The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced more than $24 million in funding for 77 projects aimed at advancing commercialization of promising energy technologies and strengthening partnerships between DOE’s National Laboratories and private-sector companies to deploy important technologies to the marketplace.
The awards are supported by the Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF), which is managed by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT). All the TCF awards will be matched by funds from the private-sector partners.
DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory received $4.6 million to fund 12 projects across four research divisions.
“The TCF creates an effective pathway to putting these lab-derived technologies to work and helps to maximize the impact of our research investment for the benefit of the entire nation.” — Conner Prochaska, Chief Commercialization Officer, U.S. Department of Energy
“Technology transfer is an essential component of our mission at DOE, helping ensure we deliver the maximum return on the investment of the American taxpayer,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said. “Through the Technology Commercialization Fund, we are connecting entrepreneurs in the private sector with researchers at our National Labs to help deliver the innovations and technologies that will keep our nation secure, competitive, and energy abundant.”
Secretary Perry has elevated DOE’s commercialization and technology transfer mission in order to heighten the awareness and commercial impact of the broad, world-class DOE research enterprise. In 2018, the Secretary named Conner Prochaska DOE’s first Chief Commercialization Officer. Prochaska also serves as OTT Director.
“Working alongside the private sector through initiatives like the Technology Commercialization Fund ensures our innovators in the National Labs are plugged into the engine of our economy: American business,” Prochaska said. “The TCF creates an effective pathway to putting these lab-derived technologies to work and helps to maximize the impact of our research investment for the benefit of the entire nation.”
The full list of this year’s TCF selections and the private-sector partners can be found on the OTT website.
“We are pleased that Argonne has once again performed very well in terms of the number of TCF awards it has received,” said Ushma Kriplani, Interim Associate Laboratory Director for Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach at Argonne. “TCF support has proved invaluable in recent years in our efforts to transfer promising energy technologies from the lab to the market and enhance collaborations with industry that benefit the nation and the economy on multiple levels.”
Argonne researchers whose projects received 2019 funding are:
- Acacia Brunett (Nuclear Science and Engineering): Qualification of the SAS4A/SASSYS-1 software for sodium-cooled fast nuclear reactor authorization and licensing. ($674,484; in partnership with Advanced Reactor Concepts LLC [Chevy Chase, Md.] and TerraPower LLC [Bellevue, Wash.])
- Jeff Elam (Applied Materials): Low-cost, roll-to-roll manufacturing of reusable sorbents for the energy and water industries. ($150,000)
- Osman Eryilmaz (Applied Materials): Ultra-fast boriding of geothermal casings to enhance reliability. ($150,000; in partnership with Controlled Thermal Resources Inc. [El Centro, Calif.])
- Sreenath Gupta (Energy Systems): The development of an advanced ignition system for enhanced ignition stability and combustion efficiency. ($750,000; in partnership with 8 Rivers Capital LLC [Durham, N.C.], Combustion Research & Flow Technology Inc. [Pipersville, Pa.], and Purdue University [West Lafayette, Ind.])
- John Hryn (Applied Materials): Aluminum purification and Magnesium recovery from Mg-Al scrap. ($150,000; in partnership with Phinix LLC [Clayton, Mo.])
- Dominik Karbowski (Energy Systems): Simulation tool for energy-efficient connected and automated vehicle control development. ($600,000; in partnership with Hyundai America Technical Center [Superior Township, Mich.])
- Yung Liu (Decision and Infrastructure Sciences): Remote area modular monitoring for critical facilities. ($300,000; in partnership with Embedded Planet [Cleveland])
- Riccardo Scarcelli (Energy Systems): High-fidelity ignition models to boost engine thermal efficiency ($720,000; in partnership with Convergent Science Inc. [Madison, Wis.])
- Dileep Singh (Applied Materials): An integrated power block heat exchanger/thermal energy storage system for concentrated solar power plants. ($348,000; in partnership with CFOAM LLC [Triadelphia, W. Va.] and Touchstone Research Laboratory [Triadelphia, W. Va.])
- Micheal Smith (Nuclear Science and Engineering): Extension of core design code to lead cooled fast reactor systems in nuclear power generation. ($75,000; in partnership with Westinghouse Electric Company [Cranberry Township, Pa.])
- Richard Vilim (Nuclear Science and Engineering): Industry-informed, physics-based monitoring for asset management and maintenance optimization. ($500,000; in partnership with Electric Power Research Institute [Palo Alto, Calif.] and LPI Inc. [Amesbury, Mass.])
- Yuepeng Zhang (Applied Materials): Development of radio-frequency-cured nanocomposite adhesives for thermal-budget reduction in adhesive bonding processes. ($150,000; in partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical America Inc. [New York])
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 https://energy.gov/science.