Celebrating the members of the first cohort of the Launchpad Program
Laboratory Director Paul Kearns and other programmatic leadership recently attended a ceremony to celebrate the members of the first cohort of Argonne’s Launchpad Program. The participants recently completed their one-year run in the program.
Launchpad, which targets early and mid-career researchers who have a vision for building a technology program, provides participants with resources, training and time to develop a growth strategy for their respective proposed programs. Resources include mentorship from a senior leader at Argonne and access to a dedicated support team (business development, marketing communications, etc.). The ultimate goal of Launchpad is to help researchers build a technology program that can scale to approximately $10 million in annual sponsored research within three to five years.
The members of Cohort 1 were:
- Yan Feng (EVS) and Tom Wall (GSS) – Climate Modeling to Inform Critical Infrastructure Planning and Engineering
- Aaron Greco (ES) – Improving the Efficiency and Reliability of Metal 3D Printing
- Alan Kastengren (XSD) – Probing Complex Flows In Inaccessible Environments
- Ralph Muehleisen (ES) – Urban Sciences and Engineering
Participants devote a portion (up to 50 percent) of their time to working closely with the Technology Commercialization and Partnerships Division (TCP) and other mission support functions, while spending the remainder of their time conducting their primary research. The portion of staff effort dedicated to program development is paid for by TCP.
The program was launched at the beginning of FY17 as an additional driver of new programs that grow Argonne’s research portfolio and sponsorship thereof. In addition to growing Argonne’s research portfolio and sponsorship streams, Launchpad also serves as a career development opportunity for participants.
At the event, the members of Cohort 1 gave presentations on the progress they made in the program as well as their impressions on the strengths of Launchpad and areas where there is room for improvement.
All the participants have forged meaningful connections with entities in their target audiences, and in multiple cases, are discussing research collaborations with companies that learned of them through Launchpad outreach efforts. In addition, multiple participants have secured support from Argonne entities (e.g., National Security Programs, Argonne Design Works, Energy Systems) to continue to build their respective programs.
The participants in Cohort 2 of Launchpad are in the midst of their one-year rotation.
Each summer, TCP and the Argonne Commercialization Council put out a call for applicants for the next cohort of Launchpad. If you have interest in the program and would like to be personally notified when the call for applications goes out, please contact TCP’s John Harvey at ext. 2-3566. General questions about Launchpad can also be directed to Harvey.