Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the second cohort of innovators to join Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast region’s first entrepreneurial research and development (R&D) program based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Five innovators were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants as part of the announcement and will begin work at ORNL in May 2018.
Innovation Crossroads, which brought on its first cohort of innovators in Spring 2017, is one of DOE's Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs that embed top technical talent within national labs as entrepreneurial research fellows to advance solutions to manufacturing challenges and energy innovation. The program's dual focus on early-stage R&D and entrepreneurial development enables the innovators, who are selected through an open merit-based process, to transform their breakthrough ideas into U.S.-based companies. The two-year fellowship provides a cost-of-living stipend, comprehensive business development plan assistance, and up to $350,000 to use on collaborative R&D at ORNL, the nation's largest science and energy laboratory.
The Innovation Crossroads entrepreneurial research fellows will have access to world-class scientists and DOE facilities at ORNL, including the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, the National Transportation Research Center, the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, and the Spallation Neutron Source. Through the program and partnerships with mentor organizations in the Southeast, fellows will also receive assistance with developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and potential commercial partners.
Innovation Crossroads is one of three DOE Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs. These programs, funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), address critical gaps in human capital by providing fellowships and two-year institutional homes where talented innovators are equipped with the proper resources to become first-time entrepreneurs.
EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.
For detailed project summaries and innovator biographies, see the Innovation Crossroads website.