Experts on energy technology will head fund's science team
SEATTLE, Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) today announced Eric Toone as executive managing director and science lead and David Danielson as managing director for science. The two are the first employees hired on the BEV science team since the $1 billion fund launched in December to finance emerging technology with the potential to deliver affordable, reliable, zero-carbon energy.
"BEV's vision to transform the energy market requires the deep in-house scientific expertise that Eric and David provide," said John Arnold, BEV board member, founder of Centaurus Advisors and co-chair of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. "They understand the unique complexities of the energy technology landscape and what it will take to build the breakthroughs that will power the world in the future."
As the core of the scientific team, Toone and Danielson will work with investors, entrepreneurs, and managers as part of the BEV leadership group, which is currently being hired. Together, the BEV team will make investments that align to the leadership and strategic direction established by the fund's board.
Toone was most recently the leader of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at Duke University. In 2009, he was a founding member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) where he created and led the agency's electrofuels program. Toone, who holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Toronto, has also founded three pharmaceutical companies—Vindica Pharmaceuticals, Valanbio Therapeutics and Aerie Pharmaceuticals—that scaled novel research into commercially-viable products.
Danielson joins BEV from Stanford University, where he is a Precourt Energy Scholar. Prior to Stanford, Danielson spent seven years at the U.S. Department of Energy, including four years as assistant secretary of energy heading the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy—the world's largest government funding agency devoted exclusively to energy innovation. In 2009, Danielson joined ARPA-E as its first employee and worked closely with Toone to build the organization. Danielson holds a PhD in materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In December 2016, members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition formed Breakthrough Energy Ventures as a vehicle to help satisfy the world's growing demand for affordable, reliable, zero-carbon energy. The investor-led fund is currently focused on building its management team, which is being recruited from a global talent pool of entrepreneurs, scientists and investment experts. As a for-profit, private-sector effort, BEV builds on the foundation of research laid by efforts such as Mission Innovation—a commitment by 22 nations and the European Union to double their investment in clean energy R&D.
About Breakthrough Energy Ventures Founded by members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) invests in next generation technologies to provide reliable, affordable, zero-carbon energy, food, and products to the world. BEV is led by investors, guided by science, and equipped with patient and flexible capital needed to transform the energy market.