Commerce Announces Clean-Energy Challenge

March 15, 2011

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced its plan to launch a program aimed at helping entrepreneurs bring new clean energy and “green” technologies to the market by accelerating the transformation of an idea into a viable business.

EDA plans to launch the $12 million i6 Green Challenge in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Up to six “teams” from around the country will be awarded $1 million from EDA—and additional support and funding from other participating agencies—after a competition based on which teams present the most pioneering ideas to speed up the commercialization of clean energy and “green” technologies.

The winning teams will establish Proof of Concept centers that will support all aspects of the entrepreneurship process.  These centers will determine technology feasibility, assist with business plan development, ensure access to early-stage capital and provide help from mentors.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu‪ said, “Investments in small business innovation through the i6 Green Challenge will play an important role in strengthening U.S. competitiveness and supporting economic development and job growth around the country. These centers will help companies test their innovations, a critical step in commercializing next generation clean energy technologies.”

The deadline to submit an application to form a Center is May 26, 2011.  Once the Centers begin operations, entrepreneurs with clean technology innovations will be encouraged to use the Centers’ services.

Funding for the i6 Green Challenge is contingent upon Congressional approval of the administration’s 2011 budget proposal.

For more information on the i6 Green Challenge, please click here.