The ‘America’s Next Top Energy Innovator’ Challenge Begins Today

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Starting today and until December 15, start-up companies can apply for one of the Department of Energy's thousands of unlicensed patents for greatly reduced cost and paperwork.

The Department of Energy's 17 national laboratories currently hold more than 15,000 patents and applying for them usually costs between $10,000 to $50,000 and months of paperwork. But now, as part of the "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" challenge, start-up companies can submit a business plan and use this template agreement to obtain up to three patents from a single lab for $1,000.

The challenge is part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. "Our goal is simple,” said Secretary Chu, "unleash America's innovation machine and win the global race for the clean energy jobs of the future."

And while all innovative companies are an inspiration and critical to America's future growth, only a handful can be America's Next Top Energy Innovators.

In a year, we'll showcase the start-up companies — who make the most progress toward executing their business plan and commercializing their new technology — at the premier annual gathering of clean energy investors and innovators around the country, the 2012 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.

If you're an interested, you can peruse the available technologies on the Department's Energy Innovation Portal and read answers to the most frequently asked questions here.

Good luck!

Article by Ginny Simmons, new media specialist with the Department of Energy's Office of Public Affairs

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.