Last week, a few folks from Oak Ridge (ORNL), National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and Sandia got together with a few folks from MEP Centers and some of their small manufacturing clients. They got together to understand each other, the power of their respective capabilities and willingness to collaborate. They learned about how they can work together for the benefit of bringing technical expertise and assistance to U.S. manufacturing.
Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Dr. David Danielson announced the launch of the Manufacturing Innovation through Energy and Commerce (MITEC) pilot as part of the Department of Energy’s commitment to accelerate U.S. clean energy innovation and industrial competitiveness. Beginning in four states that are not proximate to a National Lab: Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia, MITEC will work with U.S small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) interested in accessing advanced tools, technology transfer expertise and very cool research capabilities, while leveraging MEP’s vast technical assistance and business development resources. This pilot strives to broaden the commercial impact of the National Labs and support SMMs as they develop new products and processes, commercialize clean energy technologies and expand into new markets.
MITEC will leverage the MEP Centers’ ability to support technology transfer efforts, foster collaborations, and share best-practices—to connect SMMs with the National Labs’ many R&D programs and the technical assistance and scientific expertise they make available. This collaborative support will help manufacturers address technical barriers to commercial scale-up and provide them with the advanced research capabilities of the participating national labs at every stage of the product development cycle.
In addition to fulfilling its unique, government-wide responsibilities in policy making and reporting of the impact of federal research, NIST uses its MEP program to accelerate technology transfer from its world-class laboratories to the marketplace. The MITEC is the next step in a strategy to expand these efforts in support of a sister research agency.
Can’t wait to post on how MITEC realizes its objective to help our investments at the National Labs deepen their path into SMMs’ commercialization efforts through partnerships with our MEP Centers.