The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $16 million in new funding to advance research and development (R&D) for isotope production.
It is part of a federal programme that produces critical isotopes otherwise unavailable or in short supply for US science, medicine, and industry.
“Isotopes are commodities of strategic importance for the nation,” said under secretary for Science Paul Dabbar.
“This research and development is essential to developing innovative production and processing techniques for scarce isotopes, which will lead to advancements in science, medicine, and industry as well as strengthen our economic and national security,” he added.
National Laboratories, universities, and non-profit organisations will be eligible to submit applications for the two-year awards. The winners will be selected based on peer review.
The DOE Isotope Programme is managed by the Office of Nuclear Physics and is funded by the Office of Science.
DOE envisages awards both for single investigators and small multi-institutional collaborations.
It anticipates that up to $8 million will be available for this programme in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, with an additional $8 million expected in FY 2022, for a total of $16 million over the two-year grant period. All funding is contingent on congressional appropriations.