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ORNL launches rapid access licensing program to speed up COVID-19 solutions

Rapid access program at ORNL

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has launched a program designed to accelerate deployment of innovations that may help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Rapid Access Licensing Program will allow companies to license these select technologies at no cost for one year.

“As ORNL races to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Technology Transfer Office is working to provide streamlined processes and easy access to intellectual property so that companies can work with ORNL to quickly address this public health crisis,” said Jennifer Caldwell, ORNL’s group leader for technology commercialization.

In collaboration with researchers, ORNL’s Technology Transfer Office is creating a growing portfolio of inventions available to license through the program. The licenses are nonexclusive, meaning more than one person can hold the right to use the technology. Interested licensees must demonstrate intent to use ORNL’s innovations to address COVID-19 and commit to disseminating resulting products as widely and quickly as possible. Only U.S. entities, companies and universities are eligible.

Alternative licenses will be available for companies creating products that require exclusivity to support large development investments, such as for diagnostic platforms, drug delivery systems, therapies and vaccines.

ORNL has quickly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through its research efforts in computational science, advanced manufacturing, data science and neutron science. Inventions available to license through this program represent ORNL strengths in these areas as well as in areas ranging from biological sciences to spectrometry to next-generation materials.

“ORNL has shown leadership in adapting our research, operations and community engagement efforts to combat COVID-19 and mitigate its effects on our community,” said ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia. “We are pleased to now offer industry partners a quicker and easier way to use our strong technology portfolio for COVID-19 solutions.”

ORNL joins DOE national laboratories across the nation in the fight against COVID-19. Additional information on DOE technologies, facilities, experts and resources accessible to partners working against the virus is available through the recently announced Lab Partnering Service COVID-19 Portal.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit -- Abby Bower