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NREL and Shell Launch Accelerator Program for Emerging Technologies

September 26, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is collaborating with Shell to help bring emerging technologies to market.

The Shell GameChanger Accelerator Powered by NREL—or GCxN for short—partners early-stage companies with NREL and Shell GameChanger Accelerator experts, providing access to financial resources, state-of-the-art facilities, and world-class technical experts. This assistance is designed to help startups de-risk and accelerate emerging technologies on their path to market.

The multiyear, multimillion-dollar program will leverage the methodology established under another of NREL’s successful ongoing partnerships—the invitation-only Innovation Incubator (IN2) initiative with Wells Fargo—to marry the expertise of NREL and Shell scientists with the innovation of entrepreneurs. Focused on discovering and advancing emerging clean energy technologies, GCxN’s first call for participants will target technologies that will enable the grid of the future through long-term energy storage and controls.

“GCxN represents another example of the new model for industry and national lab partnerships that’s being developed and demonstrated at NREL,” said Adam Duran, the laboratory’s program manager for GCxN. “We’re working closely with Shell to identify and accelerate new technologies with high-impact potential. That’s why the program’s called GameChanger: we’re looking for the game-changing technologies that will shape the future energy landscape.”

To vet potential GCxN participants, NREL’s network of channel partners (cleantech incubators, accelerators, and universities) will recommend several startups. “We’re aiming for a pool of 50-100 candidate companies,” Duran said.

NREL will then conduct an in-house assessment of the potential participants through mid-November and name an initial cohort of four early-stage companies before the end of the calendar year. Along with access to expertise and laboratory capabilities at both NREL and Shell, each selected startup will receive as much as $250,000 in non-dilutive funding.

Learn more about how NREL supports the clean energy innovation pipeline.