Daedalus, Vol. 141, No.2, pp. 81-93, 2012
Ernest J. Moniz, Daedalus, Vol. 141, No.2, pp. 81-93, 2012
The innovation system has interrelated components of invention, translation, adoption, and diffusion. Energy technology innovation has lagged that in other domains, and there is a compelling public interest in picking up the pace through appropriate government action. Government and universities are creating new approaches in the invention and translation stages. The Department of Energy (DOE) has implemented novel programs such as ARPA-E. Research universities have moved closer to the marketplace through more diversified industry collaboration models, such as convening research-sponsoring companies both horizontally in a sector and vertically across the innovation chain. Much more needs to be done to expand public-private partnerships and to define a broadly accepted government role in the adoption and diffusion stages. An administration-wide Quadrennial Energy Review process, informed by technical analysis and social science research, offers the best opportunity in this regard.