Director's Corner

Release Date: August 06, 2018

Here’s One New Way NETL is Working to Help Put Knowledge to Work


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“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest,” wrote Ben Franklin more than 250 years ago. Every year, America invests in knowledge when it supports Department of Energy national labs where some of the best researchers in the world analyze and discover scientific breakthroughs. NETL has joined with its sister national laboratories in a project to make sure that the knowledge we collectively produce pays the best interest, just as Franklin espoused.

NETL, the only DOE laboratory focused on development of advanced fossil energy technologies, is playing a prominent part in DOE’s new Lab Partnering Service (LPS) Internet presence – www.labpartnering.org –  that offers technology investors and innovators multi-faceted search capabilities across a range of technology areas.

LPS is a suite of online applications providing rapid access to leading experts, projects and patents from across all DOE national laboratories and efficiently connecting investors and potential partners with DOE innovators.

Future innovation success is all about partnerships and making research information available. It is a big way that NETL delivers on its core mission of advancing solutions that enhance America’s energy foundation while protecting the environment for future generations. That means making sure that national research organizations, academic institutions and even other government laboratories have good access to the research results our experts produce. LPS is a giant step toward that goal.

The LPS site provides three essential information services: an expert search capability giving users a categorized list of research and a direct conduit to DOE experts; technical summaries of technologies and publications available from national laboratories and participating institutions; and a tool for searching DOE-patent content beyond a simple keyword search. The LPS web initiative brings numerous benefits and innovations to DOE partnership efforts like:

  • Connecting the public with patents, inventions and the national laboratories’ expertise that contributes to creation of companies and jobs.
  • Presenting opportunities for broad inter- and intra-agency collaborations.
  • Establishing a network of technology transfer professionals to work with DOE information.
  • Creating a software distribution portal pilot, an index of commercial applications of federal R&D facilities, and a scientific literature search function.

LPS is also featuring customer relationship management that empowers responsive technology transfer teams to support improved transactions along with a rich lead-reporting system for all applications.

NETL is uniquely positioned to advance productive partnerships because it is a government-owned and government-operated (GOGO) laboratory. That means NETL is the only DOE national laboratory authorized to issue funding opportunity announcements on behalf of the Department – a means for NETL to issue hundreds of new financial awards each year. Through its partnership service, NETL offers opportunities for cost-shared direct funding, licensing and technology transfer in addition to long-standing commitments to support revitalization of the American Workforce and education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

DOE’s LPS initiative and NETL’s partnership activities represent strong efforts to bolster Franklin’s vision of paying the best interest on a wide investment.


As Acting Director of NETL, Sean I. Plasynski, Ph.D., builds on an extensive background in energy as he leads NETL in its mission to enhance the nation’s energy independence and protect the environment for future generations. For more information about Sean Plasynski's experience, please click here.