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U.S. Department of Energy
Secretary Steven Chu says the United States plans to invest up to $366 million
to establish and operate three new Energy Innovation Hubs focused on
accelerating research and development in three key energy areas. Each hub, to
be funded up to $122 million over five years, will bring together a
multidisciplinary team of researchers in an effort to speed research and
shorten the path from scientific discovery to technological development and
commercial deployment of highly promising energy-related technologies.
"Given the urgency of our challenges in both energy and climate, we need
to do everything we can to mobilize our nation's scientific and technological
talent to accelerate the pace of innovation," said Secretary Chu.
"The Department of Energy Innovation Hubs represent a new, more proactive
approach to managing and conducting research," he said. "We are
taking a page from America's great industrial laboratories in their heyday.
Their achievements - from the transistor to the information theory that makes
modern telecommunications possible - are evidence that we can build creative,
highly-integrated research teams that can accomplish more, faster, than
researchers working separately."
The three DOE Energy Innovation Hubs will focus on the production of fuels
directly from sunlight; improving energy-efficient building systems; and
computer modeling for the development of advanced nuclear reactors.
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The Hubs are part of a broad-based clean energy research strategy by the
administration of President Barack Obama to meet the energy challenges of the
The strategy includes three new initiatives which are designed to complement
each other. The first approach is the Energy Frontier Research Centers launched
by DOE's Office of Science to support multi-year, multi-investigator
collaboration focused on overcoming hurdles in basic science that block
The second approach supports efforts by American energy innovators to explore
high-risk, high-reward potentially transformative technologies that are
financially too risky for industry to fund.
The third novel funding model, Energy Innovation Hubs, will establish larger,
highly integrated teams ideally working under one roof, conducting high-risk,
high-reward research and working to solve priority technology challenges that
span work from basic research to engineering development to commercialization
The United States is remains committed to developing clean, renewable sources
of energy for all the world to share.