When national laboratories, with their expansive facilities and amazing capacity, join forces with research universities and their innovative scientists and students, powerful things can happen.
A new partnership between the University of Delaware and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, announced last week during a two-day Innovation in Materials Science workshop, has just that sort of potential.
One of those areas of synergy is with Argonne’s newest innovation program, called Chain Reaction Innovations.
With its new Chain Reaction Innovations program, directed by John Carlisle, Argonne offers uncommon traction for energy and science entrepreneurs, awarding “embedded” status at the lab for two years, with up to $420,000 in funding, laboratory and office space, access to technical guidance and collaboration, business mentors and other supports.
It’s a smart idea, Carlisle said, to bring market intelligence into the earliest stages of discovery science, because it improves the science in ways unanticipated by most scientists working in the lab.
“Product innovation is not the same as great science,” he said. “The differences are subtle, but important.”