In collaboration with five venture capital partners, General Electric (GE) has pledged $10 million to find, fund and bring to market the best ideas for Australia and New Zealand that will improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon pollution.
The GE ecoimagination challenge calls on business, entrepreneurs, innovators as well as students to submit ideas to accelerate growth in clean technology markets.
“GE is a big supporter of collaborative innovation. With our scale we can take start-ups and new technologies to new levels,” said Steve Sargent, President and CEO of GE Australia and New Zealand.
“We believe it’s the right time and the right place for our ecoimagination challenge to uncover and invest in technologies that will help us shift to a low carbon economy,” said Mr Sargent.
GE’s announcement was welcomed by the Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, who included biofuel as one of the emerging energy sources that may be able to benefit from the funding, as well as wind, solar, wave, hydro and geothermal energies.
“GE’s ecoimagination challenge demonstrates that big business also recognises the importance of innovation, not only to meet the needs of a low carbon future, but also as a way to improve business competitiveness and productivity,” Mr Combet said.
The GE ecoimagination challenge complements the Federal Government’s $200 million Clean Technology Innovation program, which provides grant funding for innovation in clean technologies on a dollar for dollar basis. Recipients of Clean Technology Innovation grants will be able to use support from GE’s ecoimagination Challenge as part of the private sector contribution to their project.
Submissions for the Challenge are to be made by November 30, 2012.