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Top Questions to Ask Before Translating Ideas

A 3-session training workshop for researchers


This training workshop is designed to move researchers quickly up the learning curve related to the applied and commercialization applications of their research and inventions. Attendees will leave with solid practice tools and a broader understanding of the crucial challenges they must consider when translating ideas from lab to market. Participants will obtain the relevant foundation necessary to perform a preliminary evaluation of the critical business factors around their new product and product enhancement ideas.

Who Should Attend

Lab scientists and engineers who have started thinking about an “idea/technology” in terms of “product” applications for the marketplace today and are wondering about “commercializing” out of the lab, what that means, and how it occurs.

If You Want to Attend

Contact Poornima Upadhya, 631-344-4711 Potential attendees must apply and complete a brief orientation phone call. Attendance is limited. Please call and apply soon.

Course Facilitators

Mark W. Wilson

Mark W. Wilson

Co-Founder, Neworks, LLC. Founder, Initiatives consulting, LLC. Lecturer, Entrepreneurship, Simon School of Business, University of Rochester.

David C. Hamilton

David C. Hamilton

Director of Operations, Advanced Energy ResearchTM and Technology Center. Executive Director, Clean Energy Business Incubator Program.

Mandatory Requirement

Participants must attend all the three days of the workshop and do the necessary homework in between.

TCP Workshop


  • Thursday, March 28, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 4, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 5, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.


Large Conference Room in building 490C

Brief Agenda

Day 1: March 28, 2019

The morning session will include a primer for spotting common problems in commercializing technologies and what to do about them. Attendees will then split into teams and work with a SimCard™ Deck—a set of cards that form a simulation exercise around the core teaching elements. Each team will present their recommendations on which hypothetical technologies to commercialize.

Homework before Day Two: Individually or as teams, participants will apply the lessons to one of their early-stage ideas and develop a slide deck with their evaluation for the Day 2 presentation.

Day 2: April 4, 2019

Attendees will present their application of the lessons to their own ideas, learn about product renditions and customer discovery. In addition, the attendees will have the opportunity to meet Zach Baize, Deputy Director of Technology Transfer in the DOE Office of Technology Transitions, who will discuss the DOE’s commercialization programs that are available to help them move their ideas forward.Roger Werne, Deputy Director for Industrial Partnerships at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will discuss his journey as a lab scientist and an entrepreneur.

Day 3: April 5, 2019

Attendees will learn some of the critical aspects that need to be considered while articulating an idea. In addition, the participants will learn about the available local resources for commercialization. Participants will also have an opportunity for one-on-one discussions with the instructors.


The workshop is funded by the Office of Technology Transitions at the U.S. Department of Energy. The primary goal of the workshop is to provide researchers a lite entrepreneurship training program that includes training, individualized mentorship, an opportunity to participate in Energy iCorps and an opportunity to pitch to investors. Energy I-Corps aims to accelerate the deployment of energy technologies by granting DOE laboratory scientists and engineers access to direct market feedback on their technology offerings. Inspired by the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) model, the two-month Energy I-Corps program empowers teams with the tools, resources, and relationships necessary to discover potential market pathways for their innovations. Teams return to the lab with a framework for industry engagement to guide future research and inform a culture of market awareness within the labs. In this way, Energy I-Corps is ensuring our investment in the national labs is maintaining and strengthening U.S. competitiveness long-term.