CABLE supercharges American electricity and manufacturing industries

What is CABLE?

CABLE: Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications.

CABLE supercharges breakthroughs in conductive materials—fundamental to nearly all energy use applications—by harnessing the unmatched innovative spirit of the American workforce to

  • Apply characterization, theory, and modeling to synthesize breakthrough conductivity enhanced materials and
  • Develop high-performance yet affordable electric and thermal applications that improve U.S. energy and material efficiency and turn the threat of climate change into an opportunity to revitalize the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors and create millions of high-quality union jobs.

Led by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), CABLE leverages the American-Made Challenge Network and DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs to enable U.S. manufacturers to leapfrog international competition by upgrading the fundamental materials and applications that support grid reliability and other electric and thermal energy systems.

DOE’s Goals for CABLE

The objectives of DOE’s CABLE Big Idea are:

  • Discover, through research and development, science and technology underpinning new conductivity-enhanced breakthrough materials; Identify, verify, recognize (e.g., CABLE Prize), transfer and deploy technology (e.g., SBIR FY21 20a) for the manufacture of breakthrough CABLE enhanced conductivity materials
  • Support-through research, development (e.g. SBIR FY22 9a-b), demonstration, and deployment—leapfrog  product applications (e.g., SBIR FY21 20b-h) that use enhanced conductivity materials and result in product performance improvements and energy savings; such applications include transmission lines, heat exchangers, generators, motors, photovoltaic electronics, electric vehicle charging cables, and geothermal thermal and electric applications.


The CABLE Big Idea team is led by AMO under DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The team consists of diverse offices and associated National Laboratories, bringing many key capabilities such as advanced metallurgy, nanoscience, high-performance computing, and the latest advancements in facilities and instrumentation. Participating offices include:

As well as eight offices under EERE:

To join the CABLE mailing list or contact the DOE CABLE team, send us an email.

Electrical spark between two wires

CABLE Big Idea Workshop

The first CABLE Big Idea Workshop, which occurred in April 2021,  brought together materials inventors and application innovators. This workshop encouraged partnering among material scientists, product developers, manufacturers, and other CABLE-relevant researchers.

All competitors in the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Contest and all LOI submitters to the EERE SBIR/STTR Phase I FOA Topic 20(a-h) along with any recently announced award selectees in other relevant FY 2020 FOA’s (e.g., ARPA-e’s DE-FOA-0001953 Topic Q: Connecting Aviation by Lighter Electric Systems) were invited to the workshop.

The workshop identified research needs to make CABLE breakthrough materials and applications more affordable and enable U.S. product manufacturers to use these conductivity-enhanced materials to leapfrog their international competitors.

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