MIT Announces Clean Energy Winners

The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge’s Energy Special Interest Group (Energy SIG) announced the winners of its first clean energy business presentation competition. The competition part of an effort in Massachusetts to become a key player in the clean energy industry sector.

The Energy SIG narrowed a field of 40 submissions from students and established entrepreneurs across Massachusetts to 11 finalists. The contestants outlined clean energy technologies and businesses that could rapidly scale into companies that would profoundly benefit the environment and the nation. During the final event, the 11 finalists presented their businesses to a panel of nationally renowned leaders in the energy industry, who selected the winners. Microbial Scale Solutions, a developer of environmentally sensitive technology to overcome the pollution and energy problems of mineral scale formation in industrial water systems, took top honors in the contest, garnering an award valued at $35,000. “This award allows us to take cutting edge research from the laboratory into the commercial marketplace,” said Thomas Perry, Scientific Founder of Microbial Scale Solutions. “As a result, the company will address a $2.9 billion problem by reducing energy consumption and pollution from fossil fuels, and environmental contamination from conventional water treatment strategies,” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that if all 50 states implemented cost-effective clean energy-environment policies, the expected growth in demand for electricity could be cut in half by 2025, and more demand could be met through a cleaner energy supply. This would mean annual savings of more than 900 billion kilowatt-hours and $70 billion in energy costs by 2025, while preventing the need for more than 300 power plants and the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 80 million of today’s vehicles. Members of the winning teams came from both academic institutions and the business sector. All presented innovative technologies to serve the demand for clean, renewable energy. The first prize winner, Microbial Scale Solutions, received $15,000 cash and $25,000 worth of incubator membership and office space from The University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Two $5,000 cash prizes were awarded to Advanced Conductors and Rentricity. Third-place winners LiquidPiston, SuperCool, and Advanced Diamond Energy received $2,500 cash prizes each. Additionally, Advanced Conductors received one year of free rent (valued at $25,000) at one of many Cummings Properties’ locations in Massachusetts. Six other Cummings Properties’ awards of one-year, rent-free office space (valued at $10,000 each) went to Advanced Diamond Energy, CarboTran Technologies, LiquidPiston, NatEl, PowerHouse Enterprises and Rentricity. “This competition is igniting new ideas and passions that will one day help us change the energy paradigm away from dependence on polluting fossil fuels to a cleaner energy future that benefits our environment and our economy,” said Rob Pratt, Director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust. “The Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust is proud to sponsor this unique competition to fan the flames of innovation that will spur tomorrow’s breakthroughs in clean energy technologies.”