Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gov. Snyder to present awards to Clean Energy Prize winners

Six teams of student entrepreneurs will compete in the final rounds of the Clean Energy Prize competition at the University of Michigan on Friday.


Gov. Rick Snyder will present the awards with Gerard Anderson, DTE Energy president and chief executive officer. The finals and awards ceremony are open to the public. President Mary Sue Coleman and Mark Pinto, executive vice president at Applied Materials Inc., also will speak at the awards ceremony, which is co-sponsored by the College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship.

  Gov. Rick Snyder

The winning teams will share $100,000 in prize money. The competition began this year with 23 teams from seven Michigan colleges and universities. Teams from U-M, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University are among the finalists. They are:

• Green Start Batteries: An eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to new batteries that aims to renew seven out of 10 lead acid batteries to original manufacturing standards at one-third of the cost of new batteries.

• Smart Energy Loan Fund: An innovative financing model to retrofit municipal buildings for energy efficiency savings.

• CSquared Innovation: A laser-assisted atmospheric plasma deposition technology that offers a high-speed, cost-effective and highly scalable platform approach to the synthesis of nanostructured materials and films for a large area on Li-ion battery electrodes, photovoltaics, industrial coatings, and biomedical materials.

• Grid Link: A cost-effective residential demand-response program to utilities by providing an end-to-end solution that includes program development, marketing, and operation.

• Impact Card: A first-of-its-kind funding mechanism that aggregates consumer credit card reward points as project financing for renewable energy development.

• Perennial BioEnergy LLC: Development of a biodiesel industry based on pennycress, a non-food winter oilseed that can be integrated with summer cash crops such as corn and soybeans.

The teams will present their business plans in the semi-final round at 11 a.m. Friday at the U-M Alumni Center. Judges will confer and the awards ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Friday in Rackham Auditorium.

The Clean Energy Prize was established by DTE Energy and U-M in 2008 to encourage entrepreneurship in Michigan and the development of clean-energy technologies.

At U-M, groups involved in organizing it include the College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship, the Ross School of Business's student organization Ross Energy Club, the Business Engagement Center, the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The Masco Corporation Foundation and The Kresge Foundation are founding sponsors and they continue to support the competition. Additional sponsors include UBS Investment Bank, Google, Huron River Ventures and GM Ventures.