Skip to main content
Press Release | Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne’s Chain Reaction Innovations appoints first advisory council

Chicago’s energy community shows pioneering leadership to advance opportunities for energy innovators.

World-class energy leaders will offer their expertise to Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, as part of a new Advisory Council announced today. Argonne is operated by the University of Chicago.

CRI has named 14 Advisory Council members, including investors, industry experts and business executives, to help guide its growth and strategy. CRI provides a two-year program for innovators focusing on pivotal discoveries in energy and science technologies, embedding participants at Argonne to develop their technology and business while collaborating with Argonne scientists and leveraging the resources available at the laboratory.

We are honored to have these energy experts provide their counsel and guidance as we continue to strengthen the CRI program,” notes John Carlisle, CRI director at Argonne. Chicago is emerging as a stronghold for the energy community and innovative cleantech solutions. Not only will CRI benefit from being able to tap the talent of energy leaders, but we will be able to continue to build an infrastructure to support cleantech energy innovation from ideation through development to commercialization and manufacturing at scale. Our partners provide us a sounding board to vet ideas, our innovators with contacts in the real-world to validate their ideas and the program with investment in time and resources.”

CRI has named the following leaders to its first Advisory Council:

  • Haven Allen — CEO and Co-founder, mHUB
  • Erik Birkerts — CEO, Clean Energy Trust
  • Jason Blumberg — Managing Partner, Energy Foundry
  • K’Lynne Johnson — Board Director, FMC Corporation
  • Karen Kerr — Venture Capitalist
  • Steve Kloos — Managing Partner, True North Ventures
  • William Lese — Managing Partner, Braemer Ventures
  • S.J. Maxted — Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Engine
  • Jason Pariso — Director, University of Chicago Innovation Fund
  • James Schulte — Director, Exelorate Growth
  • Brian Tolliver — Senior Director of Corporate Development, Cabot Microelectronics
  • Eric Toone — Executive Managing Director for Technology, Breakthrough Energy Ventures
  • Mark Werwath — Co-Director, Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University
  • Jetta Wong — Senior Advisor, Northern California, LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

Argonne is proud to collaborate with the energy entrepreneurs who are part of our CRI program,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. We’re excited to expand our impact by engaging industry, investors and business leaders through CRI’s new advisory council. By harnessing the power of community inside and outside of Argonne, we can further advance science for U.S. prosperity and security.”

CRI provides innovators with the laboratory tools, seed capital and collaborators needed to grow their early-stage technologies, enabling them to attract the long-term capital and commercial partners needed to scale and launch technologies into the marketplace.

We are honored to have these energy experts provide their counsel and guidance as we continue to strengthen the CRI program.” John Carlisle, CRI director at Argonne.

CRI is part of the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs from DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). EERE created the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs to provide an institutional home for innovative postdoctoral researchers to build their research into products and train to be entrepreneurs. The two-year program for each innovator is funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

For more information about the CRI Advisory Board members, please go to http://​chain​re​ac​tion​.anl​.gov/​a​d​v​i​s​o​r​y​-​c​o​uncil.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen U.S. economic growth, energy security, and environmental quality.

EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports applied research, development and demonstration of new materials and processes for energy efficiency in manufacturing as well as platform technologies for the manufacturing of clean energy products.

EERE’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs (LEEP) are sponsored by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and managed in collaboration between AMO and EERE’s Technology-to-Market office.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.