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GE Continues Investments for Innovation

28 Jun 2011

Beth Comstock, GE’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, reports, “After one year and $134 million committed to new partners, we delivered on our goal to scale and commercialize the best new ideas through open innovation. The power of networked ideas, collaboration and partnerships to accelerate innovation represents a gathering force whose impact will be a significant driver in the future of business.”

Mark Vachon, ecomagination vice president, explains, “The Challenge is now an established platform at GE. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to accelerate growth through new partnerships and an additional commitment of $20 million to fund commercial pilots with innovators we have found through the Challenge. The Challenge has also changed how we do business at GE - we learned that accelerating open innovation across public, private and national borders can drive shared value for the company and its partners.”

The $63 million in investments and commercial partnerships in phase two include 10 new concepts in solar, communications & software from the following companies: Ember; GMZ Energy; Hara; Nuventix; On-Ramp Wireless; Project Frog; SunRun; Viridity Energy; VPhase; and WiTricity. Backgrounds on these company can be found at,

Chuck McDermott, general partner, RockPort Capital, notes, “Over the past year, we have been impressed by the speed and power of the ecomagination Challenge to bring the most promising smart grid and eco-home technologies to market. Our investment with GE in Project Frog’s green building solution will lead to cost-effective, energy-efficient buildings using the most sustainable materials and advanced technologies.”

GE also announced the five Innovation Award winners, who will each receive a $100,000 grant to further develop their technology: E.quinox (energy and clean water “kiosk”); PlotWatt (cognitive metering to slash energy bills); Pythagoras Solar (solar windows); Suntulit (air conditioning control system); and Xergy (refrigeration compressor).