To boost jobs and grow their businesses, American manufacturers are looking for any edge they can find to strengthen their competitiveness. The Department of Energy’s National Labs are the crown jewels of America’s R&D system, possessing unparalleled facilities and expertise. Unfortunately, many potential industry partners lack in-depth understanding of the National Labs, or how to work with them.
The Technologist in Residence (TIR) Program pairs senior technical staff from national laboratories and manufacturing companies to work together towards long-term strategic collaborative partnerships and impactful manufacturing solutions. The vision of the TIR program is to catalyze strong national laboratory-industry relationships that result in significant growth in high-impact research and development. More than a one company-one lab partnership, industry will gain insight and build relationships across the National Lab system, developing streamlined methods for establishing long-term relationships that result in collaborative research and development.
How TIR Works:
When we work together, we’re greater than the sum of our parts, and public-private collaborative partnerships will bring us one step closer to seizing the enormous manufacturing and jobs opportunity that stands before us as a nation.
Technologist in Residence Quick Facts
A Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office initiative designed to strengthen America’s competitiveness by streamlining engagement and increasing collaborative early-stage R&D between national labs and industry.
The TIR program involves the competitive selection of pairs comprised of a senior technical staff member from a National Laboratory (Lab Technologist), and a senior technical staff member from industry, a consortium of companies, or a state or regional economic development entity (Industry Technologist). Each technologist may represent single or multiple national laboratories, single or multiple companies, or other entity. These pairs of technologists will work together for a period of 18 to 24 months to accomplish several goals:
- Identify the participating company’s (or companies’) technical priorities and challenges, and the resources and capabilities across all of DOE’s National Laboratories that may be highly suitable to address them;
- Propose collaborative R&D efforts to develop science-based solutions to the company’s (or companies’) most strategic scientific, technological, and business issues; and
- Develop a general framework agreement and begin developing specific scopes of work for the proposed collaborative R&D efforts. The proposed R&D will then take place outside of the program and will not use TIR program funds.
National Lab Technologists help identify the resources, facilities, and expertise from all 17 labs that can be used to find R&D solutions for industry challenges, while members of industry will gain awareness of high-impact industrially relevant technology challenges within the national laboratory system. The national labs also gain greater knowledge of industry’s present concerns and interest areas and broaden and strengthen networks of lab technologists to more effectively support industry needs and leverage the national laboratory enterprise. The pairs work toward AMO’s core objectives of increasing U.S. competiveness in advanced manufacturing technologies and boosting energy productivity.
Prospective applicants are labs who identify an internal technologist and an industry partner who may represent a single company or a consortium of companies. The TIR program recognizes senior technologists as individuals who have the authority and expertise to (1) identify the challenges and needs of the participating industry members or resources and capabilities of the national labs; (2) propose collaborative R&D efforts to meet the industry member’s most strategic scientific, technological, and business issues; and (3) develop specific agreements and scopes of work for proposed R&D activities.
Evaluation criteria includes the technical focus, proposed approach and work plan, and team competency and resources. Proposals will be evaluated based in part on the degree to which they demonstrate additionality; a new relationship between labs and a private sector industry partner, or a previously unexplored area of focus.
Through the TIR program, labs and industry alike receive greater insight into the needs and capabilities of their partners. Additionally, each TIR pair develops an approach that streamlines the company’s ability to form partnerships with the other national labs, making lab facilities, expertise, and instrumentation that much easier to access.
Please contact Eli Levine with any questions or contact one of the designated lab points of contact. For more information, please check out the following blog:
DOE’s TIR Program Continues Collaborations Between National Labs and the Private Sector
Please continue to check in at this website for more information about a new funding opportunity to apply for.
TIR-Funded Pairs to Date:
- Argonne National Laboratory and Capstone Turbine Corporation
- Argonne National Laboratory and the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR)
- Argonne National Laboratory and Cummins
- Los Alamos National Lab and Proctor & Gamble (P&G)
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Alcoa
- Sandia National Laboratory and Lumileds
- Brookhaven National Laboratory and Henkel Corporation
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pioneer Natural Resources
- Argonne National Laboratory and Honeywell UOP
- Idaho National Laboratory and DuPont
- Argonne National Laboratory and Kyma