(1) the identification of focus areas that hold potential for improvement in a particular area, (2) the identification of barriers that prevent improvement in this area, and (3) the determination of pathways to overcome these barriers. Inputs to the decision-making process include industry vision documents and roadmaps, energy footprint4 and bandwidth5 analyses, and energy and environmental profiles, as well as ITP and industry expertise. The committee finds that these tools and processes are appropriate for guiding the prioritization and selection of projects.

Corporate Strategy of the Industrial Technologies Program

The ITP corporate strategy, described in the MYPP, is an effort to streamline business and management processes within the ITP. It consists of five components: (1) realizing a vision for the future of industry; (2) strategy for government investment; (3) understanding and awareness; (4) long-term, focused partnerships; (5) and superior business practices (DOE, 2004a, p. 46).

The committee concurs with the ITP that the realization of its vision and goals requires an understanding of the realities of both industry and government and an iterative planning process driven by measurable results. To increase the effectiveness of project selection metrics, the committee recommends that market pricing, acceptance, and the potential economic impact of all projects, including grand challenges, be estimated. The committee finds that activities undertaken by the ITP such as energy showcases and partnerships with other government agencies are effective in increasing understanding and awareness and that numerous government-industry partnerships are in place and working. In addition, the committee finds that maintaining public-private partnerships, including academic partnerships, is critical to the success of the ITP.

There appears to be considerable focus on systematic and aligned planning, analysis, decision-making, and project management processes. The data are beginning to show significant cumulative energy and cost savings. The committee observes that a high level of energy and momentum exists within the ITP staff for implementing changes and improving the ITP.

EVALUATIONS OF INDIVIDUAL SUBPROGRAMS

The committee was asked to review the ITP’s seven Industry of the Future subprograms by evaluating the individual effectiveness of each subprogram, its integration with the overall ITP strategy, and the likelihood of its achieving its goals. In addition, the committee was asked to review the five crosscutting subprograms (combustion, sensors and automation, industrial materials of the future, supporting industries, and software tool development), as well as ITP’s technology delivery subprogram and the ITP activities at the EERE regional offices.

Aluminum

The aluminum subprogram is dynamic, having an excellent historical and ongoing interaction with the U.S. aluminum industry. This subprogram focuses on relevant needs of the aluminum industry, and its portfolio addresses the key priorities in the current focus areas. The committee commends the staff of the aluminum subprogram on their work and recommends continued evolution and growth in the subprogram’s direction as the needs of U.S. industry change. The committee further recommends:

  • Combining the two focus areas on smelting R&D (alternative reduction systems and advanced Hall-Héroult cells) into one area that includes the only major project currently in the alternative reduction systems area;

  • Leveraging of other ITP subprograms, such as sensors and materials, in the efficient melting

4  

A footprint analysis evaluates energy end-use and loss patterns to identify the areas in which the greatest energy savings are possible.

5  

A bandwidth analysis compares actual energy use from a process with the theoretical thermodynamic minimum in order to identify the areas in which the greatest energy savings are possible.



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