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Energy Dept. Awards Grants for University Tech. Commercialization

Technicians in front solar panel array (NREL)

(National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) selected five projects to build and strengthen what it calls “innovation ecosystems” designed to accelerate the movement of new energy technologies from university laboratories to the market. This is the first time DoE has funded this type of university-based commercialization.

The ecosystems will bring together universities, the private sector, the federal government and DoE’s national laboratories to identify and develop new clean energy technologies and help them succeed in the marketplace. The projects will receive a total of $5.3 million in federal funding over three years, which are expected to be supplemented with grantee investments, for a total of $9 million.

The innovation ecosystem awards are led by universities or nonprofits based in five states, and include a total of 80 project partners from across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. DoE says the projects listed below were selected to help nurture and mentor entrepreneurs, pursue intellectual property protection for technological innovations, engage surrounding businesses and venture capital investors, and integrate sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation across university schools and departments.

  • Clean Energy Trust (Chicago, Illinois) – $1,050,000. In collaboration with the Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Clean Energy Trust will establish the Illinois Cleantech Ecosystem Consortium to initiate four separate university-based programs.
  • Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (Cambridge, Massachusetts) – $1,050,000. Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems will expand the Fraunhofer TechBridge program and establish the Energy Innovation Acceleration Program to foster clean technology innovation.
  • University of California, San Diego (San Diego, Calif.) – $1,050,000. The University of California, San Diego’s William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement and Rady School of Management will partner with San Diego State University to plan and hold an annual Regional Energy Innovation Challenge.
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando, Fla.) – $1,050,000. The University of Central Florida will hold the “MegaWatt Ventures” event, incorporating a technical showcase with a business plan competition and business and prototyping services.
  • University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah) – $1,050,000. The University of Utah will create the Energy Innovation Commercialization Center that will assist participating western universities and research institutions in transferring and commercializing university-developed technologies to industry and start-up companies.

Related: Energy Dept. Awards Wind Power R&D Grants

2 comments to Energy Dept. Awards Grants for University Tech. Commercialization

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