Press Coverage

  • Incubatenergy Network Spring 2017 Meeting

    The meeting also included a review of significant accomplishments from members of the network over the past year as well presentations from incubators such as 1776 in D.C. and Chain Reaction Innovations from Argonne National Laboratory. Members of the network mentioned several companies that have had success in fundraising, partnerships, and other achievements over the past year. Read More

  • Chain Reaction Innovations: The Midwest's Newest Cleantech Incubator Welcomes First Cohort and Gears up for Second

    Ian Hamilton had an idea for a nuclear battery the size of a small coffee can that will operate continuously for two years and be lightweight enough for soldiers to carry on months or years-long missions. He grew the idea into a startup company, Atlas Energy Systems, and attracted early funding while a student at Purdue University. But graduation threatened to pull the plug on his dreams of entrepreneurship. “I turn spent nuclear fuel into energy via radioisotope plasma generation to power the battery,” he said. “I couldn’t just go build a nuclear accelerator in my garage.” There are only a few places in the world with that type of equipment and gaining access to them can be time-consuming and costly. Until the U.S. Department of Energy launched a hybrid incubator/accelerator at Argonne National Laboratory last year. Read More

  • The Nuclear Engineer Who is the Darling of the Alt-Energy World

    Investments in private nuclear technology startups are booming, often focused on making parts of the nuclear process, like waste management or batteries, more efficient. A leader in driving this innovation is Rachel Slaybaugh through the Nuclear Bootcamp. Ian Hamiton, a graduate of the bootcamp, is now developing batteries from nuclear waste. These batteries can operate for up to 400 years and fit a range of applications, including portable power packs for soldiers and remote telecommunication system generators. Read More

  • 3 Ways Anyone Can Access The World's Best Scientific Research

    Another vastly underutilized resource is the national labs, which are some of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the world. Here again, despite the impressive credentials, the labs are open to you as a resource and, in fact, have developed a number of programs to help you access them more easily. For example, Argonne National Laboratory has developed three programs specifically to engage with the private sector. The ACCESS program is focused specifically on next generation batteries, Nano Design Works offers a more wide ranging set of services and Chain Reaction helps to incubate new technologies for the marketplace. Andreas Roelofs, who heads up many of these efforts at Argonne, stressed to me that they are eager to hear from you. "If you want to improve your business by creating better materials, more efficient chemical processes, more advanced electronics or whatever, chances are we can help or at least point you in the right direction. Even more importantly, we want our work to be useful and to make an impact," he told me. Read More

  • HPC Cloud Startup Launches 'App Store' for HPC Workflows

    A University of Chicago Startup Parallel Works is based on the open source Swift Parallel Scripting language that company founder and CEO Michael Wilde helped guide the development of at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory circa 2005-2006. Parallel Works and any other company can use Swift and contribute back to its open source code base, thus helping to ensure the technology’s sustainability for all users. Wilde feels that this is the kind of win-win technology transfer that many entrepreneurial incubation programs like the NSF I-Corps, the DOE Lab Corps, and DOE/Argonne’s new program “Chain Reaction Innovations” are helping to nurture. Read More

  • February Tech-to-Market Newsletter: Re-imagining Clean Energy Innovation

    Chain Reaction Innovations: The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition took a closer look at Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in a recent question and answer session with CRI Director, Andreas Roelofs. In the piece, Roelofs discusses how startups benefit from the tremendous resources CRI offers, as well as how the entrepreneurs in the CRI program enrich the ANL community. Click here to read the conversation. Read More

  • An Inside Look at Argonne’s Startup Incubator

    Known for its strengths in supercomputing and clean energy, Argonne National Lab has a long tradition bringing together some of the world’s foremost scientists and most advanced facilities to take on many of the world’s biggest challenges. Continuing the tradition of collaboration and scientific advancement, Argonne recently announced the launch of its first-ever in-house startup incubator, Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI). Read More

  • Purdue Innovator Selected For Argonne’s First Entrepreneurship Program; Discovery Park-Based Purdue Foundry Also To Serve In Mentorship Capacity

    A Purdue graduate student who is developing technology that could turn nuclear waste into energy, has been selected as one of five innovators in a newly embedded entrepreneurship program at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. Ian Hamilton, a graduate student in Purdue's School of Nuclear Engineering, was selected for Argonne's Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) program. Read More

  • Innovators join first entrepreneurial program at Argonne National Laboratory

    The Midwest’s first entrepreneurial program to embed innovators in a national laboratory announced its inaugural group of entrepreneurs and mentor partners, including the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Developers of energy, transportation and aerospace technologies will join Chain Reaction Innovations based at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. Read More

  • Midwest startups compete for clean-tech investment funding

    Clean Energy Trust is also currently accepting applications for its 2017 CET Challenge, which will award up to $1 million of this kind of “patient capital” to early-stage, Midwest-based, clean-tech companies. Last month, DOE launched a similar, Illinois-based initiative aimed at boosting prospects for young entrepreneurs in clean energy. Chain Reaction Innovations awards up to $550,000 to five early-stage innovators and embeds them at Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont, Illinois. Read More


Latest Updates

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  • DOE Selects the Midwest Regional Innovation Partnership for Award from Energy Program for Innovation Clusters

    CHICAGO, IL – June 8, 2021 – Clean Energy Trust, Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, mHUB, and Spark Innovation Center today announced that their Midwest Regional Innovation Partnership was selected for an award of over $900,000 … Read More

  • 5th Cohort of Five Innovators Selected

    Lemont, IL (April 30, 2021) — Five new innovators will be joining Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory, as part of the elite program’s fifth cohort. The five will join the two-year program starting this June, and each … Read More

  • Sustainable Energy Outlook: The Limitations, Opportunities, and Role of Water

    Published on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 A panel of expert venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in the field of energy businesses discussed the state of the industry in 2021 as part of Polsky’s Entrepreneurial Outlook series. (Image credit: The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship … Read More

  • National Labs, Polsky Center, and I-Corps Create Commercialization Partnership

    A unique partnership between two of the Department of Energy’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs (LEEP) and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) I-Corps Program will offer valuable additional support for early-stage clean energy startups. Innovators in Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) and Innovation Crossroads (IC) will receive … Read More

  • Cohort 5 Virtual Pitch Competition Slated for February 9th – 10th

    Through an annual call, four to six startups are selected to join Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), a two-year program for innovators focused on energy and science technologies. Program participants will receive financial and technical support to mature and de-risk their technologies to the proof-of-concept level. Read More