CES 2011: GE Ecomagination Challenge

As it wrapped up a first-ever Consumer Electronics Show appearance that was focused on its smart-home technologies and products, GE put out word that the next round of its Ecomagination Challenge would focus on … you guessed it: “Powering Your Home.”

The previous round of the Ecomagination Challenge, part of a larger, $200 million innovation commitment by GE and its venture capital partners, had focused on “Powering the Grid.” That resulted in 4,000 ideas submitted – more than 1,100 in the category of home energy use. “The volume of ideas in this area sparked us to take a new look at consumer energy usage and focus on innovation that people can touch and feel – solutions that can help harness and improve energy efficiency at home,” said Beth Comstock, GE’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president.

GE Ecomagination Challenge

image via GE

In the next phase, GE said, the already-submitted ideas will be reexamined and “participants are encouraged to submit new ideas or resubmit an idea if it has evolved.”

What’s in it for the participants? Potentially, a lot. “In addition to investment, commercial relationships and other partnership opportunities, the judging panel of GE executives and leading academics and technologists will select five $100,000 Innovation Award winners whose ideas represent pioneering entrepreneurship and innovation,” the company said. Get in on the fun at www.ecomagination.com/challenge.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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