Advancing Public-Private Partnerships to Enhance Cleantech Innovation, Demonstration, and Commercialization

Updated April 17, 2024 | Lynn Abramson, President

The Clean Energy Business Network is a key driver of thought leadership and advocacy behind policy solutions to advance cleantech innovation, demonstration, and commercialization. CEBN has advocated for solutions to break down barriers to participation in federal R&D grant programs and increase accessibility for small businesses—particularly those led by minority and female founders. Additionally, CEBN has focused on bridging the valley of death to commercialization of new clean energy technologies.

In the spring of 2023, CEBN weighed in on the design of two newly-authorized programs to support clean energy innovation at the Department of Energy (DOE):

Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations

The Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) was established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (2021) to accelerate the demonstration of clean energy technologies from the lab to market. While many of OCED’s programs invest in large-scale demonstration hubs, CEBN has also pushed for investment in small-scale demonstration projects to help small businesses and startups commercialize their technologies.

  • The Bipartisan Policy Center and CEBN provided a joint response to a DOE request for information on demand-side strategies at the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to create a pull for new energy technologies (March 1, 2023). These and complementary ideas were included in DOE’s summary of RFI responses published in February 2024.
  • The Bipartisan Policy Center published a white paper, with contributions and review by CEBN, making the case for why OCED should establish its own Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) focused on supporting small business technology demonstration projects.
  • CEBN hosted a roundtable of small businesses that had previously received DOE SBIR funding to develop recommendations for the design of an OCED SBIR program or other small-scale demonstration initiatives (March 20, 2023).

Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation

Additionally, the Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (FESI) was created in the bipartisan Chips and Sciences Act (2022) as a public-private partnership, independent from the DOE, that will help advance DOE’s mission and bring new technology to market more quickly. CEBN has weighed in on the design of FESI to address critical gaps in technology commercialization, decarbonization of the U.S. economy, stakeholder engagement, and advancement of a just and equitable clean energy transition.

  • Learn more about FESI in this guest blog post authored by analysts at ITIF and SustainabiliD.
  • CEBN provided a response to a DOE request for information on design of the Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (April 18, 2023).
  • CEBN President Lynn Abramson also attended a roundtable discussion with other industry and nonprofit thought leaders to share ideas and brainstorm on the role FESI could play in supporting the DOE and broader cleantech innovation goals (March 2023).

Learn more about CEBN’s previous work in federal policy advocacy.