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Competitions that Launch and Grow Cleantech Businesses

posted Feb 26, 2011, 12:50 AM by Cesar Harada

The Cleantech Open's reputation is built on its remarkably successful Business Competition, the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. The results are amazing and the Cleantech Open Alumni continue to score scientific breakthroughs, funding, deployments and customers.

The 2010 Global Ideas Competition, a global competition for bringing forth exciting new clean technologies and business ideas, was our largest yet. Join us in 2011 to make the competition even bigger and more exciting. Sign up your country for the 2011 competition here.

Two great ways to compete and win, all while solving our biggest energy, environmental and economic challenges.
Key Dates and Entry Fees

Business Competition

May 26, 2011 - Final Entry Deadline
$150 professionals
$100 students

**There is a $1500 participation fee per team that is selected for the semifinal round. $1000 of that is refunded to the team after full participation for the year.

Ideas Competition
October 1, 2011 - Entry Deadline
Free to enter

Get involved!

Clean Tech Open Defines Clean Technology
Air, Water and Waste

Entries in the Air, Water & Waste category focuses on improving resource availability, conservation and pollution control. With respect to waste, the category focuses on cradle-to-cradle approaches to reduction, reuse and recycling technologies, as well as innovative business models and approaches to materials usage.

Air examples include services, instruments and equipment related to emission control, treatment or reduction technologies. Also included are creative approaches to greenhouse gas reduction, including carbon conversion and sequestration.

Water examples include treatment, storage and monitoring, recycling and conservation technologies.

Waste examples include: waste management equipment; sorting; resource recovery processes; pollution prevention, control, and treatment technology; as well as waste reduction through innovative recycling processes and new recyclable materials, such as bio-based plastics.

Example technologies include:
Water monitoring-on-site in-situ real-time water monitoring for pathogens
Cooling solution
On-site wastewater recycling-industrial and commercial applications
Advanced water metering
Storm-water and flood control, rainwater harvesting
Smart irrigation
On-site water disinfection
Membranes for water treatment
Advanced filtration without membranes
Produced water (from oil exploration and drilling)
Energy efficient water pumping
Reverse osmosis
Advanced filters and filtration (air or water)
Emissions controls
Scrubber technology
Carbon and GHG monitoring and control
Carbon sequestration
Carbon Capture and storage
Technology enablers for Carbon markets
Reduction and remediation of VOCs
Waste cleanup and remediation
DI water supply
Agricultural waste treatment
Microbial water treatment
Bio based packaging solutions
Methane capture and storage
Soil technology
Natural pesticides
Clean coal
Combined and power (CHP)

Energy Efficiency

The Energy Efficiency category comprises technology that can significantly reduce wasted energy (including natural gas), driving toward the common goal of saving the equivalent of "a power plant a year" (a/k/a "Negawatts").

Examples include advanced light sources and controls, smart / user-friendly energy management systems, energy-efficient water heaters and other appliances, high-efficiency industrial process systems, motors, pumps, and advanced space heating and cooling systems.

Example technologies include:
Pumps for water / material
Industrial process improvements
Natural gas monitoring and control (industrial or residential)
LED lighting
Advanced lighting controls
Water heating
HVAC solutions
Heat pumps
Waste heat management
Efficient heat transfer
Utility scale natural gas controls
Display systems for energy management
Materials use in microelectronics manufacturing
Deposition and sputtering processes
Alternatives to heat intensive processes
Cooling solutions
Glass materials production
Pure manufacture techniques for fuel cells

Green Building

The Green Building category focuses on reducing the environmental impact of building construction or operation through improved design or construction practices, new or innovative use of building materials, or new hardware or software applications. Technologies are applied directly to the built environment. Technologies are applied directly to the built environment. (Building energy efficiency submissions will be considered in the Energy Efficiency category).

Examples include improved site planning, water management systems, reduction of hazardous materials in building construction or operation, use of new environmentally friendly or recycled materials, systems to improve indoor environmental quality and systems for improved waste reduction or disposal.

Example technologies include:
Insulation materials
Cement alternatives
Cement production techniques
Building integrated PV (BIPV)
Indoor air filtration systems
Modular housing
Disaster relief housing
Architectural Designs for thermal management
Office environment
Low VOC carpeting and flooring
Water saving toilets, showers, plumbing
Residential heat pumps
Recycled materials for use in building material
Design improvements to commercial environment

Renewable Energy

The Renewable Energy category includes innovations that use, enable and accelerate the migration to renewable energy. Renewables encompass technologies that use waste streams to directly produce energy.

Examples include low-emission power sources, such as solar, biofuels, wind, wave and tidal energy and hydropower.

Example technologies include:
Solar for energy production
Thin film solar manufacture
Concentrating solar PV
Coatings for solar panels
Polysilicon supply and manufacture
Residential scale solar deployment
Biobased fuels
Tidal energy
Wave energy capture
Landfill gas to energy systems
Agricultural waste to energy systems
Turbine blade design
Advanced fluid flow designs
Wind power aerodynamics
Wind power conversion efficiency

Smart Power, Green Grid and Energy Storage

The Smart Power, Green Grid and Energy Storage category encourages links between information technologies and electricity delivery that give industrial, commercial and residential consumers greater control over when and how their energy is delivered and used. It includes improvements in all forms of energy storage, from battery technology for consumer-scale products to large chemical, metal, biological or other approaches to storage of utility-scale energy, as well as methods for controlling or increasing the efficiency of energy storage or energy transmission.

Examples include wireless metering and use of real-time pricing information, intelligent sensors, batteries, fuel cells, fly-wheels, and advanced materials or systems for energy transmission, such as hardware and software controls.

Example technologies include:
Advanced metering
Network architecture for power management
Cloud computing, applied to grid
Novel battery chemistry
Nickel-metal hydride improvements
Hydrogen storage
Li-ion cells
Form factor improvements
Improved cycle life for batteries
Depth of discharge for batteries
Solid oxide fuel cells
Novel catalysts in batteries, fuel cells
Advanced fuel cell membranes
Methanol fuel cells
PEM fuel cells
Grid scale hardware and infrastructure
Power storage for intermittent, renewable resources
Monitoring and deploying power generated from renewables
Transmission efficiency
Electrical engineering and controls for power distribution
Novel metals and alloys for power transmission
Superconducting power transmission
Real-time power monitoring


The Transportation category encompasses transportation and mobile technology applications that improve fuel efficiency, reduce air pollution, reduce oil consumption or reduce vehicle travel (not limited to automobiles). Technologies are applied directly to transportation systems or vehicles.

Examples include new vehicles and new types of transport services and infrastructure, efficient batteries, fuel cells, bio-based transportation fuels and use of information technologies.

Example technologies include:
Fleet management hardware and software systems
Routing and data solutions for public transportation operators
Logistics management
Carpooling solutions
Hybrid motor systems
Storage of energy specifically applied to vehicles
Plug in hybrid vehicles
All electric vehicles
Fuel cell vehicles
Biodiesel applications
Intermodal tracking and monitoring
NOX/SOX reductions for ocean going vessels
Cold-ironing systems
Diesel particulate matter filters for Locomotives
Combustion designs
Fuel blends
Flex fuel engines and applications
Drivetrain conversion kits
Route management via GPS networks
Exploiting GPS and location information
Monitoring and control of driver behavior