New Energy Dept. lab program to accelerate commercialization of clean energy technologies

The new DOE Lab-Corps program aims to train the department's lab researchers to transition their discoveries into real-world technologies.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

The Department of Energy has launched a new $2.3 million pilot program to accelerate the transfer of innovative clean energy technologies from the DOE’s National Laboratories into the commercial marketplace. Lab-Corps aims to better train and empower national lab researchers to successfully transition their discoveries into high-impact, real world technologies in the private sector.                    

“The Energy Department’s National Laboratories are science and engineering powerhouses,” says Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. “In support of the President’s Lab-to-Market Initiative, the Lab-Corps program launched today supports the entrepreneurial spirit at our national labs and will bring new lab technologies to market that advance American leadership in clean energy.”

Lab-Corps, which builds on the National Science Foundation’s successful Innovation Corps (I-Corps) model, is a specialized technology accelerator and training curriculum for the national laboratories that will enable lab-based teams to gain direct market feedback on their technologies and pursue the development of startup companies, industry partnerships, licensing agreements, and other business opportunities.

Six national labs have been selected to participate in the Lab-Corps pilot program. Over the next year, these labs will assemble, train and support entrepreneurial teams to identify private sector opportunities for commercializing promising sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency lab technologies. Each Lab-Corps team will receive comprehensive training and access to a suite of commercialization resources, including technology validation and testing, facility access, techno-economic analysis and other incubation services.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, will leverage its deep expertise in technology commercialization and clean energy sectors to develop, deliver and manage the Lab-Corps training program across the laboratory sites, with support from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.

NREL will work with five national labs that will recruit and support the teams and identify innovative technologies to pursue the commercialization process. These labs include Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.