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Cyclotron Road Announces the Selection of its Second Cohort of Innovators

Chris Kaffer (foreground) and Philip Taynton are among nine innovators that have been selected for Cyclotron Road's second cohort. They are developing fully recyclable advanced composites with reduced cure times for improved manufacturing efficiency.

Today, Berkeley Lab’s Cyclotron Road program announced the selection of its second cohort of innovators, whose projects include next generation batteries, advanced materials, biomanufacturing, and solar technologies. Cyclotron Road recruits entrepreneurial researchers and embeds them at Berkeley Lab for up to two years in a mentored technology entrepreneurship program.

Modernizing a Technology From the Vacuum Tube Era To Generate Cheap Power

Hand-built research converters and thermionic demonstration device heated with a flame to produce power. (GE Research, 1960s)

When scientists Daniel Riley and Jared Schwede left Stanford University last year to join Cyclotron Road, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s program for entrepreneurial researchers, their vision was to take thermionics, an all-but-forgotten technology, and develop it into a clean, compact, and efficient source of power.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Developing Paint-on Coating for Energy Efficient Windows

Berkeley Lab scientists (from left) Raymond Weitekamp, Arman Shehabi, and Steve Selkowitz will use the Berkeley Lab windows test lab to develop a paintable heat-reflective coating for low-cost energy efficient windows. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

It’s estimated that 10 percent of all the energy used in buildings in the U.S. can be attributed to window performance, costing building owners about $50 billion annually, yet the high cost of replacing windows or retrofitting them with an energy efficient coating is a major deterrent. Berkeley Lab researchers are seeking to address this problem with creative chemistry—a polymer heat-reflective coating that can be painted on at one-tenth the cost.

Berkeley teams take energy innovation to ARPA-E Summit and Capitol Hill

Research from Berkeley Lab appeared on Capitol Hill recently to show off innovation in energy efficiency, including a backpack-mounted system for quickly mapping energy use throughout a building. That was but one project showcased at this year’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, which also included speakers from Berkeley Lab.

Innovation on the Cutting-Edge: Advancing Energy Efficiency Through Two New ARPA-E Projects at Berkeley Lab

Delia Milliron (Photo:Roy Kaltschmidt)

Two Berkeley Lab research projects were awarded grants by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to advance energy technologies. The two grants total nearly $5 million. One will focus on smart window technologies and the other on thermal mapping of buildings.

From Soil Microbe to Super-Efficient Biofuel Factory?

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Berkeley Lab scientists are exploring whether a common soil bacterium can be engineered to produce liquid transportation fuels much more efficiently than the ways in which advanced biofuels are made today. The process would be powered only by hydrogen and electricity. The goal is a biofuel—or electrofuel, as this new approach is called—that doesn’t require photosynthesis.

Bringing the Electric Grid into the 21st Century


Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are working on a project that would modernize the grid and essentially bring it into the Internet age by using automated control software to manage demand in real time. The project has been awarded $2.865 million by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, or ARPA-E, whose mission is to invest in potentially transformational energy technologies.

Fill ‘Er Up With Tobacco? Berkeley Lab-Led Team Explores New Path to Biofuels

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This week’s ARPA-E Summit features several Berkeley Lab-led projects, all aimed at dramatically improving how the U.S. produces and uses energy. Among them is an effort to produce transportation fuel from tobacco. The goal is to engineer tobacco plants that use energy from the sun to produce fuel molecules directly in their leaves.

Berkeley Lab to Share in Three New ARPA-E Energy Projects

Arun Majmudar, ARPA-E

Berkeley Lab researchers will play major roles in three new cutting-edge energy research projects being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). These three projects entail the development of tobacco as a source of biofuels, creation of a personalized system for reducing customer demands for electrical power when the grid is congested, and development of a commercial process for extracting biofuels from the resin of pine trees.

Berkeley Lab Battery Team: Working to Drive Electric Vehicles From Niche to Mass Market

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The battery research team at Berkeley Lab, recognized as one of the best in the country, is engaged in high-risk, high-reward research, striving for technology breakthroughs as well as incremental advances. Their work could help drive a transformation of the vehicle industry and make electric vehicles as common as laptops and cell phones for American consumers.