Request for Proposals: Energy in an Information Age

Many of the most significant energy innovations and efficiency improvements over the next decade will be realized at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. Opportunities at the intersection of energy and information sciences continue to grow, often involving networked, embedded systems and their interaction with energy and communications infrastructure – such as pipelines, power plants, transmission and distribution lines, buildings, and home automation. Examples of the various terms and emerging fields at this intersection include “smart grid”, “smart-pipelines”, “cyber-physical energy systems”, “internet of things”, “digital oil fields”, and “energy informatics”. Moreover, new challenges and questions around data ownership, privacy, and cybersecurity are emerging, which could severely constrain these opportunities.

This RFP solicits proposals from the Georgia Tech community in these areas. Its objective is to facilitate development of a community at Georgia Tech that links the computing, visualization, and data sciences with science, engineering, business, policy, and economics relevant to physical energy infrastructure. Even as this area evolves rapidly, the fact that it spans multiple disciplines has exposed numerous challenges in a shared vocabulary, identifying and framing key issues, defining critical R&D problems at this intersection, and the business, economic and policy implications that arise as a result of these intersections (e.g. privacy, data ownership, cybersecurity, etc.).

Proposals that include teams consisting of members from different colleges are highly encouraged, such as those that link analytics, data sciences or computing expertise with energy system discipline expertise.  In addition, we would welcome creative teaming ideas that link proposals and leverage resources with PI’s and funds from other external organizations, such as national labs, think tanks, or regional universities.  

Proposal teams can request funding up to a maximum of $40,000/year (SEI will not charge overhead and tuition against these projects), and can span time ranges up to eighteen months. However, second year funding for any proposals that exceed one year will be influenced by PI efforts to engage external resources by the end of the first year.

Activities contemplated under this RFP are not limited to, but could include:

  • Framing and defining key problems at the physical-digital energy interface for various energy applications.
  • Development of road maps that guide policymakers and funders of research across the discovery to deployment spectrum.
  • Financial and organizational support for internal workshops, either toward some anticipated opportunity or to help frame and define an external opportunity.
  • Financial and organizational support for external workshops to develop consensus or recommendations around some energy issue in the physical-digital energy domain.
  • Financial support for pulling together proposals in response to large external solicitations.

This list is certainly not comprehensive and we look forward to the exciting ideas which will develop across campus.

Proposal submissions are no longer being accepted for this funding opportunity; the content above is for informational purposes only. Awardees will be announced in December 2016 with funding to commence January 1, 2017. The next funding opportunity will be announced early Fall 2017.


Map of Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology
North Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: 404-894-2000