About the Energy Innovation Portal
The Energy Innovation Portal is a one-stop resource for Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) technologies. This application enables users to locate technologies developed with DOE funding and available for licensing. These technologies can be viewed as marketing summaries, which provide business friendly descriptions of the technology, or the patent itself. When you find a technology you are interested in, simply fill out the contact form to get directly in touch with the licensing representative from each laboratory.
Creation of the Energy Innovation Portal
In its proposal to manage the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC came up with the concept for an Intellectual Portal (IP Portal). The IP Portal was to be a single source for national laboratories, and other stakeholders (such as university partners) to post high quality marketing summaries with the hope of increasing licensing deal flow. Many times, potential licensees of laboratory technology had mentioned the difficulty that they experienced while searching for licensing opportunities. The Energy Innovation Portal (the new name of the IP Portal) was designed to help alleviate this concern, and to simultaneously improve the opportunities for cross-lab intellectual property (IP) bundling.
NREL, initially in collaboration with Battelle Memorial Institute, created the technical architecture and executed the software development for the Energy Innovation Portal, including the selection and integration of more than 50 software applications. The Java-based website employs a MySQL relational database management system and includes a search engine tuned to meet the needs of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. NREL oversaw the initial development, and executed the subsequent improvements, of a customized software script to automatically populate the MySQL database with more than 16,000 DOE-created patents and patent applications. The data was sourced from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Patents from DOE national laboratories are filed under the names of their managing organizations— for NREL, it was previously the Midwest Research Institute and is now the Alliance for Sustainable Energy— but an improved algorithm associated laboratory contract number and management organizations to the laboratories themselves, allowing users to find the relevant patents by simply searching for "NREL" or the names of the other national labs.
Licensing DOE Technologies
As research performed within the DOE National Laboratories develops into promising discoveries, patents are pursued to protect the intellectual property. For-profit entities can leverage DOE investments in early-stage and applied research by licensing these intellectual properties to develop the technology toward commercial application.
The licensing process is slightly different across national laboratories, so contact the licensing representative listed at the bottom of each marketing summary to discuss your options and start the process.