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).
Recently, five Lab Innovation Teams, chosen and assembled from the ranks of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Lab family, successfully finished the 2018-2019 the IMPEL program. Read more about it at www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/articles/impel-your-building-technology-idea
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.