DOE's Lab-Corps is now Energy I-Corps

April 14, 2017

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The Energy Department's Lab-Corps program has a new name: Energy I-Corps. The new name reflects the evolution of the program within the Energy Department and the DOE national lab community.

Energy I-Corps, one of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Tech-to-Market programs, pairs national laboratory researchers with industry mentors for an intensive two-month training, where researchers define value propositions, conduct customer discovery interviews, and develop viable business models for their technologies. By the end of the program’s fifth class in April, 63 teams from 10 national labs will have completed the training. Together, those teams will have conducted more than 4,500 customer discovery interviews with industry.

The Energy I-Corps program’s specialized training curriculum aims to accelerate the transfer of energy technologies from the DOE national labs into the commercial marketplace. The program includes researchers in all EERE technology areas, and it welcomes scientists from three additional Energy Department offices: Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Environmental Management.

In addition to the new Energy I-Corps name, EERE has renewed its partnership with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) I-Corps, a nationally-recognized training program that helps prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the lab. By strengthening our partnership and association with NSF's I-Corps, we are raising the profile of Energy I-Corps to involve more industry mentors and support a culture of market awareness within our DOE national labs.

Whether a DOE national lab researcher is improving advanced fuel types, developing novel techniques for environmental remediation, or creating opportunities for more energy-efficient buildings, Energy I-Corps will continue to help scientists get out of lab and develop the commercial potential of their research.

Energy I-Corps is part of EERE’s Technology-to-Market (Tech-to-Market) program and is managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Tech-to-Market strengthens the U.S. innovation ecosystem by eliminating common barriers that prevent market exploration of new energy technologies.