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ORNL’s Tech Collaboration Program (TCP) engages industry partners to participate in short-term, collaborative projects to accelerate the development of new energy efficient manufacturing technologies. The opportunity provides selected participants access to ORNL's experienced staff and unique equipment and capabilities at the MDF to demonstrate advanced concepts with intent to develop and deploy new manufacturing processes or materials in U.S. manufacturing industries.

TCP provides open, affordable, and convenient access to national lab infrastructure, hosted resources, tools, and expertise to facilitate rapid development and adoption of new energy efficient manufacturing technologies.

Projects use a cost shared model to collaboratively investigate, improve, and scale process methodology to reduce the risk and accelerate the development and deployment of innovative energy efficient manufacturing and materials technologies.

Leveraging ORNL’s expertise in additive manufacturing, we’re able to test and make adjustments quickly, which reduces our cost and lead time in designing and making components. This can be critical to the success of fabricating a new energy system.

- Emily Morris, Emrgy founder and CEO


Who TCP is for/who can benefit from it 

TCP is limited to industries that currently manufacture equipment, process materials, produce manufacturing-related software, and/or integrate energy systems in the US for a wide variety of commercial applications, or to industries that will be able to do so as a direct result of these collaborative efforts.  


Leverage ORNL’s vast capabilities, experts, and facilities

Through MDF, ORNL offers distinctive world-leading capabilities in manufacturing and materials research technologies and characterization facilities. MDF provides a collaborative, shared infrastructure to help industry adopt energy efficient, rapid, and flexible manufacturing technologies to lower production cost, and create new products and opportunities for high-paying jobs.

ORNL's expertise in material synthesis, characterization, and process technology will assist manufacturing industries in conducting assessments of new fabrication concepts and methods for improving existing technologies. The materials and processing technologies developed are expected to be deployed in new or existing manufacturing facilities.

Collaborations since 2012
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Industry partners
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University collaborations
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National laboratory partnerships


Benefits of TCP 

  • Reduced Risk: Helps reduce industry risk in adopting energy efficient, rapid, and flexible manufacturing technologies to lower production cost and create new products and opportunities for high-paying jobs.
  • Accelerated R&D: Accelerates industry's development and deployment of innovative energy efficient manufacturing and materials technologies.
  • Cost Share: The nature of TCP’s cost-share requirements means that no money changes hands. Both ORNL and the company contribute equal amounts.
  • IP Ownership: Industry partners retain rights to subject inventions they generate in performing their tasks.
  • Fast Agreement Process: TCP has a fast-track CRADA approval process or User Agreement process to help the program move at the speed of industry.
  • National Laboratory Expertise: ORNL leverages cross-functional teams from across the lab in materials, imaging, and computation to deepen the expertise and capabilities present for every project.

Success Stories

MDF drives next-gen creations

The MDF is at the heart of America’s manufacturing ingenuity

Pre-cast concrete molds

Using advanced manufacturing, ORNL created low-cost, reusable molds for the façade of a 42-story building

How TCP Works

Project Development/Agreement: 3–4 months*

  • A company engages ORNL through the MDF (contact Bob Slattery)
  • ORNL and the industry partner co-develop a project proposal
  • The proposal is submitted to the Department of Energy (rolling cycle every two weeks)
  • A project agreement is established

Project Execution: six months to two years

  • Project scope is executed 
  • A final project report is created

*Agreement processing times for international companies is about twice as long due to additional DOE reviews.


Download the TCP Toolkit for more detailed program information, examples of CRADA and User Agreements and project proposal template.


Technology Ownership

During a collaboration, any intellectual property developed by the company while performing their tasks is owned by the company. IP developed by ORNL while performing tasks is owned by ORNL and under a CRADA, the company is given the right to exclusively license the ORNL-developed IP for their defined field of application.