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America's Next Top Energy Innovator

The Department of Energy is launching a competitive process for recognizing entrepreneurs who are at the cutting edge of clean energy technology. Submissions will be accepted starting in May.

Ed. Note: This was originally posted on the Department of Energy blog.

As part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative,Secretary Chu announced a new program today, called "America's Next Top Energy Innovator," to reduce the cost and paperwork for start-up companies to purchase the Department’s many thousand unlicensed patents and start bringing more of these new energy technologies to the U.S. marketplace. "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."

NREL Lithium Ion Conductor

National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists found multiple uses for thin film lithium ion conductors - for batteries and for solar cells. (by National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Starting on Monday, May 2, entrepreneurs will be able to apply for any of these patents by submitting a business plan for how they propose to use them. Best of all, within the scope of this challenge, a portfolio of up to three patents will cost an upfront fee of just $1,000 --  a total savings of $10,000 - $50,000.

The top entrepreneurs, who complete the process and demonstrate significant progress toward executing their business plan and commercializing the technology, will appear in a showcase at the 3rd Annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit showcase in 2012 -- the premier annual gathering of clean energy investors and innovators around the country.

Some examples of the technology available for licensing includes:

If you're an interested entrepreneur, you can browse the available technologies and learn more about the streamlined licensing process on the Department's Energy Innovation Portal.

Good luck and we hope to see your applications in May.

Ginny Simmons is a New Media Specialist and contractor for the Office of Public Affairs.