GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid- Global call for entries
GE has announced an open innovation challenge that seeks breakthrough ideas to create smarter, cleaner, more efficient electric grids, and accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies. GE will award $200 million to winning ideas, making it the largest challenge of its kind.
The global challenge is now open and invites researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups to share their best ideas and come together to take on one of the world’s toughest challenges – making the grids smarter to meet society’s needs and cope with today’s energy challenges. GE’s ecomagination challenge is the largest ever of its kind and is open now for submissions at www.ecomagination.com/challenge. Idea proposals are sought in three broad categories: Renewables, Grid and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings. Deadline for all entries is September 30, 2010.
GE recently appointed an ecomagination leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Horst-Tore Land, who explained that “ecomagination is GE’s commitment to bring to market more energy-efficient solutions to meet market demands. Now, we are expanding our ecomagination initiative to include open innovation and collaboration with the best technology minds in the world. Working together, we can help to solve our energy challenges on both the supply and demand sides.”
With UAE energy consumption forecasted to double by 2030, new solutions are needed to meet demand reliably and efficiently while reducing unwanted environmental emissions.
Deploying smart grid technologies can help countries, like the UAE, to increase the amount of its growing energy demand with renewable energy sources. Today, about 97 percent of UAE electricity production is fuelled by carbon-producing natural gas. Untapped wind and solar energy sources, which are abundant throughout the Emirates, can be harnessed and optimally integrated into the grid through the use of smart grid technologies. This is important, as the UAE has highlighted its commitment to sustainable development and the use of alternative energy sources. In fact, Abu Dhabi has announced that 7 percent of its energy will come from renewable sources by 2020.
Over the course of 10 weeks, those interested can submit their ideas via the website http://ecomagination.com/challenge. Five entries will be given a $100,000 innovation challenge award acknowledging their entries as an example of outstanding entrepreneurship and innovation, and some entries will be evaluated a potential future commercial relationship through:
• Investment: the $200 million capital pledge of GE and its partners will be invested globally into promising start-ups and ideas
• Validation: evaluation of entrant’s business strategy through in-depth discussions with GE‘s technical and commercial teams
• Distribution: exploration of partnership opportunities with GE to scale a business and create global reach
• Development:: leveraging of GE‘s technical infrastructure and GE Global Research Centers to accelerate technology and product development
• Growth: exploration of opportunities for utilizing existing GE customer relationships for your go-to-market strategy
The Challenge also has prize by popular vote where general public will be able to view submissions and vote for the idea that they believe will have the most impact on the smart grid of the future. The idea that receives the highest number of votes will receive a cash award of $50.000.
The Challenge, launched in collaboration with leading venture capital firms Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer and RockPort Capital, and Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wired magazine, is part of GE’s ecomagination initiative and will help fund the most promising ideas.