Today at Berkeley Lab

New DOE Funding to Improve Accuracy of Climate & Earth Modeling Systems

The Department of Energy has announced a plan to provide $16 million for new observational research aimed at improving the accuracy of today’s climate and earth system models. The funds will be made available under two separate initiatives, with $11 million targeted at atmospheric research focused on better understanding the role of clouds and aerosols, and $5 million devoted to the study of terrestrial processes. More>

LDRD Funding for FY19 Announced

The Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program at Berkeley Lab continues to produce cutting-edge science research for DOE and the nation. The Lab has funded $22 million to 89 LDRD projects for fiscal year 2019; 158 proposals were submitted in response to the LDRD call for proposals. This represents an increase of slightly over $1 million from FY18 levels. More>

Cyclotron Road Startup Gets Support From Bill Gates Clean-Energy Fund

Bill Gates’ $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures is investing in a host of startups developing technology that confront climate change. Among the first selected was Fervo Energy, a company that is applying new drilling and well construction techniques to the geothermal industry in the hope of converting far more of the planet’s latent heat into a source of clean energy. Fervo’s founders (pictured) are currently fellows with the Lab’s Cyclotron Road program. More>

Berkeley Quantum to Accelerate Innovation in Quantum Information Science

Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley are announcing the formation of Berkeley Quantum, a partnership designed to accelerate and expand innovation in quantum information science (QIS). Berkeley Quantum will advance U.S. quantum capabilities by establishing powerful research alliances among UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab, and their partners. They will bring their strengths in QIS research, theory, algorithms, and applications to help solve, together, some of the most difficult problems in quantum science. More>

DOE Renews Funding for Joint Center for Energy Storage Research

The Department of Energy this week announced plans to provide $120 million over five years to the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), an Innovation Hub devoted to advancing battery science and technology. The hub is led by Argonne National Lab, with Berkeley Lab among its partners. More>

Gamma Rays, Watch Out: There’s a New Detector in Town

With funding from an Early Career LDRD award announced last year, Heather Crawford (Nuclear Science Division) and her research team are developing a prototype for an ultrahigh-rate high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector that can count 2 to 5 million gamma rays per second while maintaining high resolution, allowing them to accurately measure the energy spectrum under extreme conditions. More>

Cyclotron Road Technologies Receive R&D Funding From DOE

The Department of Energy provided $80 million for 36 projects to support bioenergy research and development. Among the recipients were Visolis and Mosaic Materials, both part of Cyclotron Road’s first cohort. A third Cyclotron Road company, Fervo Energy (cohort four), was among four projects that received $4.45 million for early-stage research and development of tools and technologies for enhanced geothermal systems.

NSF Institute to Include Lab Physicists in Big Data R&D

With $25 million in funding, the National Science Foundation’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Software will develop systems to help manage the large amounts of data produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). As part of this effort, Lab physicist Heather Gray and other Lab scientists (in association with UC Berkeley) will focus on reconstructing the paths of particles produced in LHC experiments. More>

DOE Provides $10 Million for Earth System Model Development and Analysis

The money will fund the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), which seeks to provide more accurate and higher-resolution representation of weather and climate events by taking advantage of the cutting-edge supercomputing facilities at DOE national labs, including NERSC at Berkeley Lab. More>

Local Seventh-Graders Donate $1,000 for EcoPOD Research

Brandeis School of San Francisco students presented a check to the Berkeley Lab Foundation to support research by the Biosciences Area EcoPOD team. EcoPODs are intermediate-size closed ecosystems that will bridge the gap between the lab bench and field. Parents donated money in lieu of traditional bar and bat mitzvah gifts to teach students about philanthropy through their Tzedek Program.