD Supra.

Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products across a broad spectrum of industries are being impacted by regulations regarding the presence of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (“PFAS”) in their products. This area of law is rapidly developing as states create new laws, and the penalties for non-compliance can be significant. Below is an overview of enacted and proposed state laws and regulations to assist companies in beginning an investigation into whether their products are, or will be impacted.

China’s 2020 ban ‘will not have massive impact’ on fiber markets

Read the full story at Resource Recycling.

Is the global recycled paper sector prepared for China’s complete exit from the market next year? Experts weighed in during a recent Bureau of International Recycling session.

Disposing ‘forever’ toxins: How the waste and recycling industry is tackling the PFAS chemicals crisis

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Found everywhere from the Arctic to the blood of most humans, PFAS are inevitable in the waste stream. With the prospect of regulations and litigation mounting, the industry is figuring out how to handle one of its most difficult issues in years.

Bacardi to use 100% biodegradable plastic bottles by 2023

Read the full story in Food Dive.

Spirits maker Bacardi is moving to bottle all its brands in a 100% biodegradable plastic packaging made with plant-based oils by 2023, according to an announcement by the company. The transition will eliminate 80 million plastic bottles currently produced by the company each year.

The company said these new plastic bottles biodegrade in 18 months in compost, soil, fresh water and sea water, and do not leave microplastics behind. Additionally, Bacardi is looking into developing a sustainably sourced paper bottle.

PET plastic remains one of the most commonly used resins in food and beverage packaging. Pressure from consumers has forced food and beverage makers to pursue efforts to cut back on plastic and operate more sustainably. Bacardi is the latest entrant in the alcohol industry that has worked on releasing packaging solutions that are less reliant on petroleum-based plastics.

Europe faces greenwashing allegations as CAP proposals slammed: A ‘death sentence for small farms and nature’

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

European regulators are touting a ‘a paradigm shift in European food policy’ as the European Council and Parliament prepare to progress discussions on a post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package that, they claim, will deliver ‘higher environmental ambition’. But proposals are facing widespread accusations of ‘greenwashing’.

High levels of microplastics released from infant feeding bottles during formula prep

Read the full story from Trinity College Dublin.

New research shows that high levels of microplastics (MPs) are released from infant-feeding bottles (IFBs) during formula preparation. The research also indicates a strong relationship between heat and MP release, such that warmer liquids (formula or water used to sterilize bottles) result in far greater release of MPs. The work underlines the need for appropriate mitigation strategies and new plastic technologies.

Associated journal article: Dunzhu Li, Yunhong Shi, Luming Yang, Liwen Xiao, Daniel K. Kehoe, Yurii K. Gun’ko, John J. Boland, Jing Jing Wang. Microplastic release from the degradation of polypropylene feeding bottles during infant formula preparationNature Food, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s43016-020-00171-y

Former White House climate change adviser becomes chair at Cambridge University spin-out

Read the full story at Business Weekly.

A former board member of one of the world’s biggest companies and White House climate change adviser has become chair of Xampla – a Cambridge University spin-out making plastic from peas.

As Unilever’s chief sustainability officer, Jeff Seabright is credited with turning one of the world’s largest multi-nationals into a leader in implementing ‘green’ business credentials.

Now he has gone from leading the sustainability operations of a company with an annual turnover of £50 billion across 155,000 staff in 190 countries and 400 household name products to a Cambridge technology startup with no sales, no products and 10 staff – a major coup for Xampla!

Government told to speed up textiles EPR

Read the full story at MRW.

The Textile Recycling Association (TRA) has told the Government it must complete its review into imposing extended producer responsibility (EPR) on the clothing and textiles sectors by 2022 so this can be implemented as swiftly as possible.

In a policy paper on EPR, the TRA cited what it called “the huge environmental and social impacts associated with the UK’s clothing supply chain”.