The Department of Energy-funded Solar Energy Research Institute is looking for new partners to stay alive. After eight years of diminishing DOE money—partially attributable to the Reagan administration’s lack of support for solar energy—the 11-year-old Golden, Cob., lab has enlisted NASA to underwrite part of its alternative energy research. It is also completing deals with EPA and the Department of Defense that could add 10% to SERI’s $58 million budget next year, according to Robert Stokes, SERI deputy director. Stokes says the lab hopes that half of its DOE funding will eventually go to more traditional, nonsolar research such as energy conservation, and that a quarter of its total budget will come from private industry for work in such spin-off fields as biotechnology.

Labs Offer Up Superconductor Secrets

Both the administration and Congress want to make U.S. industry more competitive by funneling technology from national labs to individual companies. And...

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