Frequently Asked Questions
Here are frequently asked questions about partnering with NREL, partnership agreements, procurement, NREL funding and payment, technology licensing and commercialization.
Types of Partners
Who does NREL partner with?
NREL partners with a variety of entities including government agencies, industry, academia, nonprofits, and small businesses. Some of our partners include Verizon, United Nations agencies, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Does NREL partner with international companies?
Yes, NREL engages in strategic partnerships that align with our mission. NREL's usual procedures apply. See technology partnership agreements for more.
Does NREL partner with international organizations?
Yes. See information about NREL's bilateral and multilateral international partnerships.
Does NREL partner with start-ups?
Yes. Learn more about NREL's commercialization programs, which support emerging clean energy entrepreneurs.
Can I register with NREL as a small business?
How can my organization partner with NREL?
Through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), NREL has a number of partnering mechanisms in place. These technology partnership agreements include:
- Agreements for commercializing a technology when a partner seeks flexible contract terms and highly-specialized or technical services to complete a project
- Cooperative research and development agreements when a partner and the lab intend to collaborate on a project
- Strategic partnership projects agreements when a partner seeks technical services to complete a project but does not intend to perform joint research.
Organizations may also partner with NREL to use the Energy Systems Integration Facility, a DOE user facility, and other NREL research facilities.
How many active partnership agreements does NREL have in place?
More than 800.
Can NREL participate in federal Interagency Agreements?
Yes, an interagency agreement is a type of strategic partnership project agreement through DOE.
Requests for Proposals, Solicitations, and Subcontracts
Does NREL procure goods and services?
NREL offers numerous procurement opportunities, including purchasing and subcontracting. See business opportunities.
Where can I find NREL's current requests for proposals/solicitations?
Can I send NREL an unsolicited proposal?
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), not NREL, serves as DOE's central point of receipt for all unsolicited proposals. See the DOE-NETL Guide for the Submission of Unsolicited Proposals.
Funding and Payment
How do payment and funding work?
When NREL performs work for others, we require payment for the first 90 days of work in advance, with subsequent payments by monthly invoicing so we always have a balance of funds to charge. For other business opportunities, it varies depending on the type of contract in place.
Is NREL funded by the U.S. government?
Yes. NREL is the principal research laboratory for DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. NREL also conducts research for DOE's Office of Science and Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Through an interagency agreement, a government organization other than DOE can directly fund NREL's work.
Can NREL get funding for my project or organization from the U.S. government?
No, you will need to apply for funding directly with the federal government. Learn about funding opportunities available from DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. USA.gov provides information on government benefits, grants, and financial aid available from the federal government.
Financing and Licensing
Will NREL help me with financing for my technology?
NREL's Industry Growth Forum provides clean energy entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their business cases to an expert panel of investors and energy executives.
What NREL technologies are available for licensing?
Our licensing opportunities are available to businesses with the technical and financial resources necessary to turn early-stage technology into commercial products. Visit the Lab Partnering Service website to find NREL technologies available for licensing.