FAQs

The TEAMER program has three over-arching goals:

  1. Access to testing infrastructure: provide device developers with access to a wide range of pre-certified facilities at minimal cost and allow for a much faster and more streamlined integration of physical testing and validation into the design process.
  2. Access to world-class expertise: pair technology developers with the nation’s leading marine energy experts, providing desktop assistance and access to modeling tools and support.
  3. Consistent testing protocols: implement consistent testing protocols for use in the facility network and create a repository of marine energy performance data that will serve the industry as a whole.

TEAMER will offer a series of open Requests for Technical Support (RFTS’s) starting in mid-2020. In order to better align with the timeframes needed by various stakeholders, the RFTS calls are currently planned to occur 2-3 times per year (roughly every 4-6 months) with an emphasis on rapid implementation and shared results.

graphic describing the process of applying to TEAMER

A high-level overview of the TEAMER process in 5 steps.

Prior to submitting an RFTS application, applicants, who may include device developers and researchers, are required to discuss their proposed projects with the facilities to which they plan to request access. This is to ensure the proposed scope and schedule are realistic within the facility’s resources and increase the likelihood of the applicant achieving the desired results and findings. All applications will be independently reviewed to assess feasibility and impact. Applicants will be notified if their request has or has not been approved. Applicants will have the option to request access to up to two facilities per RFTS application in order of preference.

Following RFTS evaluation and approval, selected applicants and facilities will create a detailed test plan. Funding will be distributed to the testing or expertise facility to undertake the work, following shared acceptance of the detailed test plan by the applicant, facility and TEAMER program, as well as acceptance of terms between the facility and applicant (may include intellectual property, non-disclosure, insurance liability, etc.).

More details of the program, including a schedule, application procedure and participant requirements are in development and will be shared in the coming weeks.

TEAMER is envisioned to include a wide array of U.S. marine energy and marine energy-relevant testing facilities including lab and bench-scale facilities; wave tanks, basins, and flumes; and open ocean/field-based testing sites. TEAMER will also support requests for technical expertise to assist with numerical modeling, data collection, and analysis.

The initial set of facilities available during RFTS 1 includes entities that have an existing track record with the DOE, either as National Labs or National Marine Renewable Energy Centers (NMRECs), or as facilities involved in two recent testing and characterization initiatives, the Wave Energy Prize and Reference Model Project.

To allow the additional time needed for planning, permitting and location identification, open water/field testing will be offered in subsequent RFTS rounds.  

The TEAMER facility network will expand over time. The TEAMER Network Director, POET, will be continuously reviewing and qualifying new facilities based on clearly defined facility network criteria, as well as routinely evaluating existing facilities for compliance with the TEAMER criteria.

Facilities interested in becoming a part of the TEAMER network are encouraged to subscribe to the mailing list and keep an eye out for updates in the coming months. 

TEAMER funding will support a diverse set of research and development goals. Outcomes may be related to grid-focused technology, Powering the Blue Economy markets or applications, or a cross-cutting topic.

It is critical to understand that TEAMER funding will be distributed directly to the TEAMER network facilities to provide the requested support, not to the applicant requesting support. RFTS applicants and facility managers must work closely prior to a TEAMER RFTS submission and fully agree that the final test plan is achievable within schedule and budget, and likely to produce the desired result. In certain cases, TEAMER may provide a stipend to cover travel and other logistical expenses on behalf of the applicant.

TEAMER will be open to a wide array of applicants engaged in MRE research and development, and the program aims to support a diverse set of awards. Potential applicants may be part of industry (both large and small companies), academia, not-for-profit organizations, government or other types of organizations, both domestic and international. Employees of the U.S. Department of Energy and DOE National Labs are prohibited from applying to RFTS calls, but may be included in awards as network facilities. Research groups are also prohibited from applying for support at a facility within their own institution. Please refer to the TEAMER Rules and Regulations for more information.

TEAMER is currently a three-year, $16 million program that has the goal of providing over 100 marine energy technology development projects with access to testing facilities and technical expertise.

To achieve this goal, during each round of the TEAMER program we anticipate providing over $1 million in support to competitively selected applicants. In general, we expect that the majority of TEAMER awards will fall in the range of $25,000-$250,000 with durations lasting between 2 weeks to 6 months, depending on the type of assistance.

While these cost and time projections are intended to guide application planning, they do not represent formal constraints and individual projects will vary based on the facility rates and type of project. As examples, a typical TEAMER-supported wave tank test might involve a few weeks of intensive facility use at a relatively high daily rate, while a numerical simulation support award might take several months to complete at a relatively lower daily rate.

The most critical consideration is that applicants and facilities work together prior to applicants submitting their RFTS application to ensure the scope is realistic and likely to be successful within the available resources. TEAMER plans to offer RFTS opportunities every 4-6 months and applicants will not be eligible to re-apply until previous work has concluded and their final report has been submitted. If you’re unsure whether your project fits within the range of a TEAMER activity, please ask relevant facility managers or contact us for feedback.

TEAMER is establishing an intellectual property plan to ensure that data derived from these publicly funded R&D projects properly balance the need to protect intellectual property against the need to advance the MRE sector at large. More informaion available here.

The TEAMER RFTS applications are submitted online. Please refer to the How to Apply page for more information.

Applications will be screened by the TEAMER Network Director and relevant facilities managers to ensure completeness and validity. Compliant RFTS applications will be independently reviewed by experts to assess feasibility and impact.

Each TEAMER award is a relationship between three parties: the applicant, the facility, and the TEAMER Network Director (POET). Applicants to TEAMER will need to agree to follow all rules outlined by the program and any requirements from their requested facility. Applicants will be required to (1) complete a detailed test plan prior to the start of the assistance activity, and (2) publish a post-assistance report with details of the project’s results within a short timeframe following the conclusion of the test period. Failing to submit a post-assistance report following tests will impact the eligibility of an applicant to apply for follow-on funding.

While the specific terms may vary project-to-project, data derived from TEAMER-sponsored projects must be made publicly available. For projects to have the most impact, applicants and facilities need to share data in a timely and useful manner that benefits the U.S. MRE sector most broadly.

The Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET) was selected by a competitive process to be the TEAMER Network Director.

TEAMER is a collaborative effort between the DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), POET, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), and the National Marine Renewable Energy Centers (SNMREC, PMEC, and HINMREC). Members of these organizations make up the TEAMER Management Team and Technical Board, tasked with providing the Network Director technical input and approval for activities within TEAMER.

The marine renewables sector is relatively small. As such, there are overlapping skills at some institutions where world class testing and support facilities exist in conjunction with independent R&D practitioners advancing marine energy sciences. As a result, there is an obvious need to address potential conflicts of interest between TEAMER applicants, TEAMER network facilities and other program stakeholders. Protections will be put in place to avoid conflicts of interest, both real and perceived, between stakeholders involved in various capacities in the TEAMER program.

TEAMER strives to be transparent and fair, and the Management Team is open to feedback as the program develops. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.

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Questions about TEAMER can be directed to the TEAMER Network Director at teamer@pacificoceanenergytrust.org.

TEAMER program: The full set of TEAMER activities, particularly used in reference to the administrative layers.

Request for Technical Support (RFTS): The official name of an application to TEAMER.

TEAMER applicant: Any entity that submits an RFTS. These can be developers or researchers from industry or academia.

TEAMER facility: Any entity that is qualified and eligible to provide technical support for an awarded RFTS. "Facilities" include centers of expertise who might support an applicant with numerical modeling, physical testing, or other types of expert assistance. Every RFTS must identify 1-2 qualified facilities.

TEAMER facility network, or TEAMER network for short: The full set of facilities that have been qualified to be part of TEAMER.

TEAMER Network Director: POET, responsible for managing the award funding and (per FOA): 1) Establishing and maintaining TEAMER facility network, 2) Developing and coordinating the TEAMER technical process, 3) General program management and scheduling, 4) Communications and outreach.