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What is IMPEL

IMPEL, Incubating Market-Propelled Entrepreneurial-mindset at the Labs, is a new program funded by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO), and implemented by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).


The IMPEL vision is to integrate market-oriented skillsets with the advanced scientific thinking at the national labs in order to focus early stage building technologies R&D on industry gaps, and catalyze it towards private sector engagement and impact.


The primary objective of IMPEL is to develop a framework for industry mentorship to guide national lab researchers through an idea incubation process, such that their R&D efforts can be identified in impact areas where industry players find a gap. The second objective is to train researchers to communicate value to important non-technical audiences. The third objective is grow long, sustained relationships between industry and national labs.


The IMPEL program is designed to be beneficial to both lab teams and mentors.

  • The Lab Innovation Teams​ (LITs) are the core beneficiaries of the IMPEL program. They will gain ongoing interaction with industry mentors, a deeper understanding of market considerations, exposure to expert webinars, access to building technologies-focused resource guides, and finally an opportunity to develop and present their value communication pitches at a final IMPEL Showcase Event to a wide audience.
  • IMPEL mentors gain a meaningful opportunity for exposure to the DOE and national lab network, as well as an access to LIT ideas. The mentor gets to know about other areas/departments within the national labs. The IMPEL program encourages the mentor to share knowledge, which helps increase the mentor's sense of self-worth apart from strengthening the mentor's interpersonal relationship skills.

Definition of Success

Five lab innovation teams take their concept from idea to pitch guided by industry mentors, at a final wide-exposure IMPEL Showcase Event in Washington DC. Teams will also provide lessons learned for enhancing market driven research in building energy technologies.