Chain Reaction Innovations

  • Program Description: Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) is a two-year program for innovators focusing on energy and science technologies. Through an annual call for innovators, four to six teams will be selected to join CRI. Program participants will receive the financial and technical support needed to mature nascent technologies that face long development cycles to the proof-of-concept level, thus getting them to the point where they can access conventional sources of financial support to scale and launch into the marketplace. CRI will give teams of innovators a two-year runway to develop and scale their technologies while being supported through fellowship funding of up to $550,000 over two years that covers salary, benefits, and use of laboratory equipment and office space. Through a partnership with mentor organizations, CRI participants will get assistance developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and potential commercial partners.
  • Technology Sectors Supported: Agriculture, Chemicals & Advanced Materials, Distributed Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Green Buildings, Information & Communication Tech, Other, Power Generation, Smart Grid, Transportation & Mobility, Waste, Water
  • Geography Served: United States and Puerto Rico
  • Program Tenure: 3 years
  • Requirements: o Innovators must be U.S. citizens or permaent residents o Innovators must have a minimum of five years of technology R&D experience and be a first-time technical founder. o Innovators must not have raised more than $1 million in private sector funding at the time of entry into the program. o Individuals, and teams or small businesses each applying as individuals, may apply. Startups may have existing business partners and mentors, but that is not required. o Innovators must focus on developing technology that will advance the development of clean energy and advanced manufacturing products and processes for which development requires overcoming complex scientific challenges that require a lengthy development cycle of about two years to reach the pre-commercial prototype stage. The innovation must also focus on solving, at least in part, a large societal need that hinders American competitiveness or energy efficiency.
  • Cost/Fees for Services/Equity Stake: No fee. CRI does not take any equity for IP brought into the program. If innovators decide to co-develop technology with Argonne National Laboratory staff while in the program that portion maybe considered jointly owned IP.
  • Program Length: 2 years
Chain Reaction Innovations


Andreas Roelofs
Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne , IL 60439