This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 27, 2011

DOE Offers Support for Student-Focused Clean Energy Business Contests

DOE on July 21 announced $2 million in funding to support up to six regional competitions that will inspire, mentor, and train students from across the country to develop successful business plans for a new generation of U.S. clean energy companies. Under a new nationwide initiative called the National University Clean Energy Business Challenge, regional competitions will take place before May 1, 2012. Winners of the regional competitions will compete for a national grand prize at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C., in early summer 2012. This national initiative will enable student participants to gain the skills required to build new businesses and transform promising innovative energy technologies from U.S. universities and national laboratories into innovative new energy products that will solve our nation's energy challenges.

For its new funding opportunity announcement (FOA), DOE will consider applications that propose annual university-based business creation competitions for student entrepreneurs with business ideas in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Student teams that participate in the competitions will work with experienced mentors from the energy industry and start-up community, along with university and national lab-based researchers, to develop creative business plans for transforming groundbreaking energy technologies into high-impact market solutions. The new initiative, facilitated by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, aims to increase the number and quality of start-up businesses created with university-based energy technologies and to promote a new generation of energy entrepreneurs. Applications are due August 22, and DOE expects to make its selections before the end of September. See the DOE press release and the FOA, which is posted on the FedConnect website.