The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Industrial Technology (OIT) sponsors research and development (R&D) to improve energy efficiency, resource utilization, and the competitiveness of energy- and waste-intensive industries. The R&D projects are focused on the materials processing industries and are aimed at developing technologies that reduce the use of raw materials and energy, reduce the amount of waste generated, and increase industrial productivity. The OIT program has three primary components:
Since 1993, OIT has been undergoing a transition from a "technology-push" strategy, in which research projects are selected and prioritized primarily for their potential to reduce energy consumption or waste generation, to a "market-pull"
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1 Introduction The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Industrial Technology (OIT) sponsors research and development (R&D) to improve energy efficiency, resource utilization, and the competitiveness of energy- and waste-intensive industries. The R&D projects are focused on the materials processing industries and are aimed at developing technologies that reduce the use of raw materials and energy, reduce the amount of waste generated, and increase industrial productivity. The OIT program has three primary components: Industries of the Future (IOF)-Specific Programs. Industry-developed visions and technology road maps are used to prioritize and focus OIT research on identified needs. Nine industries are currently participating in the program—agriculture, aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metalcasting, mining, petroleum refining, and steel. Crosscutting Technology Programs. These R&D projects, which are applicable to more than one industry, are managed separately. Current crosscutting technology areas include advanced turbine systems, advanced industrial materials, continuous-fiber ceramic composites, and sensors and controls. Technology Access Programs. These programs provide information, technical assistance, technology transfer assistance, and technology demonstration assistance to industry. The object is to improve the productivity and energy/environmental performance of processing industries, other major industrial energy consumers, and small businesses. Since 1993, OIT has been undergoing a transition from a "technology-push" strategy, in which research projects are selected and prioritized primarily for their potential to reduce energy consumption or waste generation, to a "market-pull"
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strategy, in which identified industry needs and priorities are used as the primary criteria. To pursue the new strategy, OIT has focused on energy- and waste-intensive materials processing industries. The original industries in the program were aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metalcasting, steel, and petroleum refining. These industries, designated as ''Industries of the Future'' (IOF), use about 80 percent of the energy and generate more than 90 percent of the manufacturing waste in the U.S. industrial sector. Recently, agriculture (e.g., renewable bioproducts) and mining were added to the group. Representatives of the selected industries developed technology "visions" that identify their high-priority needs, including their strategic goals and research priorities. Based on these visions, the industry groups have developed "road maps" (research agendas), devised implementation strategies to meet their high-priority needs, and committed resources to conduct and manage the research projects. OIT assisted with planning, facilitated interactions between participants, provided access to the DOE-administered national laboratories, and shared the costs of selected projects. Committee on Industrial Technology Assessments In 1995, OIT requested that the National Research Council (NRC), through the National Materials Advisory Board, conduct a study to (1) evaluate their program strategy, (2) provide guidance during the transition to the market-pull IOF strategy, and (3) assess the effects of the new strategy on its crosscutting technology programs. The Committee on Industrial Technology Assessments (CITA) was established to complete the following tasks: review and evaluate the program and plans of the overall OIT program review the plans and progress of selected OIT-sponsored research programs conduct site visits and evaluate laboratories, when appropriate, to supplement program assessments suggest improvements to the technical programs, methods of coordinating research with other agencies, and mechanisms for transferring technology to industry CITA established several panels to study specific aspects of the OIT technical program to help the committee with the overall program review. The committee used these panel studies on intermetallic alloy development, manufacturing process controls, and industrial separations as case studies to support its overall conclusions and recommendations. The panel studies were published separately in peer-reviewed reports (NRC, 1997; NRC, 1998; NRC, 1999). Panel on Intermetallic Alloy Development The first panel evaluated the intermetallic alloy development program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)(NRC, 1997). This program was selected
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because it is already a mature program focused on crosscutting R&D. The emphasis of the report was on lessons that could be derived from the development of Ni3Al alloys and processes, which have been the focus of the intermetallics research program at Oak Ridge. The report included a review and assessment of the program and recommendations for the future, as well as an assessment of implications for the entire OIT program and the transition to the IOF strategy. Panel on Manufacturing Process Controls The second panel established under CITA was the Panel on Manufacturing Process Controls. The objective of this panel was to identify opportunities for technology development that could improve process controls in the materials processing industries of the IOF and to recommend areas of emphasis for a sensors and controls initiative. This topic was selected because manufacturing process controls were identified in several industry visions as critical to their future competitiveness. The panel conducted two workshops. The first identified IOF industry needs for process controls and sensing technologies, as well as needs that are common to multiple industries. The second workshop identified opportunities for developing advanced sensing and control technologies to meet industry needs (NRC, 1998). Panel on Industrial Separations The Panel on Separation Technology for Industrial Recycling and Reuse was established to identify the technology developments needed in the separation processes of the IOF industries and to recommend areas of emphasis in the OIT research program. This topic was selected because industrial separations were identified in several industry visions as important enabling technologies. The panel conducted two working sessions. The first, which involved the participation of representatives of the IOF industry groups, identified separation technology needs and crosscutting needs. The second identified opportunities for developing separation processes to meet industry needs (NRC, 1999). Report Objectives This report summarizes the committee's overall assessment of the OIT transition to the IOF program strategy. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the IOF program, including OIT's motivation and strategic approach. Chapter 3 provides the committee's assessments of crosscutting research initiatives, including summaries of the panel studies and their implications. Finally, Chapter 4 contains the committee's assessment of the IOF strategy and implementation and presents recommendations for improving OIT's overall program.