DOE Aims to Double Number of Startups Coming Out of the National Labs
Department of Energy Launches “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator”
As part of the Administration’s Startup America Initiative, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced recently the “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” challenge, which will give start-up companies the opportunity to license groundbreaking technologies developed by the national laboratories for $1,000 and build successful businesses. As part of this effort, the Department is reducing both the cost and paperwork requirements for start-up companies to obtain an option agreement to license some of the 15,000 patents and patent applications held by our 17 national laboratories.
Beginning May 2, 2011, DOE will kick off the challenge by posting a streamlined template option agreement online for entrepreneurs to submit to laboratories. Entrepreneurs must identify the technology of interest and submit a business plan to be considered for the program. Participants will have until December 15 to make their submission to the laboratory.
As part of the program, the Department will reduce the total upfront cost of licensing DOE patents in a specific technology to a $1,000 upfront fee for portfolios of up to three patents. This represents a savings of $10,000 to $50,000 on average in upfront fees. Other license terms, such as equity and royalties, will be negotiated on a case by case basis and will typically be due once the company grows and achieves wide scale commercial success.
Entrepreneurs interested in participating can already view the available technologies on the Department’s Energy Innovation Portal.