- Category: Technology
23 Aug 2012
- Published on Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:47
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General Electric pledged $10 million in investments to fast track the growth of a low carbon economy in Australia and New Zealand.
The company announced the launching of their ecomagination Challenge by which innovators, academics, businesses and inventors in the regions can submit ideas for low carbon solutions and clean technologies.
Five of the ideas with the greatest potential for commercial development will be awarded $100,000 each.
“Australia and New Zealand have bipartisan national targets for renewable energy generation and greenhouse gas reduction, and are both strong markets for great technology that can compete on the world stage. So, we believe it’s the right time and the right place for our ecomagination Challenge to uncover and invest in technologies that will help us shift to a low carbon economy,” said Steve Sargent, president and chief executive officer at G.E. Australia and New Zealand.
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G.E.’s investment will significantly support Australia’s goal to move towards a green direction. In the recent months, it has been intensifying actions to cut its carbon emissions. Over the next two decades, Australia aims to fully adopt renewable sources in its energy mix.
Ben Waters, Director of ecomagination at G.E. Australia and New Zealand, noted that “there has been great Australasian innovation in clean technologies but the big challenge has been in bringing these to market.”Through this challenge, Mr. Waters said G.E. is eyeing to invest in local low carbon technologies, as well as work with local innovators to further develop markets and optimize opportunities through networks, research and funding.
Significantly, it is the first time that the ecomagination Challenge is being held locally, with Australia and New Zealand as the pioneer regions. Austrian Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet gladly welcomed the opportunity, saying that such initiative shows that big companies such as G.E. recognizes the importance of innovation in meeting the need for a decarbonising economy and more importantly, to improve business competitiveness through sustainability.
“G.E.’s $10 Million Challenge is an inspiring investment in the breakthrough energy efficiency and low carbon solutions of the future,” said Australia director of The Climate Group Caroline Bayliss.
Reportedly, the low-carbon market has nearly $6 trillion of value and it is considered as one of the “fastest growing markets” worldwide.
The global ecomagination Challenge is among the largest programme of its kind, seeking ideas for technologies, products and services in five categories: as clean energy generation, network efficiency, low carbon transport fuels, low carbon products, and low carbon services.
So far, it has generated about 5,000 ideas and funded over 70,000 innovators across more than 150 countries since its launch in July 2010. – EcoSeed Staff