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DOE Announces Energy Incubator Funding Opportunity

Nov. 2, 2020
With up to US$4 million in available funding, the EPIC FOA is the second of a two-part, US$5 million program.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for its Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC). With up to US$4 million in available funding, the EPIC FOA is the second of a two-part, US$5 million program sponsored by the DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT). The FOA seeks to recognize innovation accelerating organizations focused on stimulating energy hardware development and related supportive ecosystems.

“The DOE is home to the world’s greatest R&D talent and America succeeds when there is a comprehensive value chain that encompasses all levels of technological development,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “EPIC fills a critical niche in the innovation ecosystem, providing additional support to those organizations willing to take the risk of supporting budding entrepreneurs and technologists at their earliest and most vulnerable stages.”

The first part of EPIC was the prize portion, which awarded a collective total of US$1 million to 20 incubators focused on developing strong regional innovation clusters. For the second part, the DOE plans to fund organizations that propose and implement regional engagement plans that encourage ecosystems for testing, validation, and demonstration of technologies to help them scale and enhance U.S. energy manufacturing competitiveness. For purposes of the EPIC FOA, 'innovation accelerating organizations' include incubators, accelerators, co-working startup communities, or other models that accomplish similar goals.

With EPIC, the OTT underscores the importance of clusters, which increase productivity of area companies, drive the direction and pace of innovation, and stimulate the formation of new businesses, further reinforcing the cluster itself.

“In the OTT, we’ve invested in strengthening America’s regional innovation ecosystems through targeted outreach, streamlined policies, and — for the first time — funding new programs,” said Chief Commercialization Officer and OTT Director Conner Prochaska. “We’ve learned a great deal this year from the prize portion of EPIC and we’re applying those lessons to the FOA, which offers applicants significantly more resources to build tomorrow’s energy technologies.”

The OTT advances the economic, energy, and national security interests of the United States by expanding the commercial impact of the DOE’s R&D portfolio. An informational webinar will take place on Nov. 19, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and can be accessed here. More information is available on the OTT website and the OTT Exchange.

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