For 22 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has run the Energy-Related Inventions Program (ERIP). Now, the Department of Energy has taken complete charge of ERIP and made it a part of a newly created Inventions and Innovations Program. Under ERIP, the standards agency got first crack at assessing new technologies and ideas submitted by businesses and individual inventors hoping to get government support. Now the Energy Department holds all stages of approval. NIST processed 33,430 requests for evaluations before it stopped taking them last August. Of these, 17,482 were rejected before evaluation. Inventors interested in the new program should access the World Wide Web site at www.oit.doe.gov/ and click on "Inventions and Innovations" under the heading "Technology Access."
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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