Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship Roundtable

Inclusive Innovation
June 22, 2021 9:30 A.M. PT/12:30 P.M. ET - 1:00 P.M. PT/4:00 PM ET


Advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the entire U.S. government, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE is taking a number of proactive steps to diagnose and eliminate barriers to equal opportunity by enabling an inclusive and just entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem in climate and energy technologies.

This invite-only event aims to bring together experts in climate and energy justice, entrepreneurship and innovation, and incubation and acceleration services to understand barriers to entry and the role that DOE can play in lowering them. 

The event will start with welcome remarks and opening discussion from DOE officials and then engage participants in direct conversation in five breakout rooms

Breakout Sessions

Structural barriers in DOE funding instruments: This breakout room is an opportunity to discuss specific barriers within the application processes to acquire DOE funding, such as language, documentation, cost-share, and implementation requirements.

Outreach and community engagement and community capacity building: Just as structural barriers in DOE funding instruments themselves can be a barrier to entry, engaging communities and creating awareness of opportunities may be another limitation. This breakout room will discuss how outreach and engagement with underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields could support inclusion in DOE funding opportunities. This breakout room will discuss ways in which DOE funding opportunities can reach and enable new networks of talent.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements on all EERE funding instruments: Future funding opportunities from DOE will require diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements and will include a range of activities. However, the way in which these requirements are specified, implemented, and tracked has yet to be determined in detail. Thoughtful discussion on the importance of these requirements and implementation methods to ensure their success will take place in this breakout room.

Creating a STEM pipeline: Inclusive entrepreneurship has roots in inclusive STEM education. Traditional mechanisms for STEM workforce development are in university partnerships, educational exchanges and collegiate competitions. This breakout room will discuss DOE’s role in supporting university STEM programs and recruitment that directly support greater workforce DEI, through to employment and workforce engagement.

Inclusive innovation ecosystem: Many accelerators and incubators recognize the need to reckon with a historic exclusion of underrepresented communities and have begun taking steps to better support and engage these communities. This breakout room will discuss these practices and how the larger innovation ecosystem can build into greater inclusion.

A finalized agenda will be available soon. Questions? Contact Rebecca O’Neil.