Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the latest expansion of its Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies. Hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), West Gate will join three existing sites of the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program to equip scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs with the training, technical resources, and mentorship they need to develop next-generation technologies that will pave the way to a zero-carbon economy. 

“We launched the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship program seven years ago to provide clean energy innovators with a critical bridge between discovery and commercialization,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “We’re thrilled to expand this mentorship program and support more entrepreneurs whose novel ideas will power our clean energy future and ensure that’s it’s made right here at home.”   

Through West Gate, up to five innovators will be selected via a competitive process and will each receive: 

  • Two-year paid fellowships: Each fellowship provides an annual stipend of $100,000 with healthcare and relocation benefits for qualifying candidates.
  • National laboratory access and research funding: Participants will gain unparalleled access to NREL’s facilities, equipment, and expertise, as well as receive $175,000 of research and development funding to foster research collaboration.
  • Business mentors, entrepreneurial training, and networking: Fellows will have access to experienced business mentorship, entrepreneurial training programs, and exclusive networking opportunities.  These programs will  expose fellows to a wide range of leaders from academia, industry, government, and finance that can serve as advisors and partners. 

The program is seeking scientists and engineers with novel ideas to decarbonize the manufacturing industry, deploy clean energy technologies that will reduce emissions across the U.S. economy, and support an equitable clean energy future made in America. Past Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program innovators have developed breakthrough technologies spanning American industries – from new materials to create higher efficiency solar panels to a biomanufacturing process to make fungi-based meat alternatives.  

Interested participants should review the West Gate webpage for more information on program offerings, eligibility, and application instructions. 

The Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs are primarily funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). Since the program's inception in 2015, AMO has awarded more than $48 million to over 115 innovators running 93 start-ups. Program participants have gone on to attract over $520 million in additional federal funding and follow-on private funding from philanthropy, angel investors, venture capital, and strategic investors.