Kauffman Foundation Announces Grant for Utility Technology Challenge

Media Contacts:
Barbara Pruitt, 816-932-1288; bpruitt@kauffman.org, Kauffman Foundation
Laura Benold, 512-800-9798; laura@ct-si.org, Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization
Emily Dahl, 978-394-3506; edahl@fraunhofer.org, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

Utility Technology Challenge, now open for submissions, will use Foundation's support to fund demonstration projects and services for winning clean energy technologies

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.), Jan. 12, 2012 – The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announced a grant to support the Utility Technology Challenge, the national competition matching clean technology solutions with utility and industry partners. Kauffman's support contributes $50,000 to the funding pool of up to $100,000 in awards for demonstration projects and services for Challenge winners.

The Utility Technology Challenge, now in its third year, is an initiative of the Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI). The Challenge, open for submissions through Jan. 31, 2012, seeks companies and technologies focused on cleaner and more environmentally sustainable energy solutions that help solve challenges facing utilities. This year, CTSI has partnered with Fraunhofer TechBridge to raise funded services for winners.

"Kauffman's goal is to help create an environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurial success, which is especially challenging in the complex and highly regulated energy industry," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of advancing innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. "Providing grants to the competition winners will help accelerate their abilities to move their innovations forward."

"The Kauffman Foundation's generous support will give developers of promising clean energy technologies the opportunity to demonstrate the real-world viability of their innovations," said CTSI president and founding chairman Matthew Laudon. "We thank Kauffman for its commitment to the Utility Technology Challenge."

"We are honored to have the Kauffman Foundation as the premier supporter of the Utility Technology Challenge," said Nolan Browne, managing director of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. "Kauffman's contribution underscores the value of the Challenge in bringing together clean energy entrepreneurs and utilities—with the goal of proving out promising technologies that improve grid reliability and efficiency while keeping ratepayers' costs low."

Smart grid technology areas of consideration for the Utility Technology Challenge include (but are not limited to) transmission and distribution, demand response and power electronics. This year, there is a new emphasis on demand-side building energy technologies, such as energy efficiency measures (e.g., HVAC, lighting, and building management), as well as distributed generation systems (e.g., building-integrated solar photovoltaics and combined heat and power).

Applicants with pilot-ready or early-stage commercial solutions targeting utilities and other large customers should submit their proposals online by Jan. 31, 2012, to: www.techconnectworld.com.

There are no fees to enter or to participate in the Utility Technology Challenge. Selected finalists will be invited to attend the TechConnect World Clean Technology Conference in Santa Clara in June 2012 and present their solutions to the sponsor committee that includes: the City of Anaheim, Arsenal Venture Partners, Shell, National Grid, Northeast Utilities, Austin Energy, Constellation Energy and Southern California Edison.