Research, Development and Demonstration Program RD&D - Clean Energy Fund (CEF)


Announcing the next round of RD&D

Commerce is now accepting Phase One applications for CEF4 Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) grants – as of April 30, 2021. Approximately $7.8 million in funding is available for Washington-based entities seeking grants for clean energy projects.

The Research Development and Demonstration program supports projects that engage in strategic research and development for new and emerging clean energy technologies that will help achieve state, national and international climate goals. Grants will be used to match federal or other non-state funds. 

New for this round of funding

These grants will support statewide clean energy strategies that align with the 2021 State Energy Strategy and Energy Climate Policy Advisory Committee report’s recommendations.

This round of funding includes a focus on the equitable distribution of benefits from the clean energy transition to Vulnerable Populations, Federally Recognized Tribal Governments, and organizations serving American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) primary service populations (“Tribes”) by prioritizing and incentivizing projects that:

  • Establish a partnership or ensure a formal advisory role for projects in Vulnerable Populations or Tribes
  • Reduce energy burden; foster economic benefits for prioritized groups
  • Reduce emissions; increase access to clean energy and/or community resiliency for prioritized groups
  • Increase Tribal energy sovereignty

Additional changes include requiring applicants to explain how their projects contribute to broader impacts and establishing a carve-out and reduced match requirements for eligible applicants. The following entities are eligible for a $1,000,000 carve-out and reduced match requirements: non-profits; local governments; Non-R1 research institutions; Federally Recognized Tribal Governments and all organizations serving American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) primary service populations, including Tribal Colleges, Tribal utilities and others. Please note that national labs are not eligible for the carve-out or reduced match.

Applicants eligible for the remainder of the funds include but are not limited to national labs, established research institutions and private companies.

Program Information

The application will be divided into two phases. Please find all instructions in the application and RFA.

Phase One Applications will be due by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 28, 2021. Applicants will receive a recommendation of “encouraged” or “discouraged” to submit a Phase Two Application. Phase Two Applications will be accepted starting July 24, 2021, and will be due on August 20, 2021.

Research Demonstration and Development (RD&D) Application Phase Table image
* Click image to enlarge
  1. Application Phase One
    Part A (word)
    Part B (word) (updated 5-6-2021)
  2. Application Phase Two
    Part A (word)
    Part B (word)
    Part C (word)

*(Please do NOT submit a Phase Two Application before July 24, 2021 or your application will be disqualified.)

Required documents for Phase One:

1. Screenshot of Department of Revenue and Secretary of State Registration (Sample) (pdf)
2. Debarment Certification (word)
3. Certification of Official (word)
4. Ethics in Public Service Compliance Form (word)
5. Certifications and Assurances – Exhibit A to the RFA (Download the RFA to see this document)

For people with disabilities, these documents are available on request in other formats. To submit a request, please send an email to

Questions and Answers

Pre-Application Conferences

Two Pre-Application Conferences to assist with the application process will be held via Zoom.

Conference Details

RD&D Pre-Application Conference 1
10 a.m. PST on May 5, 2021 

RD&D Pre-Application Conference 2
3 p.m. on May 11, 2021 

Questions? Send an email to

CEF and RD&D Background

Continued Funding Supports Continuous Innovation

Since its inception in 2013, the Clean Energy Fund has included funding for strategic clean energy RD&D. The RD&D fund was initially called the Federal Match program and it focused on supporting Washington research institutions competing for federal funds to develop or demonstrate clean energy technologies that had not reached full commercial viability. The program transformed into the Research Development and Demonstration grant, with an expanded scope of eligible activities and eligible applicants. This round of funding has been designed to include an even greater diversity of projects and applicants.

Recent awardees from CEF2 and CEF3 span a variety of technologies*

Beta Hatch: $937,800 to design and build Washington’s first commercial insect farm, with air handling systems to optimize waste heat use from a data center.

Corumat: $2,344,500 for the development of bio-derived plastics for the food industry.

Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC): $707,570 to develop new lightweight products from recycled aerospace carbon fiber composite scrap for multiple applications, such as marine cabling for kelp and aquatic shellfish farming and advanced cross-laminated timber.

Oscilla Power: $555,737 to advance their Triton wave energy converter technology in order to capture energy from ocean waves at the lowest levelized cost of electricity possible.

Sironex Renewables: $234,450 to develop new, high-performance ingredients for cleaning products using natural oils and agricultural waste instead of petroleum.

Spokane Eco: $515,790 for developing machine-learning-based control methods to optimize building and equipment control systems in a building complex.

University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory: $93,309 to demonstrate an improvement in wave energy conversion technology, through the development of a new control system for converting the energy in waves to electricity.

University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Department: $1,125,360 to make composites manufacturing economically viable by ensuring high part quality, lowering energy costs and minimizing waste and scrap.

Microsoft: $675,000 for fuel cells in data center environment.

Edaleen: $273,360 for an advanced solids and nutrient recovery system converting manure into fertilizer and cow bedding.

Dresser-Rand, a Siemens Business: $870,572 to develop, demonstrate, fabricate and assemble a Pneumatic Ocean Wave Test Facility to test HydroAir™, a variable radius turbine system that generates electric power from ocean waves.
*This list is not exhaustive.

Additional Resources

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