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Press Release | Argonne National Laboratory

New startups join Argonne’s entrepreneurship program

Chain Reaction Innovations announces new cohort

Clean energy startups embed at Argonne to develop innovative technologies that hold promise for helping mitigate climate change.

Four new innovators recently joined Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory, as part of the program’s seventh cohort. 

Each innovator will collaborate with a host scientist at Argonne while embedded full-time at the laboratory. Innovators plan to develop clean energy startups that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase U.S. competitiveness in emerging energy technologies. The goal of innovators and the CRI program is to support the country’s equitable clean energy economy and its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  

CRI is a unique program that provides unparalleled access to a national lab and the regional innovation ecosystem.” — Dick Co, director, Chain Reaction Innovations 

CRI’s impact is far-reaching as it celebrates its seventh year of embedding entrepreneurs at Argonne. CRI’s first cohort graduated in June 2019, amassing millions in investment. The combined total raised by CRI startups through July 2023 is over $427 million, and the program has helped create 641 U.S. jobs to date. 

I’m thrilled to welcome our new CRI entrepreneurs, who will help us solve complex energy challenges with their cutting-edge startups,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. Our partnership with these innovators exemplifies how our laboratory accelerates the science and technology that drive U.S. prosperity and security.” 

The new innovators in Cohort 7 and their projects are: 

  • Tim Fairley-Wax, Biomembrane Filtration: Unlocking Energy Recovery from Waste Streams 
  • Alexis Peña, Man-Made Bioengineered Protein-Based Fibers to Replace Petroleum-Derived Textiles 
  • Rawand Rasheed, Retrofit Dehumidifier for Substantial Air Conditioner Energy Reduction 
  • Laura Stoy, Recycling of Coal Fly Ash for Rare Earths and Concrete  

CRI is a unique program that provides unparalleled access to a national lab and the regional innovation ecosystem. The CRI team and I are excited to support this group of talented innovators at the start of their entrepreneurial journeys,” said Dick Co, CRI’s director. 

Innovators were selected following a national solicitation process and a two-part pitch competition with judging from local, regional and national industry experts, scientists and engineers.  

CRI is supported by Argonne and the following DOE entities: 

  • The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office and Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office 
  • The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management 
  • The Office of Science 
  • The Advanced Scientific Computing Research program 

Learn more about the Cohort 7 innovators and their technologies. 

Applications for CRI’s next cohort will open on Oct. 15, 2023. 

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.