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DOE launches "America's next top energy innovator".

April 5, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") recently announced that as part of President Barack Obama's Startup America initiative it would begin offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to license approximately 15,000 patents held by the country's national laboratories at a drastically-reduced rate.

The "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" initiative aims to double the number of startup companies coming out of the National Laboratories and harness the innovative capabilities of small firms to increase the commercialization of federally-owned patents--of which, only about 10 percent currently have been commercialized.

From May 2 to Dec. 15, 2011, DOE will reduce the total upfront cost of licensing a specific technology to a $1,000 upfront fee for portfolios of up to three patents. On average, this represents a savings of $10,000 to $50,000 in upfront fees. Other license terms--such as equity and royalties--will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but typically will not be due until the firm achieves wide-scale commercial success. To participate, applicants must submit a business plan.

Among the technologies available for licensing are a software program that helps reduce building energy use and a process for converting solar power into thermal energy.

In addition to the challenge program, the DOE is reducing the advanced payment it requires companies to pay before using national lab facilities for collaborative research and development. Previously, companies were required to pay upfront for 90 days of research work in the facilities, but now only a 60-day upfront payment will be required.

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Publication:The Weekly Advocate e-Newsletter
Date:Apr 6, 2011
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