Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement Engineering Award
Additional Ventures is partnering with Ocean Visions and a consortium of philanthropic funders to invite pre-proposals to develop prototypes that could enable safe, cost-efficient, and scalable OAE.
This request for proposals (RFP) is part of the Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement R&D Program, an ambitious effort to accelerate understanding of OAE as a potential method for large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR).
The OAE Engineering Award complements the recently announced OAE Research Award, which assesses whether OAE can safely, and permanently sequester atmospheric CO2 at scale.
- Individuals, companies, or research organizations anywhere in the world are invited to apply.
- Updated: Each project should identify a project lead, a person responsible for day-to-day and overall project execution, who must dedicate at least 80% of their time to this effort. Project collaborators, which can include team members and advisors, can be listed at < 80% time.
- All grantees will be expected to participate in a cohort, which requires collaboration in-person and in virtual settings to share learning and collectively advance OAE technology development. We will work with grantees to enable them to participate in this process without compromising their IP.
We invite concise pre-proposals (max 2000 words) to develop prototypes that could enable safe, cost-efficient, and scalable OAE. These prototypes may include, but are not limited to:
- Mechanisms to efficiently prepare and/or disperse alkaline substances into seawater (e.g., mechanical hardware, chemical processes, etc.).
- Designs, technologies, and supporting software to integrate OAE deployment and MRV into existing marine and coastal industries, such as transoceanic shipping, desalination, offshore wind, and commercial fishing.
- Sensors and platforms to support monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of OAE.
Pre-proposals should describe how a proof-of-concept prototype will be developed and tested in ≤18 months with a budget of $750k – 1.5M, and how the technology could subsequently be further developed and scaled to global impact in a timely manner. This RFP is open both to small-scale prototypes (i.e., a key component or breadboard validation) that are tested in a laboratory environment (TRL 4) and to larger prototypes that can be tested in the intended environment (TRL 5).
See Frequently Asked Questions below.
For all inquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 5, 2022, 11:59pm PT
Invitations for full proposals:
Full proposals due:
When are pre-proposals due?
Updated timeline: In response to feedback from webinar participants, we moved the submission deadline from July 15th to August 5th, 2022.
What are the expectations on time commitments for project staff?
Updated time requirements: Each project should identify a project lead, a person responsible for day-to-day and overall project execution, who must dedicate at least 80% of their time to this effort. Project collaborators, which can include team members and advisors, can be listed at <80% time. Note: time requirements were adjusted downward due to feedback received from webinar participants.
Does the project team have to be identified at the time of pre-proposal submission?
Updated selection criterion: We will accept proposals for which the project lead has not yet been identified/hired but will only fund projects once a suitable project lead has been identified/hired.
It strengthens the pre-proposal if the entire team, and in particular the project lead, has been identified by the time of pre-proposal submission.
Can teams submit multiple proposals?
We welcome teams to submit multiple proposals.
How many pre-proposals will be asked to submit final proposals?
Our expectation is to invite up to 15, but we reserve the right to adjust this number based on the number and strength of pre-proposals received.
How many teams will be funded?
Our expectation is that we will fund 3 to 5 teams, but we reserve the right to adjust this number based on the strength of proposals received.
Why is there a range on what you will fund?
We have provided a range of $750k – $1.5M of funding per team to acknowledge the broad scope of this RFP and the diversity of potential proposals. You are asked to submit a budget in the pre-proposal and our review will take into consideration how reasonable your budget is given your objectives.
We will consider pre-proposals with budgets below $750K, our expectation is that respondents will present reasonable budget assumptions to deliver on the work proposed.
Would you consider funding a pre-existing project?
This award can supplement existing funding if it is clearly additional to the pre-existing scope of work (e.g., significantly expands scope and applicability of overall project, unlocks work otherwise difficult to fund).
What is the OAE R&D program’s approach to IP?
Our goal is to advance the field of OAE by supporting eventual broad deployment of prototypes and resulting solutions (if safe and appropriate). This is not an academic effort to create knowledge for knowledge’s sake, nor is it about our own enrichment.
We recognize that there is a tension between giving teams the financial incentive to pursue commercialization and providing open access to the IP created by the award. We will seek to strike the optimal balance to achieve the program’s goal.
We will provide awardees with template IP agreements but will take a more tailored approach when doing so would better promote eventual deployment of prototypes and resulting solutions.
Grantees will retain ownership of all pre-existing IP.
What kind of IP protection exists at the pre-proposal level?
Pre-proposals will only be viewed by staff of Additional Ventures and Ocean Visions, as well as by reviewers who will be subject to non-disclosure agreements. All pre-proposals will be kept confidential.
Is the OAE Engineering Award only focused on OAE deployment and MRV?
The focus of this award is on ocean alkalinity enhancement and its associated MRV.
We will accept submissions for technologies that have relevance to other CDR pathways so long as they also have substantial relevance for OAE.
What are expectations on the technological readiness of solutions over the course of this project?
We want to support ideas with a plausible path towards at least TRL 4 or TRL 5 over the course of this award. You can still apply if you anticipate your approach will land higher on the TRL scale (e.g., TRL 6 or 7).
What is the relationship between funders and teams once the project has started?
The specific engagement model is yet to be decided and should serve the general goals outlined in the R&D Program documentation.
We will also work with the recipients of the grant to put into place meaningful stakeholder engagement processes that allow community building among awardees of this grant, awardees of an ongoing research grant and other field stakeholders.
What are the indirect cost guidelines?
See here for our policy on indirect costs.