Innovation and Partnerships Office

Berkeley Lab Innovation Corps (BLIC) / DOE Lab-Corps


IPO is committed to supporting and expanding Berkeley Lab’s innovation ecosystem and integrating it with regional and national activity. While not every researcher may want to participate in a startup (entrepreneurship), engaging with the private sector from within the Lab can help researchers move ideas to the marketplace for a greater impact on society (intrapreneurship).

IPO’s Berkeley Lab Innovation Corps (BLIC) is the only group dedicated solely to advancing lab-to-market efforts for Berkeley Lab technologies and to providing entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial training and resources for Lab researchers. All Lab employees are eligible to join.

September BLIC Expert Speaker Event

Dr. Peter S. Fiske – Commercializing Your Technology and Telling Your Story: The Journey from Lab Scientist to Entrepreneur
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm, Berkeley Lab 15-253 conference room

About the Speaker: Dr. Peter S. Fiske is the Chief Executive Officer of PAX Water Technologies, Inc. Prior to joining PAX Water, Fiske was co-founder of RAPT Industries, Inc., a company he spun out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where he was a staff scientist. RAPT Industries was a pioneer in the field of plasma processing of optics and semiconductors. Fiske led negotiations to license a portion of the technology to a major semiconductor equipment manufacturer, and led the first sales of products. He served as CEO of the Company from May 2001 to April 2004. Prior to starting RAPT, Fiske led a research team in condensed matter physics at LLNL with applications to materials science, energy storage and weapons.  He is the author of 20 technical articles, most in international, peer-reviewed journals including SCIENCE.

About PAX Water: PAX Water Technologies, Inc. has pioneered the use of biomimicry (adapting nature’s best designs to man-made engineering problems) to develop innovative and energy efficient technologies for the water industry. The company is widely recognized as the market leader in energy-efficient mixing systems for potable water storage tanks, and the company continues to apply its patented design technology to other problems in the water system.

Entrepreneurial Training

What is DOE Lab-Corps?
Based on NSF’s I-Corps™ model, DOE Lab-Corps gives researchers tools and training to help transition energy-related technologies into products that benefit society and the national economy. Watch short films of Berkeley Lab researchers participating in the MyGreenCar team and Ring Burner team as they conduct information-gathering interviews with potential customers and supply chain members and then address hard decisions about markets, applications, and pivoting.

BLIC has also sent teams to the Bay Area Regional NSF I-Corps programRead the researchers’ experiences and positive outcomes in a recent Innovation article.

Lab-Corps Program (tentative)
October – December 2016
Details TBA
If you are interested in participating in a future Lab-Corps or I-Corps round, contact IPO.

Entrepreneurial Resources: Events, workshops, conferences and local resources of interest to entrepreneurial researchers are updated regularly.

Past BLIC Events and Slides

Navigating Conflict of Interest
April 12, 2016
Want to consult for an outside entity or start a company to license and develop your Lab technology? Do you have financial interest in a company that could work with the Lab? Molly Stoufer, the Lab’s Requirements Program Manager and COI Coordinator, and Innovation and Partnerships Office staff will lead the discussion on conflict of interest issues and answer questions. LBNL Conflict of Interest and Case Study (pdf) – 

The VC Landscape
March 2, 2016
Hear insights on the latest in the venture capital world from Doug Collom, a professor of venture capital and entrepreneurship at The Wharton School’s Executive MBA Program in San Francisco and a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. VC Landscape (pdf)

Legal Considerations and Innovation Resources for Startups
January 28, 2016
Larry Adkison, Senior Counsel for the Business Transactions Group at UCOP, and Todd Rumbrger, Partner at Foley and Lardner, on legal considerations for startups. Noore Kadri, Manager of the QB3 Innovation and Incubator Network, on resources to lower barriers to entry for bringing new innovation to market. Legal Considerations for Startup Entrepreneurs (pdf)

Lab-to-Market Resources
December 8, 2015
Hemai Parthasarathy, Ph.D., of Breakout Labs, a funding and support system for science companies, and Entrepreneur Jim Kiles of YStrategies, on his experience advising DOE’s Lab-Corps program and lab-to-market transitions. QB3 – Resources for Innovators (pdf)

SBIR / STTR Program Goals and Funding Details – July 2015 presentation by Manny Oliver, Director DOE SBIR / STTR Programs Office (presentation may take a few seconds to load)