WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a funding opportunity designed to accelerate the movement of innovative energy technologies from university laboratories into the market. DOE said that, while America’s research institutions have been important in generating new ideas, not all have been efficient in bridging the gap between the lab and the entrepreneurs needed to quickly move technology innovations into the marketplace.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), entitled Innovation Ecosystem Development Initiative, seeks applications proposing approaches to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies developed at universities. Applications should propose a strategy and describe a specific implementation plan.

An “innovation ecosystem” may include:

• The network of leaders, service providers, and entrepreneurs who are expected to participate.

• Connections to sources of capital (angel networks, venture community, and other financial institutions).

• Strategies for mentoring and training future entrepreneurs.

• Programs that would encourage and train researchers to start up small and innovative businesses.

• Other sources of funding that can leverage the federal investment.

• The composition of a board of advisors or evaluation panel.

• An explanation of how federal funds will be leveraged with non-federal funds.

A total of up to $2.1 million is available for this program, and DOE expects to make two awards. Annual grants per awardee will not exceed $350,000 for a term of three years.

Applicants may include, but are not limited to, universities, national laboratories, private research institutions, trade organizations, entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, and clean-tech investors.

To apply or request further information regarding the announcement, the FOA can be viewed at http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=sQl1L2rLn51311MMdCmtv1Y52vsxDgG9BGFmnmCNcjSYncPYNJrL!229180323?oppId=54726&mode=VIEW. Applications are due July 9, 2010.

Publication date:06/14/2010