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EPIC Program to Energize National Energy Innovation Ecosystem 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced selections for the prize portion of the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC). The EPIC prize is the $1 million debut effort in a two-part, $5 million program sponsored by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT). The EPIC prize seeks to recognize the most innovative and impactful incubators focused on developing strong regional innovation clusters for energy-related technology and entrepreneurship. In announcing this first round of winners, DOE selected 20 winning incubators for cash prizes of $50,000 each.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of Energy has invigorated the technology commercialization process by taking deliberate steps to improve the maturation of promising energy technologies,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “The EPIC prize bolsters a critical component of the energy innovation ecosystem, supporting public-private partnerships that help America’s entrepreneurs make those first great steps toward a commercial product or service.”

For winners of the EPIC prize, “incubators” include accelerators, co-working start-up communities, or other models that accomplish similar goals. A subsequent EPIC funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is under development to complement the Prize. This FOA encompassing the remaining $4 million in funding will be released this fall.

“EPIC represents OTT’s first public funding opportunity designed to build local support for innovation and energize new conversations around promising energy technologies,” said Chief Commercialization Officer and OTT Director Conner Prochaska. “By supporting the greatest possible return on our R&D investment, we are driving outcomes that enhance our competitiveness and national security. We are delighted to highlight some of the impactful work happening in communities across the country.”

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 17 National Labs 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 toward the marketplace.

SELECTED EPIC PRIZE WINNERS

Arrowhead Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico

  • Clean Energy Innovation Cluster & Accelerator

Austin Technology Incubator, Austin, Texas

  • EMPOWER - Science to Startups

BRITE Energy Innovators, Warren, Ohio

  • Energy Storage Innovation Ecosystem

Cascadia Cleantech Accelerator, Portland, Oregon

  • The Cleantech Connectors for the PNW ecosystem

Centrepolis Accelerator, Southfield, Michigan

  • Michigan CleanTech Hardware Accelerator

Elemental Excelerator, Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Elemental Excelerator

Expanding Frontiers, Brownsville, Texas

  • Hub for Space and Energy Startups in South Texas

Exponential Impact, Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Energy Entrepreneurship in Southern Colorado

FORGE Manufacturing Initiative, Somerville, Massachusetts

  • FORGE Innovative Manufacturing Cluster

Greentown Labs Houston, Houston, Texas

  • Building a Cleantech Cluster In Greater Houston

KeyLogic Initiative: U.S. Research Impact Alliance, Morgantown, West Virginia

  • KeyLogic Initiative: US Research Impact Alliance

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Unlocking Innovation Team, Los Angeles, California       

  • LACI is Expanding Clean Energy Startup Innovation

mHUB Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

  • mHUB Chicago: Nation's Largest Hardware Lab

Mississippi Development Authority V-QUAD, Jackson, Mississippi      

  • The Mississippi Virtual-Quad

The Combine Incubator, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • The Combine Incubator

The Spark Innovation Center at UT Research Park, Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Spark Innovation Center at UT Research Park

The WY RANCH, Sheridan, Wyoming

  • The WY RANCH

Trailhead Boise, Boise, Idaho         

  • CleanTech Incubator for Energy Related Technologies

Urban Future Lab, Brooklyn, New York  

  • Urban Future Lab Northeast Cleantech Hub Growth

Water, Energy and Technology Center Team, Fresno, California         

  • Bolstering Success for Energy Startups

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