DOE seeks public input on Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation

Published on February 13, 2023 by Chris Galford

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After creating its first agency-related foundation – the Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (FESI) – the United States Department of Energy (DOE) released a Request for Information (RFI) this week seeking input on how the pair should engage and their priorities going forward.

“FESI will help ensure that the breakthroughs in science and innovation at DOE are used to their fullest capacity in maintaining America’s edge as a global energy powerhouse throughout the 21st Century and beyond,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “This first-of-its-kind foundation will serve as a critical new partner to the Department in our efforts to strengthen American ingenuity and deliver the technologies of the future so critical to an equitable clean energy economy.”

Largely, FESI’s focus will be to accelerate the commercialization of energy technologies through fundraising and investment in both the private and philanthropic spheres. It will, in turn, assist the DOE in providing extra resources, tools, and capacities for potential partners and communities as they pursue research and innovation related to clean energy. The foundation was authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.

The foundation will pursue public-private partnerships, invest in companies commercializing critical energy technologies, provide support to underrepresented groups and regions interested in DOE funding opportunities, and address other challenges at all levels of the country.

Although the RFI is open to all, the DOE is particularly seeking information from potential stakeholder groups, such as:

  • Philanthropic and non-profit organizations
  • Community stakeholders
  • DOE’s National Laboratory foundations
  • Potential investors in companies developing technologies aligned with the DOE mission
  • Industry stakeholders, especially those representing diverse regions, sectors, and communities
  • Other potential stakeholders or collaborators

Part of the reason for the RFI is that FESI has yet to be formally established or select a Board of Directors. The organization currently seeks deployment by September 2023. For the RFI, though, responses will be due no later than March 27, 2023.