Energy and Innovation Giants Announce Groundbreaking Partnership to Accelerate the Commercialization of Clean Energy Technologies

Press Release – WASHINGTON – The race for a clean economy received a significant boost today with the launch of Activation Energy, a pioneering nonprofit that aims to drive hard energy technologies to market faster and more efficiently. In one of its first moves to enhance the energy innovation ecosystem, Activation Energy is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to help expand the reach and impact of the Lab’s groundbreaking energy innovation program, Cyclotron Road. Cyclotron Road recruits the highest-level science and engineering talent from across the country and embeds them at Berkeley Lab to launch new energy technology startup companies.

Activation Energy will launch today at Activate 2016, where Cyclotron Road innovators are presenting to energy industry and finance leaders.

Today, Activation Energy (AE) will announce:

  • A $4.98 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to create an energy innovation cluster in the Bay Area over the next five years. AE expects to launch this new program, which will help expand upon its support of Cyclotron Road to serve a broader community of hard technology innovators, in early to mid-2017.
  • Establishment of the AE Leadership Council, which includes top industry executives, investors, entrepreneurs, and academics from across the energy innovation ecosystem. With decades of leadership in the energy sector, these individuals will help guide Activation Energy as it works to reduce barriers to energy technology innovation. The Leadership Council will also offer critical market and technology insights to Cyclotron Road’s budding energy entrepreneurs.
  • Major industry partners including Applied Materials, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Autodesk, Lockheed Martin, Solvay, KLA-Tencor, Deloitte Consulting, and others.

“Through our partnership with AE, we can position our innovators to work with corporations and investors to drive their technologies to commercial scale,” said Ilan Gur, founding director of Cyclotron Road. “Meanwhile, AE can leverage the insights we gain to develop new services that support energy innovators at a national or even global scale.”

Working closely with Berkeley Lab, industry partners, and the Leadership Council, Activation Energy will identify and help fill critical institutional gaps in the pathway from lab to market. For instance, AE will offer Cyclotron Road innovators strategic guidance and services, educational programming, and access to a tailored network of hard technology mentors and advisers. AE will also work with its partners to create new pathways to market for energy entrepreneurs by developing programs and financing vehicles that accelerate the deployment of next generation energy technologies.

“We have watched an exciting experiment unfold at Cyclotron Road and have been amazed by the program’s ability to attract the nation’s best and the brightest hard technology innovators,” commented Om Nalamasu, CTO of Applied Materials and member of the new Leadership Council. “We are thrilled about the launch of Activation Energy, which enables us to help cultivate the entrepreneurial talent we need to stay competitive.”

“Through Activation Energy and the Cyclotron Road program we can support innovators with game-changing ideas as they mature through the critical early phase of development.” said Leadership Council member Liesl Schindler, global manager of external technology collaborations at Royal Dutch Shell.

AE is managed by seasoned energy financing and ecosystem experts, including: Jeff Anderson, former managing director of CalCEF and founder of Clean Economy Network (now Advanced Energy Economy), Matt Price, former vice president at Enlighted Inc. and venture principal at Nth Power, Nicole Systrom, founder of Sutro Energy Group and director of philanthropic partnerships at PRIME Coalition.

“Activation Energy aims to fill institutional gaps and remove barriers for energy innovators,” said Anderson. “In doing so, we aim to dramatically accelerate the transformation of our energy sector. Transforming our energy system will require transforming the way we innovate. Our new partnership in support of Cyclotron Road aims to do just that.”

More information about Cyclotron Road and its annual competition is available on Cyclotron Road’s website,

More information about AE is available on AE’s website,

Activation Energy is a registered 501c3 non-profit that works with industry, investors and government partners, filling critical institutional gaps and removing barriers to enable hard technology innovators to drive breakthrough energy technologies to market faster and more efficiently.
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