Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the third cohort of innovators to join Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), a DOE-funded entrepreneurial research and development (R&D) program based at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). Five new innovators were selected from 120 applicants for innovations in energy materials and advanced manufacturing.

Developing technologies to boost domestic energy manufacturing and increase U.S. manufacturing competiveness is a key Departmental priority. Working with the private sector is critical to informing research and ensuring that technologies make it out of the lab and into the market. One of the ways DOE is doing this is through Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs, such as CRI, which place innovators within DOE national labs where they conduct research and receive mentorship and entrepreneurial training.

CRI's dual focus on early-stage R&D and entrepreneurial development enables the innovators, 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 $220,000 to use on collaborative R&D at ANL.

Meet the newest innovators and the technology they look to advance:

Khalid Alam, Stemloop

  • Stemloop developed more than a dozen cell-free, biological sensors for water quality and the energy-water nexus. These defensible technologies will benefit society by enabling water security, which begins by identifying sustainable water sources for drinking, bathing, irrigation, and other core human and industrial activities.

Yu Kambe, NanoPattern Technologies

  • NanoPattern developed a unique, inorganic ligand chemistry that enables virtually any nanomaterial (Quantum Dots, metals, dielectrics, catalysts, magnetic materials) to be converted into a photo-patternable ink that can be patterned at sub-micron resolutions.

Katie Kollhoff, NUMix Materials

  • NUMiX Materials is using a patented sorbent to extract and solidify contaminants in a matter of minutes using only a fraction of the material needed for incumbent processes. Not only does it reduce material throughput and subsequent landfilling in typical processes, the sorbent can be heat treated to recover the starting material and valuable captured metals.

Kevin O'Connor, Caporus Technologies, LLC

  • Caporus is leveraging recent advancements in films with porosity at the nanoscale to enable vacuum/gas to operate at extremely high electric fields, enabling higher energy density and stability with respect to temperature, operating voltage, and frequency for electric vehicles and other energy efficiency applications.

Gary Ong, B.S., M.S. and PH.D in Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

  • Mr. Ong is focusing on ion transport materials in his doctoral studies, Mr. Ong built a variable temperature and environmental platform to study the ion transport properties of porous ceramics and composites.

The DOE Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs are funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Office within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and aim to 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.

For detailed project summaries and biographies of the innovators announced today, visit the Argonne National Laboratory website.

EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.