Another vastly underutilized resource is the national labs, which are some of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the world. Here again, despite the impressive credentials, the labs are open to you as a resource and, in fact, have developed a number of programs to help you access them more easily.
For example, Argonne National Laboratory has developed three programs specifically to engage with the private sector. The ACCESS program is focused specifically on next generation batteries, Nano Design Works offers a more wide ranging set of services and Chain Reaction helps to incubate new technologies for the marketplace.
Andreas Roelofs, who heads up many of these efforts at Argonne, stressed to me that they are eager to hear from you. “If you want to improve your business by creating better materials, more efficient chemical processes, more advanced electronics or whatever, chances are we can help or at least point you in the right direction. Even more importantly, we want our work to be useful and to make an impact,” he told me.