Sandia Labs News Releases

Twistact and Optimization of Building Efficiency projects chosen for DOE’s LabCorps

Sandia and LLNL teams will receive funding for commercialization plans and entrepreneurial training

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Sandia National Laboratories’ Twistact and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Optimization of Building Efficiency projects were selected today as the Livermore Valley Site’s participants in the Energy Department’s LabCorps pilot program.

“This program underscores the value of the partnership between Sandia Livermore, Lawrence Livermore and i-GATE to successfully commercializing laboratory ideas,” said LLNL Director Bill Goldstein. “I look forward to seeing these energy technologies move to the marketplace.”

The winning principal investigators, Jeff Koplow of Sandia and Yining Qin of LLNL, will each receive $75,000 to develop commercialization plans for the technologies. The two project teams, which consist of the principal investigator, an entrepreneurial lead and industry adviser, will attend LabCorps entrepreneur training later this year. The teams also will have access to a suite of commercialization resources, including technology validation and testing, facility access, techno-economic analysis and other incubation services.

Sandia’s Twistact technology is a fundamentally new concept for bringing more wind energy to the grid. It enables novel wind turbine designs that eliminate exotic rare-earth materials and high-maintenance components, such as gear boxes and brush contacts.

LLNL’s Optimization of Building Efficiency intends to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings through better control technology.

The announcement was made today at an event at the i-GATE Innovation Hub. Joining in the celebration were Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.; Livermore Mayor John Marchand; Sandia Vice President Marianne Walck; Goldstein; i-GATE executive director Brandon Cardwell; and researchers from Sandia and LLNL.

“Transitioning clean energy technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace is difficult, but it’s also vitally important that we do so,” said Walck. “This is a great opportunity for our researchers to receive federal support for their entrepreneurial efforts.”

The Livermore Valley Site LabCorps program is a collaboration between LLNL, Sandia, the i-GATE Innovation Hub and the University of California at Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Over the past two months, researchers attended a series of seminars at the university and i-GATE to prepare for the final pitch Tuesday before the Livermore Valley Site selection committee.

“LabCorps has given these researchers an opportunity to develop their business and entrepreneurial skills,” said Jim Presley, an investor with Pacific Private Capital who is on the LabCorps Industrial Advisory Board. “From the first interactions to now, I have seen a transformation in their understanding of business concepts. The LabCorps participants will greatly increase the chances of attracting investors to pull the technologies into the commercial world.”

The goal of LabCorps is to accelerate the transfer of innovative clean energy technologies from the Department of Energy’s national laboratories into the marketplace. The program aims to better train and empower national lab researchers to successfully transition their discoveries into high-impact, real-world technologies in the private sector.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Nancy Salem,, (505) 844-2739