America’s Next Top Innovator Kicks Off

June 7, 2011

Vice President Joe Biden recently announced that US e-Chromic LLC was the first startup company to reach an agreement to license technology from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the agency’s “America’s Next Top Innovator” program.

As a part of the Obama Administration’s Startup America Initiative, the Top Innovator program is intended to drive innovation and bring more new energy technologies to market.  Please click here for more information about the Startup America Initiative.

The DOE agreement enables US e-Chromic LLC to use electrochromic technology developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to create a new, thin-film-window material that reflects sunlight on demand, making windows more energy efficient and reducing cooling costs for consumers. The technology can be retrofitted to existing windows, reducing commercial buildings’ cooling costs during hotter months by 25 percent to 30 percent.

The Top Innovator program, which began on May 2, allows start-up companies to apply for unlicensed DOE patents for a reduced fee and with minimal paperwork. Traditionally, patent rights for these technologies cost $10,000 to $50,000 but under the program, applicants can obtain a streamlined option agreement for $1,000 for the 15,000 available patents. According to the administration, more than 400 companies and entrepreneurs already have inquired about the available technologies.

For more information, please click here.