On January 7, a delegation from the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) plunged into the massive 2020 CES Expo (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) to establish new connections and investigate new opportunities for the Department of Energy to partner and innovate alongside some of the world’s top leaders in technology.
Joined by DOE’s Artificial Intelligence & Technology Office (AITO), the Department’s first CES booth established a new hub within this innovation ecosystem, one that OTT hopes to leverage into new opportunities to connect with the private sector and share the story of the DOE research enterprise.
The OTT team highlighted its Lab Partnering Service with an interactive display that allows users to browse DOE’s massive and accessible R&D portfolio, including its renowned expert researchers, world-class user facilities and nearly 40,000 patents and applications.
Many attendees were surprised to learn that DOE spends nearly $18 billion on R&D and is America’s largest supporter of basic science research. Hardly just energy technologies, the Department’s 17 National Laboratories push the limits of possibility in materials, manufacturing, healthcare, medicine, and AI—basically every relevant and applicable science imaginable. DOE has also worked to keep the United States on the cutting edge of supercomputer and HPC hardware and supporting algorithm science and applications, as well as new quantum computing systems. OTT’s regular InnovationXLab Summit series highlights these accomplishments and connects Lab experts with the private sector partners needed to guide groundbreaking innovations toward the market.
Beyond the booth, DOE personnel spent the week forging new connections and exploring new ways and means to enhance the pathways from lab-powered research toward the commercial market.
OTT Director and Chief Commercialization Officer Conner Prochaska participated on a panel discussion alongside representatives from BloombergNEF, Siemens, Panasonic, and Malta, Inc. The diverse expertise of the group led the conversation from topics like large-scale energy storage, grid optimization, and the power generation technologies of tomorrow. The panel was livestreamed and can be viewed here.
The OTT team was excited to spot current DOE-powered innovation scattered across the expo. From the millimeter-wave scanners upon arriving at the airport (shoutout to Pacific Northwest National Lab), to the massive quantum-dot televisions on display (developed in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab), CES was a true showcase of the incredible impact effective commercialization strategies can have in shaping our technological future. As you can tell, we loved engaging with our industry partners and innovators and hope to have the opportunity again!