Frequently Asked Questions About the Energy Innovations Small Grants (EISG) Program

Program Questions & Answers


Can more than one proposal be submitted within a single solicitation?

Individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations can submit only one proposal per solicitation. Academic institutions and their Foundations can submit no more than one proposal from any one principal investigator per solicitation. Multiple projects cannot be proposed in a single application. If more than one proposal is submitted the Program Administrator will accept the first one received or the first one logged in if more than one is sent in the same package and will return the remaining proposals to the applicant.

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Can I submit proposal if I received an EISG grant in a prior solicitation?

Current policy limits applicants to only one active EISG award at a time. New proposals can be submitted only after the prior grant project is completed and the EISG Program Administrator has published an Independent Assessment Report on the project.

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What is the Independent Assessment Report (IAR)?

The Independent Assessment Report is generated at the end of the grant project by the EISG Program Administrator (PA) in collaboration with the Awardee. The PA first sends the Draft Final Report out to one or two outside technical experts to evaluate the quality of the research performed. The results of the outside reviews, in conjunction with the PA staff assessment, are used to support the content in the IAR. The IAR is comprised of four parts which include: (1) An independent executive summary of the project that looks at what was proposed in the original proposal and what was actually done to include the research findings; (2) an assessment of the potential benefits to California the proposed technology offers; (3) a determination by the PA on whether the advance development side of PIER should consider the concept for follow-on funding. Funding recommendations by the PA are not binding on the managers of the advance development side of PIER; and (4) Optional rebuttal by the Awardee to any of the content authored by the PA.

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If we miss the cutoff date listed in the current solicitation notice when will the next solicitation notice be published?

Generally a new solicitation notice will be posted approximately 30-60 days after the cutoff date of the previous solicitation. This time is used to revise the application documents. The new cutoff date will fall 45-60 days after the posting of the solicitation notice. Applicants should always check the EISG Solicitation web page before submitting an application to confirm the presence of an active solicitation notice and to download the current application documents. Applications filled out on outdated manuals may fail initial screening.

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Can project work be subcontracted out and if so, are there any restrictions?

Awardees may subcontract out project work. There are currently no restrictions on whom the work may be subcontracted to or how much of the work may be subcontracted out. However, certain terms and conditions in the grant agreement must be extended to subcontractors. Awardees may not assign the entire project over to another entity and must retain ownership of all intellectual property generated with grant funds. Awardees may subcontract to Federal laboratories even though Federal laboratories are prohibited from submitting grant applications.

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Does an applicant have to be located in California to apply for a grant?

An applicant (individual, small business, academic institution or non-profit) can be from any state or even a foreign country as long as the proposed energy technology has the potential to benefit California electric consumers. There is also no requirement for the work to be performed in California.

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Is the EISG Program only funding projects that target initial feasibility research of new innovative energy related concepts?

Yes. The EISG Program was designed to fill a fairly narrow research niche that is not adequately covered by other PIER programs. Projects must be in the early "proof of concept" phase. This program is not designed to accommodate advanced development or commercialization projects that are built around energy concepts that have already been proven feasible. Proposals that seek to establish concept feasibility through the fabrication of bench scale or subscale prototypes, which are then physically tested, are most competitive. If a prototype has already been built and tested it would generally not qualify unless there were significant technical problems remaining that prevent commercialization and specific solutions are proposed to fix those problems. Proposals that seek to use modeling and computer simulations with real world validation to establish concept feasibility are acceptable but less competitive.

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What are my options for filling out the application forms?

  1. You can download the Grant Application Manual in PDF or Word from the EISG Solicitation page. Form D (Proposed Budget) is also available as an Excel file to facilitate data entry and computations. Form D is also included in the PDF and Word versions of the application manual.
  2. Applicants that are not able to download the application documents from the solicitation page on the web may request a paper copy of the Grant Application Manual via email, fax, or mail. Please include in the request your name, organization and mailing address.

    Email the request to

    Or Fax the request to: (619) 594-0996

    Or Mail the request to:

    EISG Program Administrator
    San Diego State University Research Foundation
    5250 Campanile Drive, MC 1858
    San Diego, CA 92182-1858

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Can I mail or hand deliver my application to the California Energy Commission offices in Sacramento?

No. All applications must be mailed or hand delivered to the San Diego addresses shown on page ii of the Grant Application Manual prior to 5PM on the cutoff date.

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How will the grant funds be paid when a grant is awarded?

An EISG grant is a reimbursement grant. The awardee must submit invoices for expenses incurred, which are then paid by the EISG Program Administrator. No advance payments are allowed.

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