Nothing speeds up innovation like a little competition (and unbridled imagination). At least that’s the logic behind the Ascent Solar Innovative Design Competition, where college students across the US compete to develop practical applications for Ascent Solar’s lightweight, thin film flexible photovoltaic cells.
After reviewing applications with an initial project idea, budget, timeline, and target market, Ascent Solar announced the seven competing teams from Boston University, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Diego State, Texas A&M, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Oregon. Each team will receive Ascent’s solar modules and project funding to spend the next five months creating a working prototype application for the technology.
The competition sets up a win-win-win situation; the winning team receives up to $10,000 in cash prizes and potential job opportunities at Ascent Solar; Ascent Solar gets bright young minds to run with their portable solar cell technology and reveal its potential; and the rest of us (and our green planet) get a cool new portable technology that utilizes renewable resources.
Members of Ascent Solar’s engineering and product development teams will judge the final designs on ingenuity, usefulness, and ability to transform the product for market. We’ll be back in April to share the winning designs from this earth friendly competition.