About the Open Innovation Fund (OIF)

  • The OIF provides funding to demonstrate the benefits of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies in a range of products and industries.
  • The objectives of the OIF are:
    • Target key time-sensitive gaps in the Institute’s portfolio that are too urgent to be postponed until the next annual competition
    • Address technology barriers not currently addressed by other PA projects
  • Funded projects can receive up to $225,000 for up to a 12-month period from PowerAmerica, and require a 1:1 cost match from the recipient.
  • White paper submissions are evaluated on a rolling basis.
  • It is not necessary to join PowerAmerica to make a submission, but any submission selected for funding will include a requirement that all participating organizations join PowerAmerica prior to receiving funding.

How Does OIF Differ from the Annual Call for Projects?

The OIF does not specify the project objectives or technical targets. Instead, it offers companies operating in the United States an opportunity to propose innovative projects that advance PowerAmerica’s mission to make WBG semiconductor technologies cost competitive with Si based power electronics, and to accelerate the adoption of SiC and GaN based components in high value markets and applications.  The OIF support this mission by funding targeted, high impact projects that address key unmet technical gaps throughout the WBG semiconductor supply chain.

Areas of Interest for OIF projects

  • Examples include (but aren’t limited to):
    • SiC & GaN Power Devices
    • Power Conversion
    • Energy Efficiency
    • High Temperature Electronics Applications
  • Technology readiness at the proof-of-concept level should exist prior to funding. Of particular interest are projects that can accelerate product demonstrations up to the point of pilot production.

Selection Criteria

  • Relevant to PA and Institute Mission (40%)
  • Technical merit and approach (20%)
  • Technical and Management Capabilities (20%)
  • US Manufacturing Plan (manufacturing potential, market impact, benefit to WBG industry) (20%)

How to Submit a Project

  • Submit a non-proprietary white paper (4-5 pages max) to proposals@poweramerica.ncstate.gov. Include an estimate of the total cost of the project, the proposed use of PowerAmerica’s funds, and how costs will be matched 1:1 by the organization.
  • Proposals are strongly encouraged to include teams in which one or more participants is a likely customer of the product or systems to be improved by SiC or GaN technology. Those interested in teaming with a current PowerAmerica academic partner can find contact information here.

Questions?

Contact Jim LeMunyon, Director of Membership and Industry Relations, at Jim_LeMunyon@ncsu.edu.