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Research Priorities of the Supporting Industries Program: Linking Industrial R&D Needs

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The U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies (DOE/IT) program supports partnerships with industries interested in developing new technologies to improve energy efficiency and productivity. This study identifies significant multiple-industry research challenges in materials and materials processing that involve five industries in the DOE/IT Supporting Industries (SI) program--advanced ceramics, forging, heat treating, powder metallurgy and particulate materials, and welding and joining. RAND created and analyzed a database of performance targets, research needs, research projects, and areas of research that cut across multiple industries to identify links between the SI program and other DOE/IT programs. These links could potentially form the basis for alliances to facilitate the achievement of research goals. The links also define those areas in which DOE/IT programs can leverage their funds by working together. The authors also describe a navigational tool they developed to facilitate browsing the database to better identify and analyze links among research needs in multiple industries.