DOE Funds Clean Energy Tech Commercialization Research at Seven Labs

The Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, will release $18.4 Million through the Technology Commercialization Fund (DOE) to fund seven national laboratory projects. This funding will be used to help bring more clean energy technologies onto the market. The selected national laboratories will address the barriers, gaps, and root causes of commercialization problems for emerging clean-energy technologies.

“Accelerating how quickly we get novel technologies to the marketplace will allow us to deploy the clean energy sources needed to combat climate change, lower energy costs and keep us on course to reaching President Biden’s decarbonization goals,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s national laboratories are stepping up to address the urgent need to develop solutions for expedited clean energy technology commercialization – from the time a product is researched, developed and patented to its widespread use.”

New clean energy technologies are critical to meeting the nation’s climate goals, but they face unique barriers to commercialization. Select lab projects will take a holistic approach in identifying and addressing common barriers clean energy technology companies face when trying to commercialize a product.

TCF was established by Congress by the Energy Policy Act of 2006. It was reauthorized by Energy Act of 2020. This gives TCF new flexibility to promote promising energy technology. On February 15, 2022 nine DOE program offices issued the Core Laboratory Infrastructure for Commercialization. It was a call for national laboratories that would develop infrastructure for clean technology commercialization.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will develop promising laboratory technologies and foster a pool of diverse talents, connections between industry and national laboratories in collaboration with four other labs. Funds are cost-shared among partners in California and New York.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory will offer a prize to help teams at different levels of technical readiness and commercialization. It will work in collaboration with five other laboratories and fund-sharing partners in California.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will develop a Visual Intellectual Property Search (VIPS) for both patents and software, made available on the DOE’s Lab Partnering Service webpage, in collaboration with eight other labs and funds cost-shared by partners in California. In collaboration with five other labs, and funds cost-shared between partners in Arizona and California, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will standardize technology transfers workflows to speed up the transition of lab-developed technology to the market.

Sandia National Laboratories will establish a strong regional clean-energy commercialization ecosystem in New Mexico. This will be in collaboration with six other labs, and funds cost-shared between Arizona, California, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

Sandia National Laboratories will engage the diverse startup community on a larger scale to increase the number of startups around DOE laboratory technologies in collaboration 13 other labs and funds cost-shared with partners in Alaska, California and New Mexico.

Sandia National Laboratories also plans to establish a collaborative approach in moving the semiconductor sector, next generation microelectronics, from the lab into the market in collaboration four other labs. The labs will cost-share funds with partners in Arizona and California, New Mexico, New York, New York, and Kansas.

“I authored the legislation that established this revamped version of the Technology Commercialization Fund at the Department of Energy,” comments U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (NM). “I am thrilled that these awards will empower our national labs – including Sandia in New Mexico – to build strong partnerships with local private sector startup companies and grow commercialization and manufacturing ecosystems around promising clean energy technologies developed by Department of Energy researchers.”

“New Mexico’s National Laboratories play a central role in strengthening our nation’s scientific leadership and our economy,” states U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (NM). “In Congress, I’m proud to have championed and led bipartisan initiatives in the House and Senate competition packages to support the lab’s research and development efforts in the industries of the future; to modernize our lab’s infrastructure; and to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies. This announcement of over $18 million in investments in our labs from the DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund represents a key investment in the United States’ STEM workforce, its long-term economic competitiveness, and a better quality of life for New Mexicans and all Americans.”

DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) coordinates the TCF and plays a role in strengthening DOE’s commercialization partnerships. OTT coordinated with the following DOE program offices to make funding available for 2022: the Office of Nuclear Energy; the Office of Electricity; and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Building Technologies Office, Geothermal Technologies Office, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Solar Energy Technologies Office, Water Power Technologies Office, and Wind Energy Technologies Office.