The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a new pilot initiative intended to reduce some of the hurdles that prevent energy companies from working with the DOE's national laboratories.
The new Agreements for Commercializing Technology will help businesses bring job-creating technologies to the market faster by allowing them to work with the DOE's national laboratories from start to finish to develop and deliver new clean energy technologies and other innovations, the DOE explains.
The program is designed to remove the barriers for businesses and start-up companies that are interested in accessing the research, facilities and scientists available at the laboratories – an initiative that the DOE says will catapult innovative new products to the marketplace.
Among other objectives, the agreements aim to establish a more flexible framework for negotiation of intellectual-property rights in order to facilitate the introduction of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, as well as to help national laboratories to partner with businesses using terms that are better aligned with industry practice, thus attracting more private investment.
In addition, it encourages the national labs to participate in groups formed to address complex technological challenges that are of mutual interest.
"To compete in the 21st [century] global economy, we need to make it easier for businesses to move great ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace," says DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. "The Agreements for Commercializing Technology will cut red tape for businesses and start-ups interested in working with our nation's crown jewels of innovation – the national laboratories – and strengthen new domestic industries by helping bring innovative, job-creating technologies to the market faster."
In January, the DOE will announce the laboratories selected to participate in the pilot.