Three PNNL Innovations Honored with National Awards


RICHLAND, Wash. — The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer has honored three innovations at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: energy use sensors, fish and wildlife tracking devices and a streamlined technology licensing agreement. The innovations were among the 2020 FLC national awards the consortium announced earlier this month.

PNNL received two Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards, which recognize dedication, ingenuity and collaboration for moving inventions into the marketplace; and one Technology Transfer Innovation Award for increasing technology transfer opportunities. PNNL has received 95 FLC awards since the program’s inception in 1984, the most of any national lab.

Retro-Commissioning Sensor Suitcase transferred to GreenPath Energy Solutions

Sensor Suitecase hand grabbing sensor
Sensor Suitcase is a portable diagnostic toolkit with sensors that gather information about how smaller commercial buildings operate and then recommends ways to reduce energy use. Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Retro-Commissioning Sensor Suitcase targets energy savings in smaller commercial buildings- about 50,000 square feet or less-for customers unable to afford more costly options. The suitcase contains 16 pocket-sized sensors that are deployed in a building for about a month to measure temperature, light usage and heating and cooling system operations. Back in the suitcase, software analyzes the sensor data and recommends ways to reduce energy use. The software also estimates annual cost savings. PNNL developed the sensor system with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It has been licensed to GreenPath Energy Solutions of Windermere, Fla. GreenPath estimates the technology can cut energy use by up to 16 percent in existing buildings and 13 percent in new construction.

PNNL’s Sensor Suitcase team: Sara Hunt, Jennifer Lee, Michael Brambley, Eric Gonzalez, Michael Hughes, Danny Taasevigen and James Skorpik

Fish and wildlife tracking technologies transferred to Advanced Telemetry Systems

Fish size sensor devices with yellow floats on the ends
PNNL-developed fish and wildlife tracking and sensing technologies – such as the Sensor Fish, show here – were recognized by the FLC with a 2020 technology transfer award. Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL researchers have developed several fish and wildlife tracking and sensing technologies that provide new approaches for collecting critical data for a wide range of species. These technologies provide new ways for determining the size of an implantable sensor (called tags), extending battery life, and easing tag installation in a range of ecosystems. This suite of products provided a fit for the licensee, Advanced Telemetry Systems of Isanti, Minn., which sells animal tracking and monitoring products.

PNNL’s fish and wildlife tracking technologies team: Sara Hunt, Jennifer Lee, Daniel Deng, Jayson Martinez, Jun Lu, Jie Xiao, Huidong Li, Lara Aston and Hongfei Hou

Exploratory License Agreement earns FLC Technology Transfer Innovation Award

PNNL’s Exploratory License Agreement streamlines the partnership process between the national lab and private industry. The user-friendly agreement was developed to increase the speed and ease with which PNNL-developed technologies can be used in real-world environments. It offers a limited-term research license that permits companies to try out promising PNNL technologies. At the end of six months, the organization has the option to convert to a royalty-bearing license. In turn, the agreement also allows PNNL to finalize a license more quickly, typically within two weeks, than its usual approach to contract agreements.

PNNL’s Exploratory License Agreement team: Peter Christensen, Derek Maughan and David Long

The consortium annually recognizes federal laboratory teams and their industry partners for outstanding technology transfer achievements. This year’s winners and their research will be recognized at the 2020 FLC national meeting, April 28-30, at the Hyatt Regency at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

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