BERKELEY, Calif. — Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories/California (SNL/CA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), has been awarded $4.15 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to jointly launch a new small business clean energy pilot.

“Our pilot, which we’ve named LabSTAR, unites three national labs — Berkeley, Sandia, and Livermore — to serve as a Bay Area ecosystem for providing access to the unique assets of the national lab system, such as basic science, prototyping, analysis, supercomputers, accelerators, and more,” said Alecia Ward, LabSTAR program lead and also head of program and business development for LBNL’s Energy Technologies Area.

The funding is part of DOE’s $20 million investment in small business assistance, which is one component of its National Laboratory Impact Initiative. This initiative seeks to significantly increase the impact of DOE national labs on the U.S. clean energy sector. LabSTAR, with LBNL serving as the lead, was awarded the pilot for applications in four sectors: geothermal technologies, fuel cell technologies, battery technologies, and advanced manufacturing, which could cover any technology.

Small businesses, defined as a company with fewer than 500 employees, will be able to apply for up to $300,000 in vouchers for work at one of the three national labs. A successful application will require a 20 percent cost share. “They could apply to do research with a particular scientist or use a certain facility, such as the High Performance Computing Innovation Center at Livermore, Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, or the Molecular Foundry at Berkeley Lab for nanoscale research,” said Ward. “We expect dozens of small businesses will be able to benefit from this program in its first two years.”

LabSTAR also includes support from a diverse range of state, local, and regional partners, as well as startup incubators like Cleantech Open and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and business organizations like the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

“We especially have strong support from incubators in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Hawaii,” Ward said. “The purpose of these partnerships is to reach as many small and emerging technology businesses as possible and to have as strong an applicant pool as possible.”

For more information on Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, visit

For more information on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, visit

For more information on Sandia National Laboratories, visit

Publication date: 8/7/2015

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