Press Releases >

Clean Tech Open Helps Startups Secure Valuable Government Funding

With $150M up for grabs, and individual awards of $500K to $20M available, expert volunteers burn the midnight oil to write compelling grant applications for CTO alumni companies.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—July 28, 2009: With a deadline for government funding looming, expert volunteers with the Clean Tech Open ( ) have been working long hours to assist previous competition winners submit applications for government funds made available by the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Clean Tech Open is the world’s biggest clean tech business competition, and aims to create 100,000 clean tech jobs in America over the next five years.

The government funding at stake has been made available through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E. President Barack Obama announced the launch of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) earlier this year, as part of a sweeping announcement regarding federal investment in research and development, and science education. ARPA-E is a new DOE organization modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the defense agency that spawned the Internet, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and many other technological breakthroughs. ARPA-E was recommended by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and was authorized by Congress in 2007, but received its first funding of $400 million via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

To launch ARPA-E, the DOE has issued the first Funding Opportunity Announcement for the new agency, offering a total of $150 million, with individual awards of $500,000 to $20 million. Applicants are initially asked to submit only eight-page "concept papers" that briefly outline the technical concept; applicants that make the first cut will later be invited to submit full applications. The DOE anticipates awarding grants, cooperative agreements, or Technology Investment Agreements, with the latter two most likely because of the need for substantial interaction between ARPA-E and the awardees.

Expert grant writers from the Clean Tech Open identified seven clean tech startups that conformed to the requirements of the ARPA-E initiative:

  • Agilewaves (intelligent building performance optimization solutions)
  • Cascade Clean Energy (energy-effective system of wastewater treatment that reduces treatment costs while also extracting clean energy from the wastewater)
  • ElectraDrive (plug-and-play enhancements for vehicle electrification)
  • ElectronVault (battery packs for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles)
  • GreenPyro (a biochar soil amendment to increase fertility, save water and sequester carbon)  
  • GroundSource GeoThermal (drilling technology to provide a complete green building heating, cooling and hot water solution)  
  • Viridis Earth (technology to dramatically improve HVAC performance)

“The expert advice provided by our volunteers to help Clean Tech Open startups secure economic stimulus funds is a terrific example of what sets this organization apart,” said Rex Northen, executive director of the Clean Tech Open. “ARPA-E is an exciting program designed to accelerate the progress of ingenious private sector inventions through government funding; we look forward to seeing revolutionary clean tech projects make a big difference in the fight against pollution and climate change, many developed by Clean Tech Open alumni.”

In addition to the original competition held in California, the 2009 Clean Tech Open has expanded to include two new regions: the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming; and the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Clean tech entrepreneurs will compete for a total of more than $1 million in prizes.

Useful links
Clean Tech Open website:
Clean Tech Open blog:
Clean Tech Open on Facebook:
Clean Tech Open on LinkedIn:
Clean Tech Open on Twitter:

About The Clean Tech Open
Clean Tech Open is the world’s largest clean tech business competition, a catalyst for clean tech innovation, and the impetus behind the Clean Tech Open’s 100K Jobs Challenge. Founded in 2006, the Clean Tech Open provides today’s clean tech innovators with the tools, training and connections they need to become tomorrow's viable clean tech businesses. The core of Clean Tech Open is an annual business competition, supported by expert volunteers and mentors, that provides entrepreneurs with the crucial business training, services and insights they need to go to market successfully. The Clean Tech Open has assisted over 120 companies raise more than $125 million in external funding, and has spurred the creation of hundreds of jobs in California. Fueled by a network of over 400 volunteers and sponsors, the Clean Tech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America's clean tech sector a thriving economic engine. Past alumni successes include Adura Technologies, Cool Earth Solar, Enverity, Federspiel Controls, GreenVolts, GroundSource GeoThermal, Lucid Design Group, Mission Motors, and Syncromatics.