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PNNL offers technology sale to help companies

The Department of Energy is having a sale on technologies developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and other national laboratories.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a program this week that will allow start-up companies to purchase an option for licensing technologies developed at national laboratories for $1,000. That’s a savings of $10,000 to $50,000 on average upfront fees for portfolios of one to three patents, according to DOE.

In addition, DOE will be reducing paperwork in the program, called “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator,” including simplifying the licensing process. About 15,000 unlicensed patents and patent applications will be available for licensing by startup companies.

“America’s entrepreneurs and innovators are the best in the world,” Chu said, in a statement. “Today we’re challenging them to create new businesses based on discoveries made by our world-leading national laboratories.”

The goal is to bolster innovation, make it easier for start-up companies to succeed and create new clean energy jobs, he said. He’d like to double the startup companies coming out of the national labs. Now only about 10 percent of federal patents have been licensed to be commercialized.

In addition, DOE plans to make it easier to use PNNL and other national lab facilities for collaborative research and development projects.

A streamlined template agreement will be available online May 2 for startup companies interested in the program, and entrepreneurs will have until Dec. 15 to identify the lab technology they are interested in and submit a business plan.

Technologies available nationwide are posted at PNNL has 319 technologies available for commercialization. Information is posted at availabletechnologies.