Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

DOE Energy Innovation Portal Connects Innovative Energy Technologies to the Marketplace

posted by Wendy Stott
Published: February 11, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Innovation Portal now has more than 300 business-friendly marketing summaries available to help investors and companies identify and license leading-edge energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The Portal is an online tool that links available DOE innovations to the entrepreneurs who can successfully license and commercialize them. By helping to move these innovations from the laboratory to the market, the Portal facilitates an integral step in supporting growing America's clean energy industries and meeting the Administration's clean energy goals.

"Our National Laboratories are a major driver of innovation in this country. By connecting American entrepreneurs with cutting-edge, ready-to-commercialize technologies from the National Labs, the DOE Innovation Portal is helping to grow our economy and create the next generation of American jobs," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Currently, the Energy Innovation Portal contains more than 300 technology marketing summaries and more than 15,000 DOE-funded U.S. patents and patent applications. The guiding principle behind the development of the Portal is to create a user-friendly and easily accessible website where business professionals can identify DOE-funded innovations that have the potential to create new energy market opportunities.

The Portal was inspired by success stories like the Ampulse Corporation. Ampulse is a thin-film silicon photovoltaic company created through the union of two unique breakthrough technologies one invented at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the other at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. The technologies created at these two National Laboratories are enabling Ampulse to develop more efficient and lower cost thin-film photovoltaic devices.

The Portal is one of the many tools the Department is using to facilitate and replicate this kind of successful collaboration and help new clean energy technologies drive the creation of new clean energy jobs. From solar technologies to biofuels to wind energy, the Portal features some of the foremost renewable energy breakthroughs from DOE's National Laboratories and participating research institutions. The marketing summaries on the Portal explain technologies from a business perspective, by including a description of the technology, its benefits and the potential applications of each highlighted innovation. The Portal also provides users with direct contact to a licensing professional who can answer questions and assist users in the licensing process. In just the past few months, Portal users have submitted more than 150 requests for information about DOE-funded technologies.

Below are some of the promising innovations listed on the Energy Innovation Portal and currently available for licensing:

Solar Energy Storage, Transportation and Conversion available from DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a system for converting solar energy to chemical energy and, subsequently, to thermal energy. The system includes a light-harvesting station, a storage station, and a thermal energy release station that enables transportation of stored energy over long distances.

Grid Friendly Appliance Controller available from DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
The Grid Friendly Appliance controller senses grid conditions by monitoring system frequency and provides automatic demand response in times of disruption. This simple computer chip can be installed in household appliances and can turn them off for a few minutes or even a few seconds to allow the grid to stabilize and prevent blackouts.

Growth of Lattice Matched III-V Semiconductor Materials available from DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory
High-performance semiconductor materials have a broad range of potential applications, including high efficiency solar cells, solid-state lighting, and high-speed transistors. This portfolio allows for the use of low-cost, scalable, and reusable substrates to dramatically reduce production costs for these materials.

To learn about other partnership opportunities with DOE, visit the Department's Technology Transfer website.