Get Ready for the 2020 Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp

Monday, July 27th – Friday, August 7th; Madison, Wisconsin, USA

bootcamplogoThe Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp seeks to train students and early career professionals in skills essential to innovation in nuclear energy while executing group projects. The program consists of expert-led sessions, team-building exercises, and group project design time.

2020 Bootcamp Curriculum – The 2020 Curriculum is being developed with  institutional collaborators at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, University of California – Berkeley, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Participants leave the Bootcamp with an in depth understanding of innovation issues specific to nuclear energy in the 21st century

  • Venture fundamentals
  • Methods for idea generation and critique
  • Cross-cutting needs in nuclear energy systems
  • Product development and marketing
  • Generation IV designs
  • Community and Stakeholder engagement
  • Venture and Institutional Financing
  • Climate Change and Environmental Justice
  • Challenges and opportunities for nuclear in the 21st century energy landscape
  • Licensing, legal issues, and government/NGO support

Focus of the Bootcamp Experience

Participants are selected amongst the most qualified students and young professionals in the nuclear field. Time in the bootcamp is spent on four key areas.

1. Learning strategies for innovation by obtaining the tools to go through opportunity recognition, idea generation, idea refinement, and idea execution

2. Developing approaches to venture-building by applying this process to relevant problems and receiving feedback on their work from private companies, technical experts, and potential funders

3. Examining the feasibility of initiatives by learning about the technical aspects of innovation in nuclear

4. Critiquing projects from a multi-disciplinary perspective by learning about non-technical considerations in the nuclear space

Organizers – Present and past organizers and advisors of the Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp represent a broad array of expertise across multiple disciplines in the global nuclear energy space.

nuclear reimagined third way

Image: Third Way

Bootcamp presenters make up the core of our program offering: experienced leaders from numerous disciplines and industries who share a passion for innovation and collaboration.

nuclear reimagined third way2

Image: Third Way

The expertise that the presenters bring and the conversations that they stimulate are one of the distinguishing features of the Bootcamp. This environment guarantees that participants and the presenters themselves are able to engage on highly topical issues facing clean energy today.


Application Process

Who Should Apply? – The Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp is a unique opportunity to work with students, professionals, and experts from within and outside the nuclear industry who are excited about the future of clean energy.

For two weeks, participants hear from experts across industries from all over the world. They are encouraged to ask hard questions and are expected to design ventures that will transform our future. Who can apply:

  • Undergraduate students in any field who are currently in their third year or later
  • Graduate students (including PhD) in any field
  • Early-career professionals in any field who have been working for less than 5 years.

Applications will be evaluated based on the applicant’s demonstrated interest in clean energy innovation and/or business development. There are no implicit technical requirements to apply, although participants will be asked to think critically about technical possibilities over the course of the program.

Becoming a participant – The organizing team will select 25 applications to extend invitations to. The selected applicants will be informed in late May by email of their selection.

The Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp covers the price of lodging and meals during the two weeks of the program. Travel expenses to and from the Bootcamp are not covered. To finalize their enrollment the selected applicants will have to pay a fee of $100 USD to secure their seat.

Directions:  – Send your application package as a single PDF file to

  • Please include a subject line that follows the format: Lastname_Firstname_NIB2020
  • The deadline for submitting applications is:
    11:59pm ET on Wednesday May 6th, 2020

Your application package must contain:

  • Your CV (resume)
  • A letter of recommendation*

*Recommenders can send their letters directly to with a note that specifies the applicant. The applicant must also make a note of this in their application. All recommendations must be received by the deadline

  • An essay answering the following three questions (maximum 1,500 words)
    • Why is innovation in nuclear energy important to you?
    • What are you going to do to enable the success of nuclear energy?
    • What type of entrepreneurship experience do you have?

Mentors Needed

nuclear mentorThe team design project constitutes a significant portion of the Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp.

Throughout the two weeks, participants work In small groups on a project that will have technical and non-technical components touching upon a wide range of topics.

Team members will not have expertise in most of these areas, so mentors are assigned to groups and serve as experts from across industries to be available and answer questions as needed.

There are two forms this mentoring can take: continuous mentoring and spot mentoring. Neither commitment requires attending in person as teams can use phone, email, video chat, or other remote communication methods.

NB:  As publisher of this blog, based in Cleveland, OH, I have been a spot mentor for the bootcamp for all of its previous sessions. During the Paris, France, Bootcamp in 2019, I was a spot mentor to two teams. If you don’t mind a bit of time/distance management, you can be a spot mentor from anywhere.


The bootcamp is specifically looking for experts in startups, business, nuclear technology, and innovation.  The project is also open to those outside of these spaces as diverse backgrounds only enrich our participants’ experience further.

To become a mentor use this contact form at the Bootcamp site.

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About djysrv

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