This October, the Department’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) joined Argonne National Laboratory in Downtown Chicago to host the fourth InnovationXLab Summit. This edition of DOE’s lab-to-market showcase focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and convened nearly 400 innovators, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurs to explore new opportunities to drive American leadership in this emergent technological arena.
OTT hosts the InnovationXLab series in collaboration with DOE’s National Labs to expand the commercial impact of the $18 billion dollar investment made in the lab innovation portfolio. These summits facilitate a two-way exchange of information and ideas between industry, universities, manufacturers, investors, and end-use customers with innovators and experts from across the National Labs and broader DOE R&D complex.
Opening remarks came from University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer and Argonne Director Dr. Paul Kearns, with a welcome keynote from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to kick off the event. Secretary Perry underlined the importance of leading the way in AI to an audience of public- and private-sector experts and researchers.
In a conversation moderated by DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and OTT Director Conner Prochaska, Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette shared the department’s broader plans for AI alongside White House Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, who offered attendees a vision of the national strategy for AI, including the five pillars of President Trump’s leadership strategy:
- Investing in AI Research and Development (R&D)
- Unleashing AI Resources
- Setting AI Governance Standards
- Building the AI Workforce
- International Engagement and Protecting our AI Advantage
IBM’s John Kelly delivered the first industry keynote. Dr. Kelly is a titan in the information technology industry, driving IBM’s leadership in supercomputers, AI and beyond.
GE Research’s Colin Parris highlighted the storied American company’s explorations into AI as it seeks to discover new ways to manufacture products using stronger, lighter, more robust materials.
The event saw fireside chats and remarks from DOE leadership. Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes set the scene for a conversation on AI and grid optimization. OTT's Conner Prochaska hosted a discussion between Under Secretary of Science Paul Dabbar and P33 CEO Brad Henderson on the power of regional partnerships.
Secretary Perry was joined by Deputy Secretary Brouillette, Under Secretaries Menezes and Dabbar, Director Kearns and Mr. Kratsios on a side stage for an AI-centric press conference, highlighting DOE's supercomputing capabilities and national priorities in this critical arena.
The Department of Energy owns 17 National Laboratories, 16 of which contributed to an active showcase floor where investors and entrepreneurs could catch a first-hand glimpse of how DOE-fueled AI is redefining the boundaries of supercomputing and data science in fields like healthcare, manufacturing and materials science.
Be sure to download OTT's latest Technology Spotlight, showcasing DOE's work in AI across the lab complex.
The Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO) joined OTT as DOE HQ representatives for the event, earning a visit from Secretary Perry before he hit the road for his next engagement.
The summit organized one-on-one conversations between industry representatives and DOE lab experts, kick-starting conversations around new ways to leverage lab-derived science and technology to improve American competitiveness and security.
AI is an exciting subject in part because it stands to affect our lives in countless different ways. InnovationXLab focused on just a few of those, dividing programming into six subject areas where the technology stands to make a big impact:
- Energy Grid Optimization
- Drug Discovery
- Advanced Materials Discovery and Development
- Energy Production
- Precision Medicine
Many thanks to Argonne National Laboratory for their hard work to help make this event possible.
Photos courtesy Argonne National Laboratory.