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Innovation and Entrepreneurship



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NREL supports the clean energy innovation pipeline by accelerating the transfer of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies into the marketplace. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center helps connect emerging clean energy businesses with the financial community, NREL technical expertise and facilities, and the broader clean energy ecosystem.

NREL's commitment to supporting small business extends not only to clean energy companies, but also the goods and services needed for the lab to operate. Learn more about procurement opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses.


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Specialized researcher entrepreneurial training program to accelerate the transfer of Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory-developed technologies into the commercial marketplace.

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NREL Commercialization Assistance Program

Provides free assistance to help emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency companies overcome technical barriers to commercialization.

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Small Business Vouchers Pilot

Provides selected clean energy small businesses vouchers that can be exchanged for technical assistance at participating DOE national laboratories.

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Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2)

Supports early stage commercial building technology companies through technology development, validation, and pilot opportunities.

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Innovation and entrepreneurship events like the upcoming Innovation Showcase and Industry Growth Forum help early stage clean energy entrepreneurs develop market orientations by facilitating strong links with the financial community and other key stakeholders in the commercialization process. Learn more


Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED)

CREED is a joint effort between NREL, the State of Colorado, and affiliated stakeholders to enhance renewable energy economic development in Colorado by connecting clean energy entrepreneurs, investors, and local service providers. Learn more

Incubatenergy Network

The Incubatenergy Network provides nationwide coordination of clean energy incubators and stakeholders connecting to share best practices, support clean energy entrepreneurs, and ultimately help facilitate a smoother transition to a more sustainable clean energy economy. Learn more

NREL Investor Advisory Board

The NREL Investor Advisory Board serves to create mutually beneficial relationships between NREL and the investment community. The board convenes four times each year to provide the laboratory a window into investment trends and to provide investors insights into the latest developments, findings, and innovations in renewable energy and clean technology research. The board has more than 25 members with representatives from venture capital, corporate investment, family offices, independent investors, and other investment and financial institutions.