The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) announced the latest cohorts in its Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP). The 22 selected innovators will join an extensive network of mentors and experts at U.S. national laboratories to develop the next-generation technologies that will help pave the way to a clean-energy future.

The program is a two-year fellowship that places some of the nation’s brightest scientists and engineers with national laboratories. During the fellowship, they will perform critical research and development that will ultimately bring their technologies from lab to market. The program also helps these innovators develop their entrepreneurial acumen, preparing them to launch successful energy and manufacturing businesses.

“The Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program helps promising scientists and engineers overcome what can often be their most difficult challenge in clean-energy innovation: moving their technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “We are eager to support these entrepreneurs through this mentorship program, which will help to bring new technologies to market, and accelerate the decarbonization of our economy, and launch new careers in clean energy.”

This year’s selected innovators will focus on developing technologies to increase energy and material efficiency in U.S. manufacturing, which in turn will help decarbonize the industrial sector. The cohorts will participate in the following DoE programs:

• Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois: The Chain Reaction Innovations program’s latest cohort includes five innovators working on technologies in decarbonization, water treatment, lightweight composites, and additive manufacturing.
• Cyclotron Road at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California: The Cyclotron Road program’s cohort will include 11 innovators working on technologies in additive manufacturing, energy storage, and plastics.
• Innovation Crossroads at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee: The Innovation Crossroads program’s cohort will include six innovators working on hydrogen storage, batteries, water treatment, building material, cybersecurity, and additive manufacturing.

The LEEP is primarily funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). The Building Technologies Office within DoE, along with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Tennessee Valley Authority, and several philanthropic organizations will also fund innovators this year.

Since the program’s inception in 2015, AMO has awarded more than $40 million to innovators running 79 start-ups. As of May 2021, program participants have gone on to attract nearly $320 million in additional federal funding and follow-on private funding from philanthropy, angel investors, venture capital, and strategic investors.

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