Third Time is the Charm - DOE responds to grant request to promote interoperability


As anticipated the DOE has issued us a “Discouraged” notice in response to their seeking university based scientific research for energy innovation and our offer to foster interoperability with data standards.  


That would make three times our project to promote data standards has failed to even get honorable mention.  


Oddly enough it was a big win.   


After many years of personally advocating for open standards to improve access to surety credit for small companies, the collaboration and engagement for responding to the DOE FOA clearly demonstrated how close we are to a “tipping point” where the inevitability of open standards is matched with a clear path to get consensus, adoption and implementation without the risk of miscalculation that prevents investment.


In our “Santa Clause in Coming to Town” note, we shared some of the various efforts underway, and the working groups that are dedicated to finding solutions that could use the gift of a DOE grant to advance their individual efforts towards a united approach.  That gift from the DOE was delivered in part, and all we have to do is open it.


If we do, the tipping point will be behind us, the beginnings of open standards and interoperability will enable incredible innovation, new tools and resources, reduce costs and increase access to information, and best of all… small business will benefit.


If you want to develop industry solutions plus help small business then now is the time to contribute to your organizations efforts and join the working group to get standards adopted. 


Associated General Contractors of America/COSA (agcXML)
     http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12274428.htm


National Association of Surety Bond Producers/Surety Fidelity Association of America (AcordXML)
     http://www.nasbp.org/Pipeline/morearticles1/new-item5


Department of Energy/Lawrence Berkeley National Lab – BEDES
     http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-energy-data-exchange-specification-bedes
 
XBRL US
     http://xbrl.us/news/pages/20141016.aspx


Smart Grid Interoperability Panel
     http://sgip.org/PAP-25
 
While we may not be able to offer $1,000,000 of DOE grant funding to these groups, we are planning on continuing with the obligation to raise $250,000 which will still be used as contemplated in the grant proposal, to support and to help “knit together” the various standards by establishing a university based Interoperability R&D facility that can act as a noncommercial platform to collaborate and synergize the various standard’s so that they complement each other, instead of competing.


By collaborating we can clear the “tipping point” and focus instead on taking advantage of the resource that open standards represent, instead of prudently waiting and deferring.


Let’s get to work.

 
Winning from Losing

The XBRL Challenge to demonstrate how XBRL could be utilized for better construction project management. 

We didn’t place, but it introduced the project to XBRL leadership.  In December XBRL announced the formation of the XBRL-CET working Group.


The DOE Data by Design contest engaged a number of energy stakeholders to help display the potential of XBRL for enabling Performance Measurement and Data Analytics.  


We didn’t place, but the engagement with energy industry leaders helped bring exposure and awareness to the potential.  In December the SGIP formally adopted PAP-25 Harmonized Financial Data.


The DOE FOA for University Research engaged a broad and extensive range of stakeholders, a pledge of $250,000 in cost sharing, a university based Interoperability R&D facility to research how XBRL could provide compliance to the DATA Act and similar initiatives/mandates that compel the use of open standards and required structure to distribute over a million dollars in grant funds to “knit together” various data standards for greater efficiency and to promote innovation.


We didn’t place.  Ironically the judges couldn’t even come up with a single strength to our concept, just the weakness “There is no research being proposed here”.


While the DOE reviewers understandably did not grasp the significance of the proposal, the fact is the submission proved to be an incredible success.  The process brought together a number of individuals and entities that are working on finding solutions to the challenge of getting open standards adopted and implemented for their respective interests.  The submission brought awareness and engagement towards shared objectives, engaged with current efforts and working groups, identified areas of common interest and overlap, and identified short term incremental steps that could be taken collectively to explore collaboration towards the long term objective of multi-industry interoperability where key data points intersect for maximum efficiency.


We may not have the $1,000,000 but we do have a strategy, a structure and the $250,000 that would have been raised.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Building Technologies Office

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

Buildings University Innovators and Leaders Development (BUILD) – 2015

Abstract 

DOE funded Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, Energy Star, Green Button, Building Energy Data Exchange Specification, NASEO and IEP XML with the objective of identifying and then “knitting together” data standards for interoperability.   Potential is exponentially increased when construction/financial services collaborate, supported by a university based sustainable Interoperability R&D Facility, which is the premise of this DOE-FOA response by CSUC and XBRL-CET/SGIP-PAP25


SGIP-Priority Action Plan 25 , is a collaboration with XBRL US to extend the public FASB USGAAP taxonomy to include energy specific data fields, particularly for building the nation’s energy infrastructure, streamlining the interconnection process and enabling DATA Act compliance for energy related projects that have federal funding.  


Data standardization enables interoperability across disparate systems and will enable better quality data, data analytics, mandated reporting compliance, investment analysis, significant cost savings and improved access to capital and financial services for all stakeholders, including small business.  


This CSUC/XBRL-CET/SGIP-PAP25 will explore how current DOE efforts like BEDES can “knit together” the BEDES Dictionary, IEPXML, NASEO data matrix and the proposed XBRL-CET Data sets to align with the objectives of the DOE to promote more efficiency in energy development, help small business, and create a financially sustainable university based Interoperability R&D Facility. 

As part of the process to develop the four page concept paper the XBRL-CET developed an Overview of the DOE FOA objectives, criteria and guidelines for what the DOE was looking for.  The internal draft working document provides considerable background to the strategy and merits for the DOE consideration for funding


2014 12-17 XBRL-CET - PAP25  - FOA-0001167 - Overview of FOA Objectives

XBRL Extension for Construction, Energy and Transportation  

XBRL-CET / SGIP PAP25 DOE FOA

$250,000 Funding for Cost Sharing

Crown Funding - CSU Chico Founders Group