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NREL Selected to Spearhead Four Projects in DOE’s Newest Lab Impact Program

October 28, 2016

The Energy Department (DOE) recently announced a new pilot program called Lab-Bridge that will make it easier for DOE national laboratories to transfer their innovative technologies to the marketplace. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been selected to participate in four of the eight pilot projects and to serve as the central "connecting point" for the transfer of knowledge between projects.

"We're excited to bring NREL's strengths of delivering clean energy technologies to the market through the next generation of Lab Impact programs. This is a critical time in American energy transition, and we're proud to be front and center in helping increase the industrial impact of DOE national labs," NREL Laboratory Program Manager Liz Doris said. 

Lab-Bridge was developed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Technology-to-Market Lab Impact team. The pilot's eight selected projects will help bridge the gap between national labs and industry to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies. During the next 12 to 18 months, a collaboration of 13 national labs and industry partners will explore, test, and validate innovative ideas and develop novel approaches to fast-tracking new technologies to market.  

NREL will participate in the following projects:

Intellectual Property Bundling utilizes a unique algorithm developed at NREL that is capable of identifying complementary intellectual property across multiple DOE labs and combining them into a selection of industry-ready, multi-lab technology packages that have a larger value than a single lab patent license. The objective of this collaborative lab project is to simplify licensing for industry partners.

The Lab Technology in University Business Plan Competitions project promotes the use of lab-developed technologies within university business plan competitions. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and NREL will work together to design and execute a "lab technology track" in several collegiate business plan competitions such as Cleantech University Prize, which provides clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators with competitive funding for business development and commercialization training and other educational opportunities.

The Lab Accelerator project is a collaborative lab effort to support a more comprehensive DOE Lab-Corps approach and move technologies to market by helping scientists understand their potential customers and interact with industry experts.

The Microgrid Controller Innovation Challenge will give the top eight applicants a chance to test their microgrid controllers in a standard power-hardware-in-the-loop configuration that combines hardware with modeled real-world grid scenarios at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility. Controllers will be evaluated on their ability to stabilize the grid under events such as a grid outage, highly variable generation (wind/solar), or an internal fault. Over a period of three months, contestants will have access to equipment located at the Energy Systems Integration Facility on NREL's campus in Golden, Colo. The challenge application period is expected to open next spring.

For details on other Lab-Bridge projects, see the announcement and blog post from Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

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