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Back in July, GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt flew to San Francisco for a tricked-out shindig to announce that his company and four venture capital firms were on the hunt for great ideas related to the smart grid – and that they were willing to pay out $200 million for these ideas.
This morning GE announced the first round of winners in its $200 million Ecomagination Challenge. Over the four months since the competition was announced, GE said it received 3,800 ideas from 150 countries; that included participation from 1,600 companies and many individuals. “This is the largest open innovation challenge that has been done,” said Beth Comstock, GE’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a call with reporters this morning. The basic premise of the smart grid is that when implemented fully, it will enable a better flow of data and information between utilities, customers and third parties. In the process, customers are hoping to eliminate wasted energy and utilities are aiming to get better information on fluctuating electricity demand.
JouleX was listed as one of 12 winners.
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