General Electric announced the first 12 winners of its $200 million Ecomagination innovation competition Monday at a conference in New York City. The winners will receive investments totaling $55 million.
The winners were chosen from 4,000 entries submitted from more than 150 countries over the competition's 10-week period this summer. The innovations include solar-powered air conditioning units, electrical vehicle charging stations and automatic tinting windows aimed at curbing building cooling costs.
"The Ecomagination Challenge has delivered on our commitment with partners to drive innovation and investment through collaborative action," said GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “We are working with these new partners to accelerate the development and deployment of these concepts on a scale that will help drive a cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid."
Aside from being awarded millions of dollars in investment funds, the winning firms will also receive unbridled access to GE's product developers, engineers and sales people.
GE's Ecomagination initiative is a global focus on promoting renewable and clean energy innovation research and development. Since launching in 2005, the project has created more than 90 products, with total revenues reaching $18 billion in 2009.
GE is not alone in its promotion of tech innovation on a global scale. Earlier this week, Intel announced plans to invest $77 million toward new intellectual assets and tech enterprises in 11 different countries.
As tech innovation continues to soar worldwide, companies are also being urged to invest in IP management software to help document and protect their innovations.