On May 4th at the National Hydrogen Association Conference and Expo in Long Beach, California, the University of South Carolina – City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, a partnership between the University of South Carolina, the City of Columbia, EngenuitySC and the South Carolina Research Authority, announced the launch of the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge 2010. The challenge is an innovation-based competition focused on identifying and commercializing novel hydrogen, fuel cell and clean technologies in South Carolina.
Teams from around the world are invited to compete by submitting business plans for developing the next generation of products focused on hydrogen and fuel cell technology and fuel cell components. Teams can consist of start-up companies, collaborations, scientists, researchers, students, and any other group that is working on breakthrough technologies that have near term commercial viability.
"The Fuel Cell Challenge is about the power of ideas and innovation," said Neil McLean, Executive Director of EngenuitySC, an active public/private partnership that is promoting the growth of Columbia's knowledge-based economy. "The competition originates in Columbia, SC, but we want to connect to ideas in any lab, company, or region in the world."
Awards will be granted for first, second, and third place submissions in the amounts of $100,000, $50,000, and $25,000, respectively, in the form of non-returnable commercialization investments through the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) Industry Partners Fund and SC Launch, a program of the SCRA. Winners will also receive business support resources.
"The City of Columbia is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to technology transition and commercialization and to being a city that embraces innovative solutions and high-tech entrepreneurs," said Bob Coble, Mayor of the City of Columbia.
Submissions will be based on a two phase process, and the deadline for round one is July 16, 2010. To qualify for the contest, teams must have secure intellectual property, a corresponding business plan demonstrating commercial viability and not have received previous Fuel Cell Challenge or SC Launch funding. Additionally, applicants must have business operations or the willingness to relocate to the Columbia, SC, region.
To download an application and read more information about submission requirements, qualifications and deadlines visitwww.fuelcellcollaborative.com.
About the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative
The University of South Carolina – City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative was formed by the University of South Carolina, theCity of Columbia, EngenuitySC and the South Carolina Research Authority to position Columbia, SC as a leader in hydrogen fuel cell innovation and technology. Our mission is to attract top fuel cell scientists, entrepreneurs, and private sector partners to help grow an innovation pipeline from discovery to development to deployment of fuel cell technology. For more information, visit www.fuelcellcollaborative.com.