DOE’s Lab-Corps program is a specialized training curriculum aimed at accelerating the transfer of clean energy technologies from national laboratories into the commercial marketplace. The training provides an entrepreneurial education to national laboratory researchers and connects them to potential customers and industry partners, helping to close the knowledge gap between researchers and the marketplace.
As part of Technology-to-Market’s Lab Impact portfolio, DOE’s Lab-Corps focuses on fostering collaboration between the national laboratories and the private sector. Built on the validated National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Model, the two-month program provides scientists with a better understanding of the commercialization process. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) manages the program and supports teams from other national laboratories, including:
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
- Idaho National Laboratory
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Sandia National Laboratories
Customized Curriculum and Teams
Teams completing DOE’s Lab-Corps program consist of at least one technical expert, an entrepreneurial lead, and an industry mentor. During two intensive months, each team participates in a variety of interactive workshops and market discovery activities designed to advance their entrepreneurial knowledge and map out potential paths toward commercialization. The following activities are included in the training:
- Customer Discovery interviews
- Business Model Canvass development
- Value Proposition identification
- Industry mentor and faculty engagement
Leaders from the entrepreneurial world, energy sector, and venture capital industry serve as instructors, assisting teams in crafting value propositions, identifying customer segments, understanding supply chains, and developing viable business plans.
To learn more about current and past participants, visit our DOE's Lab-Corps team page. You can also hear from graduates and faculty members in our video blog: National Lab Scientists Praise Entrepreneurial 'Boot Camp.'
The Future of DOE's Lab-Corps
When the fourth class of participants graduate in December 2016, more than 50 teams will have undergone DOE Lab-Corps' rigorous entrepreneurial training. The program continues to expand, adding more national labs and DOE offices with each class.
Teams from our first and second classes have gone on to meet with representatives from major retailers, secure nearly $7 million in follow-on funding, and form their own startup companies.
With three more classes slated to start in 2017, we encourage you to stay up-to-date with the program by signing up for our regular Technology-to-Market newsletter.
To find information about the commercialization of DOE's Lab-Corps technologies or to find contact information for a specific DOE laboratory, visit the DOE Energy Innovation Portal.