With new national leadership committed to investing in clean energy technology,the time is right to consider new paradigms for U.S. energy research. In view of that, a new Blueprint for American Prosperity report, “Energy Discovery-Innovation Institutes: A Step toward America’s Energy Sustainability,” argues that America’s capacity for groundbreaking energy research, development and commercialization can be enhanced through the creation of a network of energy-oriented “discovery-innovation institutes” (e-DIIs)—highly networked, multidisciplinary, applications-oriented research centers designed to complement the nation’s federal laboratories and corporate R&D centers with a radically different model for converting breakthrough inventions into market-ready technology.
On February 9, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted an event to present the new proposal. After opening remarks by Amy Liu, deputy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, Senator Sherrod Brown gave an address. The report’s lead author James Duderstadt, president emeritus of the University of Michigan, presented the e-DII concept. Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University, and E. Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University, provided additional comments. Prominent voices in industry, education, the environmental community and government commented on the role the institutes can play in reinvigorating America’s economy, tackling security challenges and responding to global climate change.
After the presentation, panelists took audience questions.