Apply for CRI’s Cohort 6

Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at Argonne National Laboratory, will begin accepting applications on September 21 for Cohort 6. Entrepreneurs in any technology area that can leverage Argonne’s resources in partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the Department of Energy (DOE) are encouraged to pre-apply here.

Technologies that fall into Argonne’s areas of excellence include advanced materials, catalysis, transportation and nanotechnology.

CRI Cohort 4 innovator, Karin Calvinho, CTO of RenewCO2, working at Argonne. CRI offers two year fellowships to clean energy startups.

The CRI Program supports the next generation of energy entrepreneurs to move their innovations to market. A new cohort is selected each year through an annual call for applications. This year, the application will open on September 21, 2021 and run though 5 p.m. Central Standard Daylight Time on October 31, 2021. Those chosen for cohort 6 will begin work in June 2022.

“Looking forward, the program will focus on inclusive innovation,” said Deena Wright, CRI’s Senior Program Specialist who works with the cohorts. “The cohort model that CRI uses offers strong peer support from a broad range of disciplines, in addition to those provided by the CRI team,” she noted. “There are clear benefits to including a diverse group of people in our program–more specifically broad collections of ideas and unique perspectives.”

To pre-apply, visit

Informational Webinars

CRI will host a series of four informational webinars in August, September and October for interested applicants to learn specifics about the program. If selected, innovators receive salary, benefits, travel expenses and $220,000 in support of technical work at Argonne.

Wednesday, August 25, 11 a.m. Central Standard Time

Tuesday, September 14, 2 p.m. Central Standard Time

Friday, October 1, 10 a.m. Central Standard Time

Thursday, October 21, 3 p.m. Central Standard Time

Register here  for the webinars.

About CRI

CRI is a fellowship focusing on energy and science technologies. Four to six teams/individuals are selected to join CRI each year through a competitive process. Program participants receive the financial and technical support needed to perform early-stage research and development (R&D) with the goal to launch energy or manufacturing businesses.

The two-year elite program teaches the best and brightest from across the nation the entrepreneurship skills needed to develop transformative clean energy technologies and innovations in advanced manufacturing.

“This year, more than other years, it’s critically important to foster inclusive innovation,” says John Carlisle, CRI’s director. “As they progress through the program, our cohorts generate jobs through investments and expansion,” he points out. “Not only do they create change with their technologies, they also have an immediate economic impact that’s inclusive from beginning to end.” To date CRI cohorts have raised nearly $150 million while creating 247 jobs.

Cohort Benefits

CRI offers innovators a two-year runway to develop and scale their technologies while being supported by fellowship funding that covers salary, benefits, use of laboratory equipment and office space. Through partnerships with mentor organizations, cohort members get assistance developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and potential commercial partners. Each innovator partners with an Argonne scientist who serves as the Principal Investigator, supporting the innovator’s R & D within the laboratory. Learn more about the program’s benefits here.

CRI Partners

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

CRI is part of the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). EERE created the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs to provide an institutional home for innovative postdoctoral researchers to build their research into products and train to be entrepreneurs.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen U.S. economic growth, energy security, and environmental quality.

Latest News

See All
  • New startups Join Argonne’s Entrepreneurship Program

    Chain Reaction Innovations announces new cohort Clean energy startups embed at Argonne to develop innovative technologies that hold promise for helping mitigate climate change. Four startups joined Chain Reaction Innovations, the entrepreneurship program at Argonne, to develop clean-energy technologies over two years. Four new… Read More

  • Demo Day Showcased Innovators at Four National Labs

    Argonne hosted Demo Day in downtown Chicago, an event celebrating innovation at four laboratory-embedded entrepreneurship programs. Resilience of innovators recognized at gathering of national lab-based technology incubators. Getting an invention or new breakthrough from the laboratory into the broader world requires more than just a… Read More

  • Argonne Hosts Demo Day for Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program

    U.S. Department of Energy event in Chicago, June 7, showcases innovative startups BY CHRISTINA NUNEZ MAY 25, 2023 Entrepreneurs with technologies for a clean energy future connect with resources and innovation ecosystems at U.S. Department of Energy national labs through the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program. Read More

  • Sustainable Time Travel Technology Earns CRI Golden Buzzer Award

    The coveted Golden Buzzer Award was given for the first time at CRI’s Cohort 7 Pitch Competition. This year, to celebrate the return of in-person Finals at Argonne National Laboratory, organizers of the event added the ‘Golden Buzzer’ Award. It functions like the popular gameshow,… Read More

  • Finalists Chosen for CRI’s Cohort 7

    Eighteen individuals comprising 16 startups advanced to the Finals pitch competition to join Chain Reaction Innovations’ Cohort 7. A broad range of energy innovations are represented in this year’s applicants, including energy storage and generation, decarbonization, circular economy, manufacturing, materials and vehicle technologies and materials. Read More