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February 06, 2023 | Tom Ballard

DOE seeks input on place-based innovation strategies

How can the Department of Energy stimulate innovation in regions surrounding its national labs and sites? That's an answer you can give.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions and Office of Science have 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.

In the announcement, the federal agency noted that national laboratories, plants, and sites have catalyzed innovation for decades 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 U.S. 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 country.

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. 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 country;
  • Creating long-term high-paying jobs in existing and new industries;
  • Facilitating engagement and partnership with local and regional communities; and
  • Training and educating both the current and future diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce.

The RFI and instructions for how to respond can be found here. Responses are due by March 28.

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