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Tech Transfer Entrepreneurship Week Image
Entrepreneurs Vital to Success of NETL Technologies

Entrepreneurs often play a critical role in the evolution of NETL technologies, shepherding emerging innovations from the laboratory to the marketplace. Entrepreneurs invest in technology transfer initiatives that stimulate the economy, expedite access to the Lab’s energy technology solutions and expand their reach for maximum benefit.

As the U.S. celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week, NETL recognizes the many valued entrepreneurs who contribute to the Lab’s success by accelerating innovation. Their sometimes-risky work advances society by sharing new ideas, tools and products with the potential to change the world. Recognizing the challenges of commercialization, the U.S. government empowered entrepreneurs with the 1980 enactment of the Bayh-Dole Act, which simplified technology transfer by allowing small businesses and others to license inventions created with federal funds.

Today, NETL’s Technology Transfer Program seeks entrepreneurial partners to bring Lab technologies to market by a variety of means — including patent licensing opportunities, cooperative research and development agreements, memorandums of understanding and more. In addition, NETL shares and promotes its available technologies for enterprising investors to consider. Among the Lab’s entrepreneurial successes:

  • NETL researcher Rigel Woodside, Ph.D., and former Director of Strategic Partnerships, Outreach and Education Paul King, Ph.D., are co-founders of Ampere Scientific, an Oregon-based company created to commercialize the Lab’s arc position sensing (APS) technology. APS offers the potential to improve the manufacture of high-quality alloys by better understanding melting and casting processes, thereby increasing yield, decreasing energy use, and improving overall process safety.
  • Polymer scientist Hunaid Nulwala, Ph.D., filled several roles at NETL before establishing Liquid Ion Solutions, for which he serves as CEO. The Pittsburgh-based chemicals manufacturing company has exclusively licensed a suite of novel ionic liquids and polymers that facilitate more efficient and economic options for carbon capture, while also offering the potential for other industrial applications. Former NETL researcher Dave Luebke, Ph.D., serves as chief technology officer.
  • Luebke and Nulwala reversed roles at LumiShield Technologies, a start-up founded to commercialize a novel corrosion-resistant metal coating process they initially developed at NETL in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. The technology offers improved versatility, reduced environmental impacts and lower costs for corrosion protection of metal products. Luebke serves as LumiShield’s CEO, while Nulwala is the company’s chief technology officer.
  • The launch of Pyrochem Catalyst Company (PCC), in 2011, marked the first time an NETL technology provided the foundation for an entrepreneurial venture. NETL researchers Dave Berry, Ph.D.; Dushyant Shekhawat, Ph.D.; Mark Smith, Ph.D.; and Dan Haynes, Ph.D., invented a novel catalyst that efficiently reforms diesel fuel while maintaining thermal stability and resistance to sulfur, aromatics, and carbon formation. Berry was actively involved in transferring the technology to PCC, which offers pyrochlore-based catalysts for automotive exhaust, fuel cell and chemical processing applications.

 

To learn more about successful commercialization efforts involving NETL technologies, click here. If you’re interested in the Lab’s Technology Transfer Program opportunities, please email TechTransfer@netl.doe.gov.