Open Invitation to Partner with SRNL
“We are eager to grow in the way we intersect and interact in the public sphere.” – Daren Timmons
– Daren Timmons
Graphic by Susanna King, SRNL.
A Broadened View
Partnerships are important to any business or organization wanting to expand its market share or grow its technology base. They allow organizations to draw upon each other’s strengths and achieve growth more quickly and efficiently. Ultimately, partnerships and or collaborations create a stronger and better community.
The Department of Energy (DOE) and its network of 17 national laboratories provide economic, security and environmental benefits for all Americans. Transfer of the DOE’s research, development, demonstration and deployment portfolio through partnerships with private industry further advances the economic, energy and national security interests of the United States.
For many years, Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) focused its attention on the DOE cleanup mission for the nation. As DOE’s newest independent national laboratory, SRNL is broadening its efforts. While still supporting the environmental cleanup efforts, SRNL’s vision is to further develop and promote technology transfer with industry, organizations and agencies in additional areas that align with the Department of Energy’s broad mission. To enable this vision, SRNL hired Daren Timmons, former provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken), as director, Industrial and Strategic Partnerships.
During his seven years at USC Aiken, Timmons helped strengthen the university in a variety of areas by providing critical support and impactful leadership to enhance the university’s academic portfolio and industry connectivity. His role at SRNL is to work directly with SRNL staff, industrial partners and the Department of Energy (DOE) to identify SRNL innovations that advance the economic, energy and national security interests of the nation. He is working to identify potential partners, implement outreach activities and manage external engagements to accelerate the transition of SRNL innovations and technology into deployment by industry and eventually into the marketplace. Simply put, he’s working to find others to partner with SRNL to do, in his own words, “cool things.”
“We are eager to grow in the way we intersect and interact in the public sphere,” said Timmons. “We still have a significant mission to support the Savannah River Site, but we want to continue to grow our impacts both for the benefit of the public, our economic engines here in the U.S., and, perhaps, more broadly in the areas of national security and energy security.”
Daren Timmons, SRNL’s director, Industrial and Strategic Partnerships.
Partnering with SRNL
The National Laboratories Technology Transfer Work Group, a group of technology transfer professionals at each Department of Energy national lab, lists eight different partnering mechanisms; however, Timmons makes simpler the ways of partnering with SRNL by saying there are two primary ways of partnering with SRNL: licensing SRNL technology and working with SRNL to complete research.
“Large corporations that need an improvement in their processes could take advantage of licensing some of our technologies and build those into their existing infrastructure,” said Timmons. “On the other end, there might be a startup company that wants to build their entire business model around some of our technologies, such as battery storage, nanoparticles or environmental monitoring.”
He went on to explain the two ways SRNL can work with organizations to conduct research, by either conducting research jointly with an organization or SRNL solely conducting the research on behalf of the business or organization.
Initial Steps to Partner with SRNL
It’s easy to start the process of setting up a partnership with SRNL. First, review the SRNL technologies available for licensing here: https://www.srnl.gov/partner-with-us/industry-partners/. Organizations can also reach out to SRNL directly by contacting Daren Timmons, director, Industrial and Strategic Partnerships, or Byron Sohovich, manager, Contracts Management, with details about the desire to license SRNL technology, or plans to develop a research project to help solve a problem. Timmons and Sohovich will then work with each organization to determine the best course and way of partnering with SRNL.
There are two main ways SRNL can work with organizations to conduct research:
1. Conducting research jointly with an organization.
2. SRNL conducting the research on behalf of the business or organization.
Some examples of successful partnerships with SRNL
Texel Energy Storage
Developing new thermal battery technology that is up to 90% more cost-effective than lithium batteries for large-scale energy storage.
Partnering to valorize waste streams from various municipal and industrial sources and develop products known as GeoEngineered Materials or GEMs™.
Kyoto Fusion Engineering
Advancing the technology of liquid lithium as a fusion coolant and tritium breeding material. The results could promote novel blanket designs that would potentially reshape the trajectory of fusion power plant development.
Using SRNL’s thermal cycling absorption process (TCAP) in its manufacturing facility. The use of TCAP provides the high-purity inputs needed for SHINE’s patented technology, which enhances the production of medical isotopes, including molybdenum-99 (moly-99).
E4 Carolinas is building a regional energy hardware community to support the Joules Accelerator in accelerating new ventures’ innovative energy hardware technologies. SRNL is providing access to the network of national laboratories, connecting Accelerator ventures with new technologies, support, and workspace for Accelerator ventures and Cluster members.
Combing General Atomic’s experience in fusion energy research with SRNL’s expertise in processing and storing tritium. Future fusion power plants will need safe, reliable systems for tritium handling and this partnership is significant on the road to fusion-generated electricity.
Partnering to demonstrate newly-developed process to convert today’s commercial spent nuclear fuel into fuel for molten salt fast reactors.