Technology Commercialization Fund OTT Logo

A core responsibility of the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) is to oversee the expenditure of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technology transfer funds. As such, OTT is responsible for implementing the Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). Congress established the TCF through the Energy Policy Act of 20051 and reauthorized it by the recent Energy Act of 2020 (EA 2020) "to promote promising energy technologies for commercial purposes."2

The TCF is a nearly $30 million funding opportunity that leverages funding in the applied energy programs to mature promising energy technologies with the potential for high impact across DOE's Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment (RDD&D) Continuum. The TCF utilizes 0.9 percent of the funding for DOE's applied energy research, development, demonstration, and commercial application budget for each fiscal year from the Office of Electricity, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, the Office of Nuclear Energy, and the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response.

The EA 2020 amendment represented an opportunity to talk to the key stakeholders in the applied energy programs and assess the options available to DOE regarding TCF. OTT, the applied energy programs, and national laboratory stakeholders all informed the decision to adjust the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) TCF solicitation from a one-sized-fits-all structure to one with more flexibility.

DOE’s new approach to TCF offers applied energy programs the following three options for deciding how to obligate their funding:

 

Vehicle Technologies Office Lab Call 
Only visible when logged in with a national lab account.

Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management Lab Call

Bioenergy Technologies Office Lab Call 
Only visible when logged in with a national lab account.

Advanced Manufacturing Office Lab Call

  • Due: July 15, 2022
  • Technology-Specific Commercialization CRADAs ($7.3M-$8.6M): Some DOE programs opted to continue soliciting collaborative technology-specific partnerships between national laboratories and private sector companies in a similar manner to previous years' iterations of the TCF. OTT has worked with programs that selected this option to ensure a focus on commercialization is maintained and other TCF requirements are incorporated. Resulting projects will continue to utilize the CRADA mechanism.
  • Technology-Specific Commercialization Programs ($1.1M-$2.5M): DOE programs have been given the opportunity to develop their own proposed use of TCF funding that meets the statutory requirements of TCF. These proposed activities can leverage or expand existing technology-specific commercialization programs or create new ones. However, programs must coordinate these activities with OTT, and the focus must remain on funding to national laboratories to promote the commercialization of DOE-funded technologies.
  • Core Laboratory Infrastructure for Commercialization ($13.6M-$16.7M): DOE programs have been given the opportunity to work with OTT and develop a multiple program office joint lab call that combines available TCF funding to address core barriers and known gaps impeding national laboratory commercialization, as well as root causes (inside and outside of the labs) for existing commercialization challenges and barriers. These proposed activities will help address systemic barriers, gaps, and root causes so that DOE is more effective at driving the commercialization of promising energy technologies.

OTT and all DOE program offices expect to learn from this new FY22 approach and will continue to incorporate lessons learned into future fiscal year TCF approaches and lab calls. 

Please reach out with questions by emailing DOE OTT’s TCF team at TCF@hq.doe.gov.

Latest TCF News: 

1 Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109–58, 109th Cong. (August 8, 2005), Improved technology transfer of energy technologies, 42 U.S. Code § 16391 (a). 

2 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law 116–260, 116th Cong. (December 27, 2020), 134 Stat. 2597, Sec. 9003. https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ260/PLAW-116publ260.pdf.