Help Solve the Critical Challenge of Our Time


Applications for Cohort 9 will open in Fall 2024. Please pre-register to be notified when they open.

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
  • Neither Argonne nor DOE take an equity stake

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