Innovation and Partnerships Office

About Us

IPO Mission Statement
To engage and partner responsively with Berkeley Lab researchers, DOE, industry,
and the broader research community to create innovative lab-to-market opportunities
and effective research partnerships.

IPO leads Berkeley Lab’s efforts to transition technologies from the Lab to the marketplace for the benefit of society and the U. S. economy by 1) executing exclusive and non-exclusive licenses and options to Lab-developed technologies with established businesses and startups and 2) partnering with industry through collaborative research in areas of Berkeley Lab expertise to develop technologies suited to business needs or to advance scientific discovery.

In addition, IPO is committed to supporting and expanding Berkeley Lab’s innovation ecosystem and integrating it with regional and national activity, whether a researcher chooses to join a startup (entrepreneurship) or participate with the private sector to learn how research can have a greater impact on society (intrapreneurship).

IPO Roles and Responsibilities

IPO, led by Berkeley Lab’s Chief Technology Transfer Officer (CTTO) and a deputy CTTO, is directly engaged in each step of the lab-to-marketplace process. The Patent group, with support from Commercialization staff, evaluates new inventions and software and seeks intellectual property (IP) protection (patent or copyright) as appropriate. The Commercialization group explores opportunities for developing technology and strengthens relationships between the Lab, industry, investors, and the community. The Partnerships group executes proposal submissions, award negotiations, and collaborative research agreements with research institutions and industry partners, including small businesses and non-profits. The Licensing group negotiates terms and conditions of technology options, licenses, and other IP agreements.

Click here for IPO staff contact information.


Over 40 startups, including Nanosys, Second Genome, Seeo, TeselaGen, and Aeroseal, have been founded on Berkeley Lab technology. Companies from multi-nationals to small businesses and startups have licensed Berkeley Lab technologies and software licensed cover a range of fields including biotechnology, energy efficiency, nanotechnology, IT, materials discovery, semiconductor manufacturing, subsurface modeling, and health.

In FY15, Berkeley Lab received nearly $3 million in royalties.

in FY16, Berkeley Lab researchers disclosed 193 new inventions / software. IPO filed 167 patent applications (U.S. and foreign).

FY15 Reorganization

In 2015, IPO initiated a transitional strategic plan to restructure, reorganize and redefine its primary objectives and revitalize its vision, taking into account the major scientific goals of Berkeley Lab, the current internal innovation ecosystem, initiatives of key stakeholders such as DOE and UC, and the external economic environment. On October 1, 2014, non-Federal sponsored research pre-award contract management moved from the Office of Sponsored Projects and Industry Partnerships (OSPIP) to the Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO). To learn more about the OSPIP-to-IPO transition and the projects affected, go here.

In early 2015, IPO adopted a matrixed, cross-functional organizational environment with teams responsible to four scientific areas: Biosciences, Energy / Physical Sciences, Energy Technologies, and Computing Sciences. Each cross-functional team includes one person from the Patent, Commercialization, Licensing, and Partnerships groups. The balance of IPO staff working with finance, administration, communications, and lab-wide agreements, e.g., user facility agreements, nondisclosure agreements, serve the entire Lab community.