Published on July 20th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD0
Video: Argonne National Lab warms up new incubator to grow energy technologiesPublished on July 20th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD
[Image above] Argonne National Laboratory’s campus in Argonne, Ill., has a world-class R&D infrastructure and technical expertise. Credit: Argonne National Lab
Do you have a bright idea for a new energy technology?
If so, you might be in luck—Argonne National Lab (Argonne, Ill.) is now accepting applications from intrepid entrepreneurs for its brand new and fully supportive energy incubator program, Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI).
Commercializing new energy technologies is an expensive venture—and one that often takes much more time than other startup technologies. “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,” according to an ANL press release.
Accelerating innovations is a big deal—from a slew of recent academia-industry partnerships and new efforts to open access to novel collaborations, it’s clear that there is a lot of money being directed towards new ways to leverage and merge expertise and funding from varied sources into new initiatives that upend traditional silos of academic, commercial, and national lab research.
CRI is now accepting applications for its first cohort on energy innovators, who will receive two years of financial and technical support from CRI co-partners ANL and the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Awardees will get access to up to $350,000 of funds for research at ANL and up to $100,000 for a fellowship to cover living costs, benefits, and a travel stipend.
“This program gives innovators working on complex science challenges a jumpstart by giving them laboratory tools and experts to work with from day one, as well as a fellowship that pays their day-to-day costs and benefits so that they can work full-time developing their technology,” Andreas Roelofs, director of Chain Reaction Innovations, says in an ANL press release. “Traditionally, energy technologies take longer to produce a return on venture capitalists’ investments because of their longer development time line. But embedding entrepreneurs for two years into Argonne National Laboratory to validate and scale their technologies will accelerate the path to the consumer and investor marketplaces and compress the return timeframe.”
The incubation is all encompassing, too—ANL’s tools include fabrication, validation, and scale-up facilities, in addition to one-of-a-kind resources like the Mira supercomputer (the sixth fastest in the world) and Advanced Photon Source (the nation’s highest-energy X-ray source). Beyond the science, the incubator also will provide business strategy, market research, and financing resources.
Watch the short ANL video below to learn more, and head here to check out the application process.
Credit: Argonne National Laboratory; YouTube
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