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  • Kristin Cooper

Funding to advance transformational technology / innovation to meet the nation’s need for safe water

Request for Proposals Released May 24, 2021

Concept Papers Due June 15, 2021

Encourage/Discourage Decision Notification Week of July 19, 2021

Full Proposals Due September 2, 2021*

Pre-Selection Clarifications, if needed Week of October 25, 2021

Expected Date for Selection Notification Mid-November, 2021


The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI or Hub) was established to support the US Department of Energy’s efforts to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the nation’s need for safe, secure, and affordable water. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (“LBNL”), managed and operated by The Regents of the University of California, was selected to operate NAWI. Details of the NAWI research vision and mission can be found at www.nawihub.org. Proposers are encouraged to view recorded presentations about the program and research priorities.


The strategic goal of NAWI is to conduct early-stage applied research Technology Readiness Level 2 – 4 (TRL 2 – 4), leading to a portfolio of technologies that enable pipe parity for 90% of nontraditional water sources – water sources that are currently not treated and reused. Nontraditional water achieves pipe parity when the marginal intensity (i.e., cost/energy intensity/failure rate/etc.) of supplying water from the nontraditional source is lower than that of the next available traditional source. Technologies that facilitate fit-for-purpose treatment and local reuse of nontraditional waters will be essential to meeting these pipe parity goals. Cost effective and energy-efficient brine management is a critical element of this decentralized reuse paradigm.


Project Call Purpose

The NAWI Hub is seeking proposals that directly address the knowledge gaps and research needs that have been identified in Sections 1.5 (Autonomous Water) and 1.6 (Precision Separation) and clearly deliver impact aligned to the NAWI pipe parity metrics outlined in Section 1.2. Proposals will be focused on addressing challenges within the Autonomous Water or the Precision Separation Area of Interest, not both. Appendix A outlines what NAWI is looking for in a Concept Paper, and the Concept Paper review criteria is provided in Section 6.1. A person/performer participating may only participate on one Concept Paper per AOI regardless of their role in the Concept Paper. However, an applicant may submit more than one concept paper for this RFP (by submitting one Concept Paper per AOI).


While you can submit multiple applications, each application must be unique/different. We discourage nuanced applications that are the same proposal with slight changes in the scope and submitting the same proposal but with a different lead and/or team member. If multiple white papers from the same applicant are encouraged, then the same applicant can submit multiple full proposals.


Applicants must have a white paper encouraged to be eligible to submit a full proposal. NAWI is not requiring teams to have a specific partnering structure but envisions that successful projects will include collaborations among/between industry, academia, national laboratories, trade associations, and other stakeholders that can advance NAWI-relevant technologies. The Hub strongly encourages teaming as an effective strategy for the successful advancement of NAWI relevant technologies. Teams with access to adjacent supply chain technologies, vital technical expertise, or unique facilities can accelerate technology development, build long-lasting partnerships, and strengthen the NAWI ecosystem.

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