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EPIC Program to Support Hardware Development and Testing in Regional Innovation Clusters 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for its Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC).  With up to $4 million in available funding, the EPIC FOA is the second of a two-part, $5 million program sponsored by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT). The FOA seeks to recognize innovation accelerating organizations focused on stimulating energy hardware development and related supportive ecosystems.

“The Department of Energy is home to the world’s greatest R&D talent, and America succeeds when there is a comprehensive value chain that encompasses all levels of technological development,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “EPIC fills a critical niche in the innovation ecosystem, providing additional support to those organizations willing to take the risk of supporting budding entrepreneurs and technologists at their earliest and most vulnerable stages.”

The first part of EPIC was the prize portion, which awarded a collective total of $1 million to 20 incubators focused on developing strong regional innovation clusters. For the second part, DOE plans to fund organizations that propose and implement regional engagement plans that encourage ecosystems for testing, validation, and demonstration of technologies to help them scale and enhance U.S. energy manufacturing competitiveness. For purposes of the EPIC FOA, “innovation accelerating organizations” include incubators, accelerators, co-working start-up communities, or other models that accomplish similar goals.

With EPIC, OTT underscores the importance of clusters, which increase productivity of area companies, drive the direction and pace of innovation, and stimulate the formation of new businesses, further reinforcing the cluster itself.

“In OTT, we’ve invested in strengthening America’s regional innovation ecosystems through targeted outreach, streamlined policies, and—for the first time—funding new programs,” said Chief Commercialization Officer and OTT Director Conner Prochaska. “We’ve learned a great deal this year from the prize portion of EPIC, and we’re applying those lessons to the FOA, which offers applicants significantly more resources to build tomorrow’s energy technologies.”

An informational webinar will take place on November 18, 2020, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, and can be accessed at this link. More information is available on the OTT website and OTT Exchange.

OTT advances the economic, energy, and national security interests of the United States by expanding the commercial impact of DOE’s research and development portfolio. OTT streamlines access to DOE’s National Labs, plants, and sites, and opens the door to the Department’s world-class scientific researchers and facilities—fostering strong internal and external partnerships that guide innovations from the lab to the marketplace.

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