Cyclotron Road in the News

"Energy Entrepreneurs Chart a New Path in the Wake of the Cleantech Crash" Katie Fehrenbacher, Fortune, September 29th, 2016

... a new group of big thinkers have been creating novel programs meant to help these science and engineering-based entrepreneurs build and sell their ideas, while sidestepping the land mines that have knocked down so many that have come before them. These programs have been merging various models—like the tech accelerator, the government system, and the corporate R&D lab—and come up with something entirely new. Fortune

"Raising our game in clean energy innovation" Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary of Energy,, June 23rd, 2016 logo black.gif
Researchers at Cyclotron Road are hard at work on a variety of projects that may enable us to harness renewable energy sources and make more efficient use of fossil fuels. The impressive young people working there express genuine urgency -- knowing that time is of the essence in getting their ideas out into the world. I share their sense of urgency in meeting the threat of climate challenge -- and admire their pioneering spirit!

"A Leaner Launchpad for Hard Energy Technology" Ilan Gur and Sebastien Lounis, Greentech Media, October 2nd, 2015

Time will tell which approaches prove to be most effective at enabling solutions to the looming energy and climate crisis. In the meantime, if we want to scale energy innovation, as Gates suggests, it is imperative that we continue to explore new institutional structures alongside efforts to increase financing. Because above all else, our best hope to develop transformative energy technologies is to give our top minds a home to chase the biggest problems and do our best to light the pathway to success. Greentech Media

"America's national labs seek a new ally: the neighbors" David Ferris, E&E News, Energywire, September 10th, 2015


Named after the road that connects the lab to the University of California, Berkeley, [Cyclotron Road] is a sort of incubator program meant to "spin-in" marketable ideas to the Berkeley lab, as opposed to the "spin out" represented by the licensing agreements, spinoff companies and published research by which the labs usually spread their knowledge. E&E News

"Building New Homes for Energy Innovation" Varun Mehra and Sebastien Lounis, Scientific American, Plugged-In, February 27th, 2015

... Though the funding paradigm might be different in today’s world, the Bell Labs philosophy of convening the best mission-driven scientists has begun to resurface. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, two initiatives – Cyclotron Road and Otherlab - are trying to address today’s energy technology challenges by testing new models for translating early-stage R&D and supporting entrepreneurial scientists and engineers. ... Plugged In

"There's a new renaissance emerging for energy innovation" Katie Fehrenbacher, GigaOM, February 19th, 2015

A renaissance of creativity around developing innovations for energy has emerged in the wake of Silicon Valley’s cleantech bust in the U.S. It’s taken several years to materialize. Bolstered by a series of energy success stories, this newfound creativity has been propped up by increasingly low costs of clean energy technologies and energy storage, and has floated on a change in the political winds. ... GigaOM

"New Public-Private Partnerships for Energy Innovation Build on Record of Success" American Energy Innovation Council, February 11th, 2015

... The full value of public investments can only be realized when partnered with robust private investment in innovation. Case after case of successful U.S. energy innovation demonstrates that partnerships have been critical factors in innovation success. In reflection, this is not surprising–companies invest in energy innovation when they see market opportunities, and federal innovation investments can speed the emergence of those opportunities. More importantly, private companies do the difficult work of turning a promising idea or technology into a proven and competitive market proposition–and so provide critical feedback to the federal government’s innovation investments. ... AEIC

"An Incubator for Innovation" John Markoff, The New York Times, February 6th, 2015

... Now Dr. Gur and his colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley hope to duplicate that initial success. They have created a technology incubator program intended to support entrepreneurs from academic laboratories until their ideas are mature enough to earn financial backing from chemical or oil and gas companies, or possibly even private investors. ... New York Times

"Introducing a brand new type of R&D program for energy entrepreneurs" Katie Fehrenbacher, GigaOM, July 24th, 2014

... As the amount of funding from venture capitalists in cleantech has dwindled, new funding models have emerged from corporations, from family offices, from international investors and from these types of new accelerator hybrids. Think of Cyclotron Road as a riff on the Valley incubator program, but with the deep science and lab connection, the multiyear length, and the advisors who have been through the energy commercialization game before. If Y Combinator morphed into something actually useful for an energy-focused entrepreneur it’d be Cyclotron Road. ... GigaOM