Newswise — Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions and Office of Science today jointly released a request for information (RFI) to strengthen place-based innovation activities by leveraging DOE national laboratories, plants, and sites for the benefit of the American people.

For decades, the DOE national laboratories, plants, and sites have catalyzed innovation that has driven economic growth in local communities and across the globe. New businesses, good-paying jobs, higher standards of living, and environmental sustainability have resulted from these innovative powerhouses.

Economic growth and development arising from the pipeline of federally funded research and development has been localized in major United States metropolitan regions resulting in thriving innovation ecosystems that have helped power the American economy today. However, opportunities remain to build place-based innovation ecosystems across the United States. 

DOE is interested in gathering input on how initiatives that promote and strengthen regional ecosystems can power the next wave of American innovation and economic prosperity by leveraging its national laboratory system.

"Place-based innovation initiatives are key to the success of DOE’s mission going forward," said DOE Under Secretary for Science and Innovation Dr. Geraldine Richmond. "DOE National Labs are catalysts to make sure the benefits of the new energy economy reach all corners of the nation so that communities can thrive."

Specifically, feedback is being sought about how DOE could potentially stimulate innovation in these regions surrounding its national laboratories and sites by:

  • Accelerating commercialization of breakthrough technologies
  • Driving development in the industrial and technology sectors of the future, such as innovations in advanced manufacturing, and supply chains, among others
  • Fostering sustainable and equitable economic growth in underinvested regions of the United States
  • Creating long-term high paying jobs in existing and new industries
  • Facilitating engagement and partnership with local and regional communities
  • Training and educating both the current and future diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce.

Innovation ecosystems anchored around DOE national laboratories, plants, and sites can directly support DOE’s missions, including advancing new and emerging clean energy technologies, combatting the effects of climate change, developing technologies to support our nation’s security, the cleaning up of legacy nuclear waste, and building a technically skilled workforce.

To review the RFI and instructions for how to respond, please visit the notice. Responses are due by March 28, 2023.

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This RFI is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement or other funding program. DOE may issue a funding program in the future based on or related to the content and responses to this RFI; however, DOE may also elect not to issue a funding program.

OTT's mission is to expand the public impact of the department's research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolio to advance the economic, energy, and national security interests of the nation.

DOE’s Office of Science is the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, stewards 10 DOE national laboratories, and has a mission to deliver scientific discoveries and major scientific tools to transform our understanding of nature and advance the energy, economic, and national security of the United States.