Breakthrough Energy, which was established by Bill Gates in 2015, created the Breakthrough Energy Fellows to support the brightest innovators that work to develop, scale, and commercialize technologies that help reduce CO2 emissions by at least 500 million tons annually by 2050.
The program’s first two cohorts are currently working on innovations in a variety of sectors, including cement, steel, hydrogen, carbon capture, storage and sequestration, wind, and solar.
The Fellows Program provides early-stage innovators with R&D funding, educational resources, and network access so that they can make the first steps toward commercialization. The program is now looking for Cohort 3 applications for Innovator Fellows and Explorer Grants.
The Innovator Fellows are leading scientists and engineers who have critical climate technology to commercialize and commit to the program – which starts in September 2023 – full-time for two years.
The Breakthrough Energy Innovator Fellowship Provides about $500,000 to $3,000,000 per project for RnD costs such as lab space, office space, equipment, supplies, technical consultants, and staff. Innovator Fellows can work anywhere within the regions where the program operates.
The program’s curriculum includes intensive entrepreneurial training, mentorship, and opportunities to network with Breakthrough Energy’s ecosystem of mentors, policy experts, investors, technologists, and government entities.
The Explorer Grant Recipients are entrepreneurs with early-stage technologies who may not be ready to commit full-time. Typically, these one-time, 12-month explore grants aid research projects led by university labs or research entities that need additional technical exploration.
The grants provide about $250,000 to $500,000 in RnD funding for lab and office space, equipment, supplies, technical consultants, and staff, as well as access to the program’s network. Explorer grant recipients can also work from anywhere within the regions covered by the program, but they also have the opportunity to remain employed at their current organizations.