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Obama Administration Offers $12 Million Investment to Promote Energy Innovation and Job Creation

National initiative leverages resources of five federal agencies to advance clean technology commercialization

WASHINGTON – The Obama Administration today announced the six winners of the i6 Green Challenge, an initiative to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy, increased U.S. competitiveness and new jobs.

Projects in Fla., Iowa, La., Mich., New England and Wash., will each receive up to $1 million from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and up to $6 million in additional funding and technical assistance from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Winning i6 Green applicants will support emerging technology-based businesses as they mature and demonstrate their market potential, making them more attractive to investors and helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas and innovations into businesses.

“America’s economy depends on both innovation and commercialization,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said. “These six proof-of-concept centers will help to accelerate the commercialization of products based on exciting new research and support the development of green jobs in regions across the country.”

First announced at the White House launch of Startup America in January, i6 Green follows last year’s inaugural i6 Challenge, which focused on accelerating high-growth entrepreneurship in the United States. This year’s competition focuses on promoting Proof of Concept Centers methodologies, which support all aspects of the entrepreneurship process, from assisting with technology feasibility and business plan development, to providing access to early-stage capital and mentors that can offer critical guidance to innovators.

“i6 Green is an important part of President Obama’s Startup America initiative to promote entrepreneurship and spur small business development,” Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes said. “These six projects will help to foster growth in green technologies and create jobs for America’s workers.”

“We congratulate the organizations and entrepreneurs who came together to form these vibrant public-private partnerships in an effort to promote new green technologies and green jobs in the United States,” Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said. “These investments will help boost U.S. competitiveness and better position the nation to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”

“Congratulations to this year’s i6 Green winners who have once again demonstrated the unmatched innovative capacity of America’s businesses and universities,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “These winners prove that with smart environmental protection, ingenuity and innovative technology we can improve the health of our communities at the same time that we strengthen our economy. Their work is in line with the innovative history of the environmental protection movement, which has made everything we do cleaner and greener through new ideas and innovation.”

The winning projects of the i6 Green Challenge announced today include:

  • Ames, Iowa: Iowa Innovation Network i6 Green Project
  • Holland, Michigan: Proof of Concept Center for Green Chemistry Scale-up
  • New England: iGreen New England Partnership
  • Orlando, Florida: Igniting Innovation (I2) Cleantech Acceleration Network
  • Ruston, Louisiana: Louisiana Tech Proof of Concept Center
  • Washington State: Washington Clean Energy Partnership Project

More information on i6 Green and the winners: http://www.eda.gov/i6

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