U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Wednesday announced $19.7 million in funding aimed at commercializing new technologies.
The DOE says the funding will support 54 projects at 12 national laboratories involving more than 30 private sector partners.
The funding covers projects for which additional technology maturation is needed to attract a private partner and projects that need cooperative development between a lab and an industry partner to bolster the commercial application of a lab-developed technology.
In January, the incoming Trump administration targeted the DOE for massive budget cuts, but in his confirmation hearings Perry told Senate lawmakers he regrets his earlier proposal to eliminate the agency and said he would protect its basic research and development mission.
While the threat of cuts persists, DOE followed through in September when it said it would expand the SunShot program after hitting its 2020 goals. The program’s aim was to reduce the cost of utility scale solar power to $0.06/kWh, or under $1 per watt.
The DOE’s most recent funding announcement, $20 million to promote commercialization of national laboratory projects, backs a wide variety of technologies, from $750,000 to Westinghouse Electric for development of a micro nuclear reactor, to $750,000 for a demonstration of SulfCrete, an energy efficient alternative to conventional Portland Cement.
“This second round of TCF projects highlight the incredible value of DOE’s National Laboratories and the importance of bringing the Department’s technology transfer mission to the American people,” Perry said in a statement.