Department of Energy

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Announces Expanded Partnership Opportunities with the National Laboratories

November 13, 2017

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced the authorization for National Laboratory contractors to use Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT) to facilitate new strategic partnerships with the national labs. This authorization comes after the ACT pilot successfully completed a six-year pilot study.

“Implementation of ACT was driven by the Department’s need for more flexible lab partnerships and this Administration’s commitment to working with the public and private sectors,” said Secretary Perry. “Authorizing a new technology transfer tool will diversify the mechanisms for garnering and maintaining those partnerships, along with removing barriers for businesses and other entities interested in working with DOE’s labs.”

The ACT facilitates broad access to DOE Laboratories’ expertise, capabilities, and facilities to enable and encourage U.S. economic growth. By partnering with the DOE National Laboratories through any of the available arrangements, industry and academia can leverage the world class resources to advance their scientific and engineering endeavors.

Secretary Perry also authorized a new pilot program called FedACT, which expands the use of ACT to allow organizations to partner with DOE’s National Labs on federally-funded projects.  This pilot will allow the Laboratory contractors to develop test cases, explore practices that ensure transparency of ACT terms and conditions, and monitor efficient communication and approvals between the federal sponsor and organization.

Many of the ACT projects housed under the pilot would not have been possible without this type of contractual agreement. For example, ACT enabled the participation of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) Program. The IN2 program provided funding for small businesses to have access to NREL’s facilities for research, testing, and validation of their technologies. Wells Fargo provided financial services, products, education, and mentorship, as well as an opportunity to beta test the resulting technology.  Originally launched in 2014 with $10 million, Wells Fargo provided an additional $20 million in 2017 to the ACT-enabled IN2 program.

For more information about ACT click HERE.