Questions and Answers


Any questions regarding this opportunity can be submitted to (an attempt will be made to answer all questions). White papers are to be submitted directly to a proposed project lead organization to CESMII by email at: 





Thanks for the webinar.  How critical it is to have the chosen application be energy intensive process specifically for process control and Hybrid modeling / analytics AOI? It seems these two focus areas are more on capability development.  Is it sufficient to pick a process which may not be energy intensive but demonstrate that the developed capability captures some benefit even if it is less than 15%, arguing that if translated to energy intensive process the benefit would be greater?   

Yes, for these types of technologies, you may pick a less energy intensive process for demonstration, however, there must be strong evidence that the technologies can be easily transferred to energy intensive processes 


Can you provide clarification on the term: “reusuable technology”? 

Reusuable by and transferable to other industries, or reusable “tools” or “applications” in the platform 


What is allowable cost share for academic institution- 


Generally, cost-share includes the following categories:  

• Cash, Labor/Staff Time, Travel, Equipment and Materials, Software, Facilities  

CESMII will provide a cost-share reference guide once projects are selected. 


Who are the committee who selects the WP 

White papers will be reviewed by the CESMII technical team and the DOE technical team.  Full proposals will be evaluated by non-CESMII and non-DOE subject matter experts from within and outside the CESMII membership network. 


Is membership required to submit a white paper for this funding opportunity (RFP-2, Wave 1)? 

You can submit a white paper. Here are a few RFP requirements: 

1. CESMII Membership is not required to submit a white paper but it will be required before contract award.  

2. The white paper does not have to identify the team members yet. Project teams will be identified in the full proposals.  

3. The white papers need to be submitted by the expected lead organization; In this case, it would be Auburn University. 


I have been in discussion with a few folks about a roadmap topic for the Smart Manufacturing Platform. I understand that version 0.5 will be release to the regional directors shortly but I'm curious to see if there are specification documents or some other information on its current state, existing applications, etc. Any overview or documents that could be shared with the members would be greatly appriciated so we can tailor our proposals effectively. 

We are aggressively working to put out a document/slide deck that describes our platform strategy, core capabilities etc very soon, in time for RFP2 Wave2 that will focus on the SM Platform.  Expect something close to the release of the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the platform in mid-August 


What is a CESMII Budget Period? How long is it and when does it start? 

The budget period is typically an year, but there is flexibility for it to be longer than an year. But theoretically it is 12 months. 


What are the technical gaps referring to?  

Although our metrics are tied to energy consumption, we fully understand that technology helps something to be produced in a more efficient manner that it eventually results in lower energy consumption and is a fine approach.  


Your presentation listed 5 years of federal funding for your program, but you're in your 5th year. Is this the last year for federal funding?

The institute was officially kicked off on January 2017 and CESMII is towards the end of BP-2. There is a calendar timing versus BP timing, by the time BP-3,4, or 5 ends, we will be close to the calendar timing. But not predictable now.  


Is there a limit to the number of white papers that a member can submit? Can we submit papers for more than one wave? 

There is no limit and you can submit white papers for all three waves. 


How much budget details are expected or needed in the white paper? 

The WP doesn’t ask for a budget and we are not expecting any numbers. CESMII is primarily focused on the technology, idea, and AOI you are focused on. 


Do you see a structural "tension" between an open R&D project and an "application" with a profit oriented corporation selling a product to US Industry. 

Because it is a collaborative model, any IP generated will be owned by the project but will be available to CESMII and its members 



Workforce Development Training was included in the NOI but not in this RFP.   What is the expected timetable for the wave this will be included in? 

Workforce Development is still being finalized and will be included in RFP-2 Wave II.  


In one of your early slides, you mentioned that some groups are underrepresented in CESMII.  Can you elaborate? 

There is a strong focus in small and medium manufacturing organizations. 


Is it necessary to combine the subtopic in A and B within each focus area? For example, if working on crosscutting technologies can the white paper solely focus on process development for energy savings and not include cybersecurity? 

It is not necessary to combine the subtopic areas within each focus area. 


Are attachments allowed with the white papers? For example, letters of support/commitment... 

Attachments to whitepapers are not allowed. 


Who are the committee who selects the WP 

White papers will be reviewed and selected by CESMII and DOE technical teams. 


Emerging technology related to projects concerning, 5G, AI. How will these projects treated from that evaluation metric perspective?  

Cross cutting emerging technologies will be evaluated based on Indirect relationships to energy metrics.  These technologies have impact on productivity, performance and precision which indirectly impact energy.  Projects will be evaluated with this lens. 


Would it be ok to list more than one primary focus area for the white paper if the proposed work cuts across more than 1 focus area. Please advise. Thanks. 

Including more than one focus area on the whitepaper will be acceptable.   


For the initial white paper, is there a page limit?  Typically, these are usually 1 – 2 pages but wanted to confirm.  Also, we are interested in responding to the Smart Manufacturing Platform.  Is this due on August 26th as well? 

The limit to the whitepaper is 4 pages and all whitepapers are due on August 26th, 2019. 


1.       The membership agreement says Silver and Gold members can lead only 1 funded project.  Is this one project for the duration of the membership, one project at a time, or one project per FOA? 

2.       Can a member submit multiple proposals (with the understanding that at most only one could be selected)? 

1. Yes - one project active in any 12 month membership period. 

2. members can submit multiple proposals 


Can you please confirm that white papers are to be submitted by e-mail to the address shown, and NOT uploaded to the CESMII Portal? 

We apologize for the misalignment.  Both methods will be acceptable 


In the Q&A, it mentions 12 month budget period. But in the RFP it notes 12-18months for projects.   Which is it? 


The RFP announcement on page 5 states that the period of performance is up to 18 months (but not less than 6 months).  Slide 15 of the RFP Webinar also states the period of performance is 12-18 months for RFP-2, Wave 1. 


what is a typical range of funding for wave 1 projects? 


We anticipate awarding 7 projects, however, that is simply an estimate.  There is $3.125M set aside for this particular RFP-2, Wave 1.  We do not have a range of funding for Wave 1 projects.  We will make that determination after we receive the submissions. 


Smart manufacturing enables the ability
​​​​​​​to solve existing & future problems while creating new value at the speed of business. 



Headquarters: Los Angeles, California
(888) 720-8096 |