The Department of Energy (DOE) is releasing its annual solicitation for the Technology Commercialization Fund, dedicated to commercializing innovative energy technologies as a part of the agency’s partnership with the private sector.

The $30 million Technology Commercialization Fund is led by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions. The office leveraged research and development funding applied to energy programs to mature new technologies in the commercial sector. Through the fund, DOE aims to increase the number of technologies developed at its own national labs and enhance the agency’s technology transitions systems.

“The Technology Commercialization Fund was conceived to bring together America’s private-sector innovators with our world-class National Labs to think seriously about how to accelerate the commercialization of promising lab technologies,” Chief Commercialization Officer Conner Prochaska said in a press release. “We are always looking for new and updated models to streamline the tech-to-market process, and we’ve found that when both partners have some skin in the game, the outcomes can be truly incredible.”

The Fiscal Year 2021 solicitation is the programs sixth iteration since 2016. DOE labs, plants, and sites are all eligible to apply for the Technology Commercialization Fund and the agency encourages private sector partners to contact national labs for information on working together. Federal Technology Commercialization Funds are matched by non-Federal contributions to enable cooperative development of tech with a commercial partner. Last year, the agency funded 82 projects totaling a $33 million Federal investment matched by $36 million in private funds.

This year, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Nuclear Energy, the Office of Fossil Energy, the Office of Electricity, and the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response are participating in the program.

DOE is accepting initial proposals through October 8.

Past awards include $500,000 to the Sandia National Laboratories to develop and commercialize a cloud-based cybersecurity validation system in 2020 and $695,000 to the National Renewable Energy Lab to build out software capabilities supporting the Solar Automated Permit Processing platform in 2019, among several other projects.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.