Help Solve the Critical Challenge of Our Time


Applications for Cohort 8 will open on October 15, 2023 and will close at 5 p.m. CT on November 30th, 2023. Apply now!

Info Webinars

Interested in becoming one of CRI’s newest innovators? Attend one of our info webinars to ask questions and learn more.

Register For a Webinar


Have a specific question that you’d like to ask one-on-one? Drop into CRI’s Cohort 8 Zoom Office hours every Friday from 2-3 p.m. Central while applications are open starting Friday, October 20 and ending Friday, November 17th.

Program Highlights

  • Fellowship stipend of $115k per year for two years plus healthcare benefits
  • Non-dilutive funding for de-risking technological innovations
  • Access to technical experts, facilities, and unique capabilities at Argonne National Laboratory
  • Networking access to business experts, investors, mentors, and corporate partners
  • Argonne takes no equity stake

Application – Preview

You may preview the Cohort 8 application pdf to fill it out in advance. Note: we offer the pdf version as a courtesy so you can gather all the information in one place before submitting online using our Proposal Space portal. Only applications submitted through Proposal Space will be considered. E-mailed applications will be declined.

Do You Qualify?

Four requirements to apply to CRI. Mission, 5 years of tech R&D experience, live in Chicago for 2 years, U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident.Technology areas that the U.S. Department of Energy considers for funding:

  • Advanced materials
  • Improving manufacturing efficiency
  • Industrial decarbonization
  • Lowering building carbon and energy footprints
  • Solar energy
  • Quantum computing
  • Energy storage – electric grid
  • Circularity (Re-X pathways; circular economy)
  • Food, water, energy nexus
  • Carbon dioxide removal (CDR)
  • Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)
  • Other as determined by CRI and the U.S. Department of Energy

Preferred applicants should be technical founders with hands-on laboratory experience developing a technology innovation that is early-stage.

Note: applicants must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent U.S. resident at the time they submit an application.

Pre-apply to Cohort 8 and be notified when applications open on Oct. 15th. Know someone who would be perfect for our program? Nominate them here!

Read the FAQs to learn more about the program and process.

See the CRI Director Dick Co talk about applying to our program.

Can your clean energy technology help solve climate change?

It takes a special type of innovator to tackle the world’s greatest challenges in clean energy. And it takes a special type of program to help that innovator succeed.

Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) wants to ensure innovators who are pursuing transformational technologies thrive by offering an unparalleled level of support that bridges the chasm between the creation of an idea and its readiness for the marketplace.

CRI is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP). Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm talks about the value LEEP provides to early-stage cleantech startups.


CRI provides this support system for the best and brightest innovators. Learn about the fellowship benefits.

CRI accepts applications for its two-year fellowship primarily in cleantech areas that leverage the vast resources and specialty focus areas at Argonne.


CRI startup working at Argonne National Laboratory

Become a part of Chain Reaction Innovations