US Energy Department funds lab-industry partnerships

Illustration/Sandia Lab engineers testing wave energy converter (Photo: Sandia National Laboratories)

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has set aside up to $2 million in funding to foster long-term industry-lab collaborative research.

The funding allocation is part of the third cohort of the Technologist in Residence (TIR) program whose aim is to boost high-impact, early-stage collaborative research and development.

Illustration/Sandia Lab engineers testing wave energy converter (Photo: Sandia National Laboratories)

In an effort to advance several of the administration’s priorities, including enhancing the US manufacturing competitiveness and increasing economic growth, senior lab and industry researchers will work together to more deeply understand industry’s most important challenges and the national laboratory capabilities that can best solve them.

The lab technologist will provide deep technical knowledge and help the industry partners navigate and leverage the resources and expertise across all of the national labs, according to DOE.

Prospective applicants to the program include labs who identify an internal technologist and an industry partner who may represent a single company or a consortium of companies.

More than a one-company-one lab partnership, industry will gain insights and build relationships across the national lab system, while also developing streamlined methods for establishing long-term relationships that result in collaborative research and development, DOE said.

TIR partnerships run for up to two years with the goal of creating long-term working relationships with the labs that extend well beyond the program timeframe.

All DOE national laboratories are eligible to apply for funding, according to DOE, which anticipates awarding five laboratories with up to $350,000 in funding per selectee.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until funds expire, with a final deadline of May 20, 2019.