Our highly optimized venture-capital-driven innovation system is simply not structured to support complex, slower-growing concepts that could end up being hugely significant - the kind that might lead to disruptive solutions to existential challenges in sustainable energy, water, food security and health… the United States needs a more systematic way to help its bottled-up new-science innovators deliver their ideas to the world.
— MIT President Rafael Reif, The Washington Post, 2015

Today’s research environment is more vibrant than ever, but there are critical institutional and financial gaps on the road from lab to market, preventing hard technology innovators from developing groundbreaking energy products. In the face of these gaps, would-be innovators are turning away from the pursuit of critical solutions and leaving the field. Without new and strong institutional models that bridge the science-to-product gap, the U.S. will be unable to cultivate the talent and leadership needed to drive critical innovation, will risk losing its competitive edge in technology, and will be unable to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Together with its industry partners, Activation Energy identifies and fills institutional and financial gaps on the road from lab to market. Activation Energy empowers hard tech innovators by creating homes for their work, catalyzing commercialization through new programs and partnerships, and connecting the hard tech community to enable successful transitions from lab to market.


Activation Energy partners with world-class research institutions to support and expand programs for hard tech innovators.

In one of its first moves to enhance the hard tech innovation ecosystem, Activation Energy is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to support its groundbreaking Cyclotron Road program. Cyclotron Road recruits the brightest science and engineering minds from across the country and embeds them at Berkeley Lab to launch new energy technology startup companies. Activation Energy offers these innovators essential strategic guidance and services, educational programming, and access to a tailored network of hard tech mentors and advisers.

By accessing the scientific resources of Berkeley Lab and the business resources of Activation Energy, Cyclotron Road innovators can dramatically accelerate the commercialization of their hard tech energy innovations.


Activation Energy paves the road from laboratory innovation to market success for those with breakthrough energy technologies. Innovators benefit from access to infrastructure, accelerator services, and guidance from industry leaders.


Activation Energy sits at the nexus of the hard tech community, aligning innovators, industry executives and other stakeholders. From networking opportunities and thought leadership, to the development of best practices, Activation Energy is driving the future of hard technology energy solutions.