The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) has received an additional three-year award from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to support a variety of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) American-Made Challenges. This comes in addition to UACI’s 2020 appointed commitment as a Power Connector for NREL’s American-Made Solar Prize Challenge.
In May 2020, UACI was selected to be one of only six Power Connectors across the nation, to collaborate in the $3 million prize competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing through a series of contests and the development of a diverse and powerful support network that leverages national laboratories, energy incubators and other resources across the country. UACI attracts, engages and supports new talent, thus developing high-quality competitors for the American-Made Challenge Solar Prize. This additional contract will allow UACI to expand that work into other areas of American-made clean energy.
In support of all American-Made challenges, UACI will expand their collaborator’s role with NREL and DOE by helping them pursue their mission to incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to strengthen American leadership in energy innovation and domestic manufacturing. Each challenge is dedicated to lessening obstacles U.S.-based innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning from years into weeks, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories across the nation.
With the new subcontract award of up to $300,000 over three years, UACI will not only support the solar challenge but will be supporting all American-Made challenges, providing assistance with three more clean energy technology challenges.
About the UA Center for Innovation
The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is a startup incubator network with outposts across the Southern Arizona region and a mission to grow scalable science and technology startup ventures that fuel the Arizona economy. For nearly two decades, the program has directly served over 140 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs. This is done through providing access to people, programming and places that help entrepreneurs take their companies from idea to market. Startups go through a structured program that takes them through a continuum of education provided by mentors, advisors and community collaborators. UACI also provides access to service providers, industry cluster groups, interns and connections to potential customers and strategic partners. Entrepreneurs utilize various physical spaces that include offices, wet and dry labs, meeting rooms, a prototyping center, collaboration areas and the infrastructure to support these spaces. The UACI is part of Tech Parks Arizona, which brings together university, industry and community, creating “interactive ground” to advance technology innovation.
About The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) advances the science and engineering of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies and provides the knowledge to integrate and optimize energy systems.
About American Made Challenge
The American-Made Challenges are a series of prize competitions that incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to strengthen American leadership in energy innovation and domestic manufacturing. These challenges seek to lower the barriers U.S.-based innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning from years to months, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of national laboratories across the nation. The American-Made Challenges program is directed and administered by NREL and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
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