Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about working with the HydroGEN Consortium.


How do I work with the HydroGEN consortium?

There are two mechanisms to work with HydroGEN:

  1. Leverage U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding. DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) recently released a Notice of Intent for a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) wherein applicants will be encouraged to leverage capabilities within HydroGEN in their proposed research. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to explore HydroGEN capabilities listed on this website, check the website frequently for new additions, and work with the HydroGEN Steering Committee to clarify any questions about use of these capabilities in proposed research. The FOA is planned for release in the fall of 2016. Once the FOA is released, communication with HydroGEN will be restricted to public webinars and teleconferences; accordingly, interested applicants are encouraged to begin interfacing with the HydroGEN Steering Committee as early as possible. More detail on the funding mechanisms for working with HydroGEN will be available in the FOA itself.
  2. Use cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) or strategic partnership projects (SPPs). CRADAs and SPPs are standard agreements commonly used by industry to leverage capabilities at the labs while paying for cost recovery of those resources. Under CRADAs, the industry or academic entity collaborates with the lab in executing a scope of work. Under SPPs, the national lab executes the work independently for the entity providing the funding.

How do I ensure my research is protected if I work with HydroGEN? Are there requirements for data sharing?

HydroGEN is in the process of developing a standard non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that each of the member laboratories will sign prior to collaborations with industry/academia on any confidential information. Additionally, in FY17, HydroGEN will be launching an online data portal to house non-proprietary experimental and computational data on advanced water splitting materials. Users of HydroGEN will be expected to support the data portal with any non-proprietary data generated.


What exactly is a "resource node"? What am I getting access to as part of a capability?

A resource node is the combination of a tool, technique, and expertise. Each node description listed on the HydroGEN capabilities page has information on the capabilities and limitations of the equipment, examples of how the equipment has been used, and names of researchers at the national labs with expertise in use of this equipment for the listed application. A user will get access to the equipment provided with support from the researchers.

FCTO is planning a series of public webinars and teleconferences wherein the researchers involved with HydroGEN will present the consortium's capabilities and provide examples of how they have been used. Webinars are currently being scheduled, and dates will be posted to this website as soon as they are available.


How do I contact HydroGEN to find out more information about a given capability?

Please email h2awsm@nrel.gov with any questions. An email sent to this address will go to the technical leads for each member laboratory in the consortium, and those with relevant capabilities will respond.


Are Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) at national laboratories outside the HydroGEN core allowed to utilize the consortium?

Yes.


Are other FFRDCs allowed to join the HydroGEN consortium?

Yes, the consortium is continually being expanded. If you are interested in joining the consortium, please identify capabilities in your laboratory that are relevant to photoelectrochemical, thermochemical, or electrolytic water splitting, and then contact h2awsm@nrel.gov.


If the consortium is being leveraged for FOA-partnered support, does the applicant's award have to cover the cost of using the consortium?

If the consortium is being used to support a FOA award, funding for the consortium's activities will be provided by DOE, independently and in addition to the award provided to the FOA applicant, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


If an applicant to an Energy Materials Network (EMN) FOA topic wishes to use capability at a lab that is part of the respective EMN consortium, but that capability is not a listed "node", how should it be included in the application?

While nodes are continually being added to each consortium, applicants can only leverage nodes that are part of a consortium when describing how they will collaborate with the consortium. A capability that is not a node listed on the consortium's website is not part of the consortium, even if it is available at a member laboratory. Use of any capability that is at a member lab but is not a node listed on the consortium's website will have to be funded through the FOA award; such a capability will not be funded independently as a consortium activity.


If we want to leverage the EMN capabilities, how do we include the EMN labs and their capabilities in the proposal?

Applicants will be expected to detail their intended use of EMN capabilities in their full proposals. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the HydroGEN Steering Committee prior to applying to ensure that the node is being incorporated into their proposal effectively. Further details will be available in the solicitation.