Nav: Home

Argonne National Laboratory program to provide opportunity to launch ventures

May 24, 2016

Argonne, IL. -Developing transformative energy technologies and cleaner manufacturing processes and new materials requires more than a great idea and some committed people. It takes an innovation ecosystem.

To meet this challenge, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and Argonne National Laboratory announced today a new innovation accelerator program for science and energy entrepreneurs called Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI).

Interested innovators should sign up starting today at http://www.anl.gov/work-argonne/chain-reaction-innovations to be notified when the application process opens later this summer.

The commercialization of complex science and energy technologies requires hefty capital investment, access to world-leading scientific tools and facilities, and lengthy development timescales beyond the typical software startup and venture capital models. To help entrepreneurs bridge this commercialization valley of death, CRI will support cutting-edge innovators to work on early-stage technologies that can deliver game-changing impact to the energy industry.

Selected innovators will benefit from up to a two-year engagement, including a fellowship, seed funding for technical collaboration with the laboratory, access to space at Argonne, guidance in using the R&D tools and expertise housed there, and connections to the Midwest's rich network of business mentors and investors.

CRI is one of EERE's Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs (LEEP), sponsored by EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). LEEP, which is modeled on a successful pilot project between AMO and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) called Cyclotron Road, provides innovators the mentorship and technical support needed to advance challenging science and clean energy technologies to the proof-of-concept stage where they can launch into the marketplace. Embedding innovators in the National Lab environment, with unparalleled R&D infrastructure and world-class technical expertise, allows innovators to build technologies that are otherwise too early or uncertain for venture capital to support.

"Clean energy is this generation's defining opportunity," said Dr. David Danielson, assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "It has the potential to improve the lives of billions of people worldwide and forever change the way we live.

"But our most promising innovators face significant challenges in getting the resources and support they need to create cutting-edge clean energy startups, especially when it comes to developing physical science based technologies. They increasingly are choosing to create software startups or direct their talents elsewhere. If we don't rally behind them as a nation, I fear we risk a 'lost generation' of early-stage clean energy technology entrepreneurs. With this initiative, we are giving our best and brightest the support needed to tackle our nation's greatest energy challenges and change the world."

Launching CRI at Argonne enables startups to leverage the unique collection of manufacturing hubs, Fortune 500 companies, research universities, and innovation incubators and accelerators found in Chicago and the surrounding states.

"This launch of Chain Reaction Innovations should rally local innovators to pull together their boldest vision and greatest dreams," said AMO Director Mark Johnson. [A similar program called] Cyclotron Road has had tremendous success at Berkeley National Laboratory in growing energy-focused startups and leveraging national laboratory expertise. We expect to transplant that same success to the Midwest because Argonne is a tremendous resource to be unlocked for would-be entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams in accelerating the creation of transformative products focused on energy, manufacturing, and sustainability."

"Argonne and Chicago sit at the heart of one of our nation's greatest concentrations of research institutions, an industrial base that is driving clean tech and advanced manufacturing, and a population that embraces innovation," said Argonne Laboratory Director Peter Littlewood. "This is a fertile ecosystem in which to grow the nation's next game-changing energy or material-based technology."

Chain Reactions Innovations will provide innovators access to Argonne's deep network of 1,400 multi-disciplinary researchers and engineers as well as unique tools, including the Mira supercomputer and the nation's highest-energy X-ray source, the Advanced Photon Source. Through a partnership with mentor organizations, CRI participants will also receive assistance with developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and commercial partners.
-end-
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports applied research, development and demonstration of new materials and processes for energy efficiency in manufacturing as well as platform technologies for the manufacturing of clean energy products.

EERE's Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs (LEEP) are sponsored by EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and managed in collaboration between AMO and EERE's Technology-to-Market office.

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Related Renewable Energy Articles:

Croissant making inspires renewable energy solution
The art of croissant making has inspired researchers from Queen Mary University of London to find a solution to a sustainable energy problem.
Are we underestimating the benefits of investing in renewable energy?
Scientists have estimated the emissions intensity of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants from a major electricity distributor and highlighted key consequences - essential information for policymakers shaping decisions to reduce electricity system emissions.
Lighting the path to renewable energy
Professor Mahesh Bandi of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) has co-developed a novel, standardized way of quantifying and comparing these variations in solar power.
How much energy storage costs must fall to reach renewable energy's full potential
The cost of energy storage will be critical in determining how much renewable energy can contribute to the decarbonization of electricity.
Renewable and nonrenewable energy in Myanmar's economic growth
An international group of scientists including a researcher from Ural Federal University developed a mathematical model that describes the influence of regenerative and non-regenerative energy sources on the economic growth of Myanmar.
Shifts to renewable energy can drive up energy poverty, PSU study finds
Efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions but do so at the expense of increased inequality, according to a new Portland State University study
Microgrids can help maximize efficiency of renewable energy consumption
A group of Italian researchers has developed a method that enables more efficient use of energy by smart homes that are connected to a microgrid -- a web of individualized units that are connected to one another and one common energy source.
Renewable energy generation with kites and drones
A group of researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has recently developed a new software aimed at the analysis of energy generation systems based on kites and drones.
A powerful catalyst for electrolysis of water that could help harness renewable energy
An international collaboration of Scientists at Dongguk University developed a novel nickel-based hydroxide compound that can be used as a powerful catalyst for the electrolysis of water.
'Sun in a box' would store renewable energy for the grid
MIT engineers have come up with a conceptual design for a system to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and deliver that energy back into an electric grid on demand.
More Renewable Energy News and Renewable Energy Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.