From Invention to Innovation Page: 3 of 52
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The Inventions and Innovation Program, formerly
known as ERIP (Energy-Related Inventions Program),
was established by the U.S. Congress in 1974.
For many years it served as the only government
program specifically offering assistance to independent
inventors and very small businesses engaged in
developing new energy-saving technologies.
I&I Program funding is based on a competitive
proposal process. Requests for proposals are issued
once each calendar year, usually in the spring.
Proposals are selected for funding through a merit
review process, judging all acceptable proposals
against criteria published in the request. Moreover,
the program's managers share important expecta-
tions with corporate finance committee members,
informal or angel investors, and venture capitalists.
The I&I Program exists to promote energy-related
innovation that supports the Department of
Energy's mission. In the I&I Program, that means
support goes to technologies that are headed
toward the market. The prospects for commercial
success are an important ingredient in every deci-
sion to offer financial support through the pro-
This program remains clearly focused on energy
generation and savings. It has refined that focus to
target those industries representing major energy
consumers in the United States. Streamlining the
process of soliciting, evaluating, and funding projects
means that inventors can receive funding for prod-
uct development quickly and with a clear sense of
what the funds are supporting.
For a full program description, the most recent
solicitation announcement, program news, and help-
ful information, we refer readers to:
FROM INVENTION TO INNOVATION
We want to acknowledge and thank a number individuals and
organizations who have made it possible to revisit, revise, and
update the material in this pamphlet. Above all, we thank the
inventors, technologists, and entrepreneurs who have participated
in the Inventions and Innovation Program as well as its predeces-
sor, the Energy-Related Inventions Program, over the years. The
content and any insights come from their open and honest discus-
sion of their successes and failures in the innovation process. We
hope their experience will continue to offer guidance to others with
ideas for new technologies and ideas for products and services. We
are certainly grateful for what we have learned from them.
The part Harold Livesay played in the original creation of the
material in this document also deserves special recognition. His
knowledge of business and business history as well as his wit and
style put an unmistakable stamp on the work. His vision of what
inventors, entrepreneurs, and owners of small businesses really
need to know also goes a long way toward explaining why the
Inventions and Innovation Program continues to receive requests
for this pamphlet well over a decade after its first release. A great
deal has changed in the past decade, but the basic views he held
then (and continues to hold now) still ring true.
The personnel in the Inventions and Innovation Program
deserve recognition and thanks, both for administering the finan-
cial support the U.S. Department of Energy provides for energy-
related inventions and for the commitment to providing support
that goes beyond the DOE grants. The information and encourage-
ment this pamphlet intends to convey is just one example of the
way the program mission seeks to disseminate information and
support inventive activity. For more than 20 years this program
has offered a range of services to talented inventors and entrepre-
neurs seeking to move technology and products from the world of
ideas into market reality.
Revising and updating this material has brought both pleasure
and a deep sense of responsibility. The pleasure has come in
revisiting important topics. For any errors or omissions we accept
responsibility. Finally, we thank you, the readers who continue to
ask for such material, for your persistence in planning innovations.
Your innovative efforts are what bring new products, processes,
and services into the nation s market places.
David Lux and Marcia Rorke
Mohawk Research Corporation
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Rorke, M. From Invention to Innovation, book, July 18, 2000; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc710441/m1/3/: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.