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Obama Administration Announces i6 Green Challenge

March 16, 2011
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has joined with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to announce the opening of the $12 million i6 Green Challenge, which will also be conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Science Foundation, and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The funding will support awards for six teams around the country with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy, increased U.S. competitiveness, and new jobs. The DOE will invest up to $2 million to support the $12 million multi-agency i6 Green Challenge, which will establish or expand Proof of Concept Centers across the U.S. In order to be eligible for DOE funding, applicants will be required to demonstrate innovation in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency or green building technology.

“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,” said Steven Chu, U.S. Energy Secretary. “These centers will help companies test their innovations, a critical step in commercializing next generation clean energy technologies.”

This year’s competition focuses on promoting Proof of Concept Centers, which support all aspects of the entrepreneurship process, from assisting with technology feasibility and business plan development to providing access to early-stage capital and mentors to offer critical guidance to innovators. Centers allow emerging technologies to mature and demonstrate their market potential, making them more attractive to investors and helping entrepreneurs turn their idea or technology into a business.

“The i6 Green Challenge will help catalyze American ingenuity by leveraging the proven benefits that these centers offer to promote green growth, advance cluster development and strengthen the economic ecosystems of America's regions,” said John Fernandez, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.

For more information, visit www.eda.gov/i6.

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