A New Emphasis on DOE Tech Transfer
This issue of Innovation represents something of a milestone for us: it’s our largest issue (80 pages) ever, filled with what we think are compelling articles about one of our favorite subjects, energy. We didn’t try to be exhaustive, however, and instead have concentrated on research activities in the laboratories that show real promise as potential entrants in the commercial marketplace.
Appropriately, our cover story is an exclusive interview with Steven Chu, the secretary of energy, who talks at some length about the need to underscore the importance of technology transfer. The interview begins on page 12. Chu also released a new policy statement (page 19) that strengthens DOE’s commitment to tech transfer.
One passage reads:
“Technology transfer requires direct involvement from the innovators who discover and develop technologies at DOE facilities. Technology transfer program plans shall rely primarily on implementation by facility directors through their technology transfer offices.”
“DOE facilities and programs have a responsibility to ensure robust technology transfer activities and research partnerships with industry that result in commercialization and deployment. DOE is committed to continuously improving its policies and procedures for effective technology transfer in support of its mission, and for the nation’s benefit.”
All of this is, of course, music to our ears when you consider that the subtitle to Innovation is “America’s Journal of Technology Commercialization.” One manifestation of that subtitle begins on page 52. We’ve published twenty-seven ideas or innovations from seven energy laboratories that are suited for commercialization and are looking for entrepreneurs to take them into the marketplace.
Tom Michael, our Washington bureau chief, interviewed Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change to secure the administration’s thoughts on developing a clean energy standard. We have a piece by the Senate’s only cousins as far as I know, Mark Udall of Colorado and Tom Udall of New Mexico. They write about a bill they’ve introduced calling for renewable energy to be 25 percent of energy consumed by 2025. And there’s also a thoughtful article on why clean energy technologies are vitally needed by the always thoughtful chairman of the Senate energy and natural resources committee, Jeff Bingaman.
By the way, Dr. Chu is not the only Nobel laureate in physics who’s a member of the Obama administration. Do you know the other one*? If you need more than a hint, see (scroll a bit) below.
Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the issue.
*Dr. Carl Wieman is associate director of science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.