[Image above] Credit: Artemyo Lagalag; Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
The Department of Energy, like the rest of us, wants U.S. clean energy manufacturing to be more competitive. It’s why the DOE has launched a $2-million Technologist in Residence (TIR) pilot designed to increase competitiveness and allow our national labs to make a greater commercial impact through strengthened lab–industry partnerships.
According to an Energy Department news release, those relationships fostered through TIR will “lead to high-impact collaborate research and development … and will develop mechanisms to help interested companies more easily connect and form relationships with the Department’s national labs moving forward.”
How’s it work?
The DOE’s offering a competitive solicitation that matches national labs with industry through “technologist” pairs—one senior technical staff member from the lab and one from a manufacturer or consortium. Over the course of the two-year pilot program, the pair will work together to complete a high-tech SWOT analysis, identifying technical challenges for the manufacturer (reducing energy intensity and increasing efficiency in the manufacturing process) and presenting opportunities that can be offered by the lab (clean energy technologies and next-gen machinery).
A Council of Technologists will help to oversee and serve as a channel for networking and promotion for the industry-lab partnerships, including providing relevant feedback to the Energy Department for the development of best practices that will extend beyond the pilot program.