Seven new innovators will join Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory, as part of the elite program’s sixth cohort.
The seven, who comprise five clean energy startups, will join the two-year program starting this June. Each innovator will collaborate with a host scientist at Argonne while embedded full time. Innovators plan to develop clean energy startups that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase U.S. competitiveness in emerging energy technologies. These resulting technologies support the country’s equitable clean energy economy and may help the U.S. reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“We are excited to support these innovators and help them leverage Argonne’s deep expertise and world-class facilities to accelerate the development of their climate-fighting technologies. Addressing climate change will require speed and scale across all sectors, and these startups are poised to make an impact when they graduate from CRI.” — Dick Co, Chain Reaction Innovations’ director
Chain Reaction Innovations’ impact is far-reaching as it celebrates its sixth year of embedding entrepreneurs at Argonne. CRI’s first cohort graduated in June 2019, amassing millions in investment. The combined total raised by CRI startups through April 2022 is over $183 million and the program helped create 358 jobs to date.
“Now more than ever, science-based clean energy technologies are poised to create market impact,” noted Argonne Director Paul Kearns. “I am pleased to welcome this diverse sixth cohort to the lab as they partner with Argonne scientists to solve the nation’s most complex energy challenges.”
The seven new innovators in CRI’s Cohort 6 are:
- Ryan Hackler and Robert Kennedy, Chemical Recycling of Plastic Waste to Higher Value Lubricants
- Christopher Nicholas, Bio-Based Acrylics from Lactic Acid at Cost-Parity to Petrochemicals
- Joanne Rodriguez, Micoremediation of Waste into New Materials
- Michelle Ruiz, Valorization of Wastewater for Production of Nutritious Food
- Sean Sullivan and Manish Kumar Singh, Silicon-Compatible Platform for Quantum Applications
“We are excited to support these innovators and help them leverage Argonne’s deep expertise and world-class facilities to accelerate the development of their climate-fighting technologies,” said Dick Co, CRI’s director. “Addressing climate change will require speed and scale across all sectors, and these startups are poised to make an impact when they graduate from CRI.”
Innovators were selected following an extensive national solicitation process and two-part pitch competition, with reviews from industry experts, investors, scientists and engineers. A total of 199 applications were received, with the top rated 18 individuals participating in CRI’s Virtual Finals Pitch Competition in February.
The CRI program is supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office; the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program; and by Argonne National Laboratory.
Applications for CRI’s seventh cohort will open on Sept.15.
For more information about Cohort 6 and their technologies, visit CRI Cohort 6.
About Chain Reaction Innovations
Chain Reaction Innovations provides a two-year fellowship for entrepreneurs focusing on clean energy and science technologies. Selected annually through an application call, the program enables innovators to work on their technology full-time, de-risking their startups with the help of leading experts and equipment from Argonne National Laboratory. Each cohort works to build their startups into market-ready businesses. CRI is located at Argonne and supported by area mentors from the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago.
Chain Reaction Innovations 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’s (EERE) mission is to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and solutions to equitably transition America to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050, and ensure the clean energy economy benefits all Americans, creating good paying jobs for the American people — especially workers and communities impacted by the energy transition and those historically underserved by the energy system and overburdened by pollution.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.
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