Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why was the Build4Scale training created? What problems does it address, and how?

American innovators are inventing energy hardware technologies with the potential to drive the United States’ economic growth and energy security. But that potential is only realized if those hardware technologies are manufactured and reach the market. The scientists and engineers developing energy hardware technologies often lack basic knowledge of manufacturing design, and create prototypes that are impossible to manufacture and scale. The redesign process costs valuable time and money, making even the most promising energy technologies less attractive to potential investors and industry partners. As a result, fewer transformative American energy technologies transition to market.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Build4Scale training equips scientists and engineers with knowledge of basic manufacturing processes, an understanding of product design for manufacturing, and the know-how to make and evaluate manufacturing-related decisions. The training helps energy hardware innovators avoid the common pitfalls of costly redesign, teaching them manufacturing design fundamentals in the early stages of prototype development. Build4Scale™ training also prepares innovators with the background and information they need to effectively work with manufacturers on product design and first production runs.

What makes the Build4Scale training unique?

Build4Scale offers one of the only manufacturing trainings online designed specifically for the scientists and engineers developing energy hardware technology prototypes. Most incubators and other business support organizations provide training on market discovery and business plan development, but very few provide energy hardware innovators with manufacturing, design, and processes fundamentals in an online training format.

Energy hardware innovators don't always know what information they need to make early manufacturing decisions. Build4Scale makes it easier for energy hardware innovators to find the information they need to better inform their early manufacturing decisions by consolidating a wide range of manufacturing training, resources, and information in a centralized online hub—Build4Scale.org.

Who will benefit from the Build4Scale training? Is it publicly available?

The Build4Scale training is designed for energy hardware technologists: scientists, engineers, students, and innovators. Organizations and individuals involved in American manufacturing and technology innovation, including incubators and accelerators, universities and community colleges, product design firms, contract manufacturers, and other experts, are encouraged to utilize and disseminate the Build4Scale training materials.

Is there a cost to use the Build4Scale training materials?

Build4Scale training is publicly available at no cost. Users must agree to terms of use listed on the website.

Can non-energy hardware innovators benefit from the Build4Scale training?

Although DOE’s Build4Scale training was created for innovators developing energy hardware technologies, the content is applicable to many hardware technology areas.

Can organizations distribute the Build4Scale training?

Individuals and organizations including incubators and accelerators, universities and community colleges, product design firms, contract manufacturers, and other experts, are encouraged to utilize and disseminate DOE’s Build4Scale training materials. Note that all users must agree to the terms of use on the Build4Scale website.

Contact build4scale@ee.doe.gov to send comments, report problems, and/or ask questions about information on this website.