U.S. Department of Energy celebrates Mission Innovation’s 5-year anniversary

U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories. Photo credit: U.S. DOE STEM Rising program (


The U.S. joined MI in 2015 because our government is committed to supporting the development of affordable and reliable energy as a foundation for economic growth and energy security. Indeed, reliable, affordable energy goes hand in hand with a strong economy. Innovation in science and technology has been a cornerstone of America’s economic progress. The private sector funds and performs the majority of U.S. R&D, but the Federal government has an important role in supporting basic research in areas where industry does not have a strong incentive to invest.

Some key examples of U.S. international engagement under MI include: Carbon Capture Innovation Challenge co-led with Saudi Arabia in 2017; and, the Clean Energy Materials Innovation challenge co-led with Mexico in 2017.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) engages in a wide range of R&D activities in energy and basic science. Research at DOE’s 17 National Laboratories is widely recognized across the scientific community as cutting edge. In 2019, U.S. Department of Energy researchers won or shared 42 of the R&D 100 awards, including eight out of 10 “Special Recognition” medals. The annual R&D 100 Awards recognize exceptional new products, technologies and materials that are available for sale or license for their technological significance. DOE’s national laboratories have received more than 800 R&D 100 awards since the annual competition began in 1962. The awards are selected by an independent panel of judges based on the technical significance, uniqueness, and usefulness of projects and technologies from across industry, government, and academia. Many of these projects were developed in collaboration with private companies or academic institutions.

The U.S. is a proud member of MI and looks forward to continued collaboration.