Topic five of the FOA will be jointly funded by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), as a part of BETO and VTO’s joint Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) Initiative.


Co-Optima is a collaborative research and development effort between that supports research of fuel and engine innovations, in order to maximize vehicle performance and fuel efficiency. The initiative also aims to promote affordable, and sustainable biofuels and high-efficiency, low-emission vehicle engines.

FOA Topic 5 has two subtopics:

Topic 5a:

Multi-Mode Optimized Fuel/Engine System Development: The objective of this area is to develop a co-optimized (engine and fuel) prototype light-duty, multi-cylinder reciprocating engine (minimum 150 horsepower). The first topic area will ask multidisciplinary industry teaming projects to develop a spark-ignition/compression ignition multimode combustion regime over a range of engine operating conditions with a suitable co-optimized fuel.

Applicant teams must include:

  • A vehicle or engine manufacturer who has produced at least 20,000 vehicles or a Tier I supplier who has provided major componentry for at least 20,000 engines;
  • A fuel manufacturer or fuel supplier.

Topic 5b:

Bioblendstocks to Optimize Mixing Controlled Compression Ignition (MCCI) Engines: This area will develop single component or multi-component bioblendstocks for use in medium- and heavy-duty mixing controlled, compression ignition engines blended into a base diesel fuel at no less than 5% by volume that achieves GHG reductions of at least 50% compared to conventional petroleum-derived diesel.

Funding for the Co-Optima portion of the FOA will total up to $12 million, combined, from VTO and BETO. Concept papers have a due date at May 29, 2018, and full applications will be due July 13, 2018.