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DOE Launches New Office to Coordinate Critical and Emerging Technology

Dec. 18, 2023
The office will support DOE’s expertise on technologies like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum and semiconductors.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Office of Critical and Emerging Technology to ensure U.S. investments in artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, quantum computing, and semiconductors influence the DOE’s assets and expertise to accelerate progress in these sectors. 

Critical and emerging technologies (CET) have broad applications throughout DOE, such as clean energy, national defense, and pandemic preparedness. While major improvements in critical and emerging technologies (CET) help the economy and national security, it also includes risks, which DOE’s new office will focus to help solve critical science, energy, and security challenges.

“Our new Office of Critical and Emerging Technology will leverage DOE’s world-class scientists and technical capabilities in the interest of American security and competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm.

Helena Fu, former senior advisor to the under secretary for Science and Innovation, former director for Technology and National Security at the National Security Council, was appointed as director of the new office. Fu will also serve as DOE’s Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer to coordinate the Department’s use of AI, manage risks from its use and promote innovation.

The office, reporting to the under secretary for Science and Innovation, will focus collective efforts across the Department, including its 17 national laboratories and numerous university research and development programs. 

The office will serve as a single point of contact on CET at the department to help ensure that the federal government, in partnership with the private sector and academia, continue to research, develop, and deploy key innovations impacting U.S. competitiveness and security.

The new office will help the Department support the goal of strengthening the nation’s resilience against climate change impacts and build an equitable clean energy economy for the future.

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