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Press Release

Canadian innovators are among top 3 of global submissions for 'GE's ecomagination Challenge' Powering the Grid

September 21, 2010

GE last call on Canada's leading innovators to submit ideas for the next generation power grid before September 30th deadline.

Using fitness equipment from around the world to generate energy to the grid and donate it to third world countries is just one of the innovative ideas being put forward by a Canadian innovator and entrepreneur as part of the 'GE ecomagination challenge' -- a global competition launched in San Francisco in July.

The 'GE ecomagination Challenge' is all about stimulating ideas to create a smarter, cleaner and more efficient electric grid.  The open challenge falls into three categories: renewable energy, grid efficiency and EcoHomes/EcoBuildings.

The 100 idea submissions received so far from Canada have significantly exceeded those submitted from other parts of the world and rank Canada in 3rd place behind India (126) and the United States (1219). Canadians still have time to submit ideas at:

"The 'GE ecomagination Challenge' is about unlocking innovation and applying GE's commercial expertise to transform great ideas into commercial solutions. It 's great to see the interest to date from Canada. I encourage our country's brightest innovators and entrepreneurs to submit their ideas without delay to ensure Canada is well represented in this global innovation challenge," said Elyse Allan, President & CEO, GE Canada.

Some examples of Canadian entries received to date include: 

  • PowerNap:  The conversion of movement from sleeping into electricity that is stored for use later or put into the grid.    Bed jumping kids can reduce electricity bills!
  • Minature 1.8kw wind turbines located on utility poles directly feeding the grid.  No transmission lines
  • Temperature and Waste Heat Capture and Conversion an innovative engine that uses lower temperatures for its heat input (100-300°C). Capturing heat from solar thermal and geothermal sources, and low-grade waste heat from diesel gensets, micro turbines and commercial/industrial processes to economically improve fuel efficiency and generate power.
  • Integrated clean technologies to develop the most cost effective net zero energy building on the market.

To view more ideas and vote for your favourites go to

In late October GE will announce those entrants with whom it intends to pursue commercial relationships. In November, it will announce any business deals that have been formalized. The entry receiving the most user-submitted votes, will receive, subject to GE's review for appropriate content, a cash award of $50,000. GE will present each of five innovation challenge award recipients with $100,000 in cash, for a total of $500,000, to acknowledge these entries as examples of outstanding entrepreneurship and innovation.

The GE ecomagination Challenge has been launched with leading venture capital firms Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer and RockPort Capital.  It is part of GE's ecomagination initiative, a global commitment to build innovative clean energy technologies.

About ecomagination

GE is driving a global transformation in how society makes, moves and uses energy through ecomagination, an initiative to make clean energy real -- right now. Since its inception in 2005, more than 90 ecomagination-certified products have been brought to market with revenues reaching $18 billion in 2009. With $5 billion invested in R & D in its first five years GE committed to doubling its ecomagination investment and collaboration with partners to accelerate a new era of energy innovation, The company will invest $10 billion in R & D over five years and double operational energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. As part of the initiative GE launched "GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid", a $200 million financial commitment challenging innovators to join in building the next generation power grid. For more information visit the ecomagination website at

For further information contact:

Kim Warburton, VP, Communications & Public Affairs, GE Canada

(416) 531-8316

[email protected]   

Sarah Triantafillou
[email protected]

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