Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC)

Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

Innovation clusters enhance national energy entrepreneurship and commercialization. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)seeks to fund the most creative, comprehensive, and impactful innovation-accelerating organizationsthat support energy and related hardware technology development and testing in regional innovation clusters—geographic concentrations of specialized skills, industries, and technology sectors. Innovation-accelerating, entrepreneurially-focused organizations (often referred to as accelerators or incubators) are critical to the growth of an innovation economy; these organizations help entrepreneurs accelerate the launch, growth, and scale of their businesses, ultimately resulting in the commercialization of new technologies and business models, and development of jobs in the United States.

Through this FOA, the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) seeks to support the formation and development of regional clusters supporting entrepreneurs and startups by funding innovation-accelerating organizations that demonstrate the ability to advance energy and related technologies in collaboration with and with the support of state, regional, and/or local entities. To accomplish these goals, the EPIC FOA anticipates funding four to eight innovation-accelerating organizations across the United States.

OTT welcomes as applicants organizations that aid in the development of new business ventures, business incubators and accelerators, co-working startup communities, or any other organizations and multi-organizational applicants that self-identify as advocates for innovation and entrepreneurship.

For this FOA, applicants may submit only one Letter of Intent, and may only submit a Full Application that corresponds to an eligible and compliant LOI. If an applicant submits more than one Letter of Intent, OTT will only consider the last timely submission for evaluation. Any other submissions received listing the same applicant will be considered noncompliant and not eligible for further consideration. This limitation does not prohibit an applicant from collaborating on other applications (e.g., as a potential Subrecipient or partner) so long as the entity is only listed as the Prime Applicant on one LOI and Full Application submitted under this FOA.


  • Duke Internal: Nov. 16, 2020
  • Required Letter of Intent: Dec. 9, 2020
  • Full Applications: Feb. 3, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

For-profit entities, educational institutions, and nonprofits that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular state or territory of the United States and have a physical location for business operations in the United States are eligible to apply for funding as a prime recipient or subrecipient. Nonprofit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995 are not eligible to apply for funding.



Amount Description

OTT expects to make available approximately $4 million of Federal funding for new awards under this FOA subject to the availability of appropriated funds. OTT anticipates making approximately four to eight awards under this FOA. OTT may issue one, multiple, or no awards. Individual awards may vary between approximately $500,000 and approximately $1,000,000.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

    • Letter of Intent with the following elements:

      • Project Title
      • Lead Organization
      • Organization Type (this will be "University")
      • Whether the application has been previously submitted to DOE
      • % of effort contributed by the Lead Organization
      • The project team, including:
        • The Project Director for the prime recipient
        • Team Members (i.e., subrecipients)
        • Key Participants (i.e., individuals who contribute in a substantive, measureable way to the execution of the proposed project)
      • Technology-Area focus
      • Abstract (200 words)
        • Should provide a truncated explanation of the proposed project.

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:


Internal Deadline

November 16, 2020

External Deadline

December 9, 2020