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Multi-part Program to Recognize and Support National Energy Innovation Ecosystem

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $1 million in funding to support energy technology incubators through a new prize opportunity, the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC). This prize is the debut initiative in a $5 million program by the DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) to encourage robust growth of regional energy innovation ecosystems.

With the EPIC prize, OTT seeks to recognize the most innovative and impactful incubators that focus on developing strong innovation clusters, connections, and support for energy-related technology and entrepreneurship that bolster American economic competitiveness and national security. DOE anticipates selecting up to 20 winning incubators for cash prizes of up to $50,000.

“Under the Trump Administration, the Department has taken a comprehensive approach to technology commercialization that accounts for the entire journey from lab research to market reality,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “Incubators and accelerators are a critical stepping stone along that path, and the EPIC prize will give these organizations additional flexibility to build robust regional networks that strengthen the entire innovation lifecycle.”

“OTT acts as the ‘front door’ to the Department of Energy, streamlining access to our world-leading research and development complex and connecting innovators with researchers, facilities, and intellectual property across all of our National Labs and facilities,” said DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and OTT Director Conner Prochaska. “Congress charged us with the critical task of enhancing our regional energy innovation ecosystems, and EPIC is our first completely new program designed to tackle that important mission.”

For the EPIC prize, “incubators” include accelerators, co-working start-up communities, or other models that accomplish similar goals. Interested parties can learn more about eligibility by visiting the prize website. Additional funding will be made available through a future opportunity that is currently in development. A funding opportunity announcement for the EPIC program is expected to be released later this summer.

OTT was established in 2015 to advance the economic, energy, and national security interests of the United States by expanding the commercial impact of DOE’s research and development portfolio.

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