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Press Release | Argonne National Laboratory

Entrepreneurship program at Argonne opens applications for startups

Chain Reaction Innovations seeks innovators to join Cohort 8

Develop your clean energy or climate technology with the support of Argonne National Laboratory’s Chain Reaction Innovations program. Application deadline is 5 p.m. CST, Nov. 30.

Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, is now accepting applications for its eighth cohort of innovators. Innovators with clean energy and climate technologies are encouraged to apply.

CRI embeds early-stage innovators at Argonne, supporting the next generation of energy entrepreneurs to commercialize their technologies through a fellowship that offers salary, benefits, funds for research and a travel stipend.

CRI operates at the intersection of science and innovation with the power of a national lab behind it, and I look forward to hearing the transformative ideas that can take advantage of our unique program and ecosystem in Chicago.” — Dick Co, CRI director

A new cohort is selected each year through an annual call for applications. This year, the application period is open through 5 p.m. CST on Nov. 30. Those chosen for Cohort 8 will begin work at Argonne in summer 2024. Any individual interested in developing technology in the preferred areas is encouraged to apply.

Preferred Technology Areas

  • Advanced materials
  • Improving manufacturing efficiency
  • Industrial decarbonization
  • Lowering building carbon and energy footprints
  • Solar energy
  • Quantum computing
  • Energy storage – electric grid
  • Circularity (re-X pathways; circular economy)
  • Food, water, energy nexus
  • Carbon dioxide removal (CDR)
  • Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)

More so than ever before, our nation and our world need to nurture and accelerate innovations that can enable all of us to live sustainably and prosperously on this planet,” CRI Director Dick Co said. CRI operates at the intersection of science and innovation, with the power of a DOE national lab behind it, and I look forward to hearing the transformative ideas that can take advantage of our unique program and ecosystem in Chicago.”

At CRI we take pride in fostering a culture of inclusive innovation. Our strength lies in the diversity of our innovators, each bringing their unique perspectives, fresh ideas and valuable insights to the table,” said Deena Wright, CRI’s fellowship and program manager, who works closely with the innovators. ​“Our goal is to ensure that the startups in our program graduate with a robust foundation in business knowledge, enabling them to not only advance their groundbreaking technologies but also thrive in the ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape.”

Informational Webinars

CRI will host informational webinars in November for interested applicants to learn specifics about the program. Register for a webinar.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m. CST
  • Tuesday, Nov. 28, 4 p.m. CST

CRI staff will also host Zoom drop-in office hours every Friday from 2-3 p.m. CST through Friday, Nov. 17.

Cohort 8 Fellowships

  • Two-year fellowship, including a $115,000 per year stipend
  • $12,000 per year travel allowance and health-care benefits
  • Funding to de-risk technological innovations
  • Access to technical experts, facilities and unique capabilities at Argonne
  • Networking access to business experts, investors, mentors and corporate partners
  • Neither DOE nor Argonne take an equity stake

About CRI

Through a yearly competitive process, CRI awards two-year fellowships to innovators who focus on clean-energy and climate technologies. CRI’s mission is to open Argonne’s door to deliver on our promise of a sustainable, prosperous and equitable world – one innovator, one startup at a time.

CRI is part of the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program supported by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy through the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO); DOE’s Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program; DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management; and by Argonne.

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://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.