Karin Calvinho Selected for Elite Chain Reaction Innovations Program

Karin Argonne FinalsCalvinho during the Finals Pitch Competition

Six new innovators will be joining Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory, as part of the elite program’s fourth cohort.

The six will join the two-year program starting this June, and each innovator will collaborate with a host scientist on staff at Argonne National Laboratory, while embedded full-time there, to develop revolutionary technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase US competitiveness in emerging fields like quantum computing. The resulting technologies will assist the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Argonne National Laboratory in solving pressing, national problems related to science and technology.

“This year’s cohort is particularly well aligned with Argonne’s initiatives in quantum computing, sustainable economy, energy storage, and advanced manufacturing,” said John Carlisle, Director of Chain Reaction Innovations.

“We are excited to be welcoming some of the brightest and most promising innovators in the country to Argonne,” Argonne Director Paul Kearns said. “Chain Reaction Innovations is a rare program that offers tremendous resources to visiting innovators, while also bringing fresh ideas into the lab.”

A total of 156 innovators applied to the program, with the top 15 participating in the Finals Pitch Competition held at Argonne on February 18, 2020. Calvinho was among the six selected from that group.

Argonne’s Chain Reaction Innovations program, which is under the lab’s Science and Technology Partnerships Outreach directorate, is funded by The Advanced Manufacturing Office within the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Chain Reaction Innovations’ impact is far-reaching as it enters its fourth year of embedding entrepreneurs at Argonne National Laboratory. CRI’s first cohort graduated in June 2019, amassing millions in investment. The combined total raised by CRI innovators through February 2020 is nearly $18 million. In addition, the program helped create 76 jobs to date.

Argonne’s capabilities include three important DOE Office of Science user facilities — the Argonne Leadership  Computing Facility, the Center for Nanoscale Materials and the Advanced Photon Source, the nation’s highest-energy X-ray synchrotron for materials characterization. In addition, the laboratory is home to 1,600 scientists and engineers and a variety of other resources, such as the Center for Transportation Research and energy storage leaders ACCESS and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR).

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