National Clean Energy Competition Seeks Entries from Indiana Collegiate Researchers, Students

By: Contributor Last Updated: November 29, 2012

PurdueLogoResearchers and students at Indiana universities and colleges are eligible for a Department of Energy competition seeking the nation's top business plans based on clean energy technologies.

The 2013 Clean Energy Challenge, a $300,000 national competition sponsored by the DOE, recognizes early stage entrepreneurs with innovative clean technology business concepts. To participate in the national competition, a team must win its state and regional competitions.

Jon Gortat, project manager at the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, said researchers and students at Indiana universities and colleges can enter the Clean Energy Trust Student Challenge, the state-level contest, through Monday (Dec. 3).

"Teams can include faculty, post-docs and students, as long as at least half of the team members are students," he said. "This means researchers who are developing or have even patented clean energy technologies can enter the contest."

During last year's inaugural student competition, there were entries from Purdue University, Indiana University, University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

"The Clean Energy Trust Student Challenge is looking for an increased number of entries throughout the state this year," Gortat said. "The team that wins this year's state competition will receive $10,000 along with participating in the regional competition."

Applications are encouraged from researchers and entrepreneurs working in the following fields: energy storage, hydrogen and fuel cells, geothermal, bioenergy, solar technologies, wind energy, water-energy nexus, energy efficiency, building materials, energy management, smart-grid technology, next-generation transportation and manufacturing efficiency.

Entries for the state contest must include an executive summary and a three-minute video pitch submitted to The state contest winner is paired with mentors in the clean energy field to develop their full business plan.

"Developing business plans for clean energy and green energy firms is the goal of the competition," Gortat said. "It can push technologies to a commercially viable point, including the formation of startup companies."

Researchers and students at Indiana universities and colleges can learn more about applying by contacting Gortat at 765-588-3485 or