Friday, July 2, 2010

Green Innovation Challenge awards

On May 26, Governor Schwarzenegger announced that the state Employment Development Department would award up to $20 million in grants as part of his Green Innovation Challenge:
The intent of the grant funding is to encourage industry leaders to find innovative methods designed to meet the needs of businesses to not only fill immediate employment needs, but also for the development of a partnership and infrastructure flexible enough to support employment growth for up to 10 years.

Successful applicants will have business-led partnerships, which may include entities in higher education, workforce development, economic development, employee and scientific associations, along with venture capital entities or other organizations important to making the technology successful in the short and long term.
Applicants had a June 9 deadline to file a 10 page proposal in one of five areas: renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative/renewable vehicle (and fuels), energy storage and water efficiency.

On June 29, the state announced six winners totaling $19 million, of which three are from the Bay Area. The winners were:
  • SolarTech Workforce Innovations Collaborative (Sunnyvale): $4 million for renewable energy, with an emphasis on PV and solar thermal
  • Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium (Chico): $3.5 million for renewable energy in covering 11 counties
  • San Jose/Evergreen Community College: $2 million to train workers to build new energy efficient home
  • San Diego Biofuels Initiative: $4 million for biofuels based both on crops and algae
  • San Mateo Community College: $3 million for EV/hybrid maintenance at three community colleges in the SF and LA areas
  • Los Angeles Valley College: $2.5 million to both survey existing water usage and develop best practices for water efficiency
While the funding has been earmarked, each team has to submit an implementation plan to the state before the respective contract can be signed.

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