Fraunhofer TechBridge has announced its latest Challenge on novel surface technologies that improve energy efficiency (press release). The TechBridge Challenge is an open platform that seeks emerging technologies to address specific innovation gaps, and offers development or validation services as a prize to the winning team. In the newly announced TechBridge Challenge on Advanced Industrial Surfaces, applicants are invited to propose advanced surface technologies—or technologies that enable the scalable, cost-effective deployment of advanced surfaces—that will improve energy efficiency in the petroleum and chemical processing industries.
Altering surface characteristics can address common sources of energy loss and inefficiency, representing a major pathway toward improving industrial energy efficiency. In the petroleum and chemical processing industry, the process scale is so large that even marginal improvements to industrial energy efficiency can have profound economic and sustainability impacts. This Challenge is offered in partnership with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.
“Recent advances in areas including surface texturing and electropolishing, surfaces engineered for wettability, and liquid impregnated surfaces provide new opportunities to improve energy efficiency” commented Dr. Jacqueline Ashmore, TechBridge Lead at Fraunhofer CSE. “The TechBridge Challenge on Advanced Industrial Surfaces enables energy entrepreneurs in this space to leverage the Fraunhofer R&D network for validation services, an approach that is established to accelerate the commercial entry of early-stage technologies.”
Applicants are encouraged to submit their proposals by February 17, 2016. More information and a link to the application site can be found at www.fhtechbridgechallenge.org/surfaces. Selected teams will receive up to $100,000 in prototyping, demonstration, and/or validation services from the world-renowned Fraunhofer R&D network. Their intellectual property is fully protected throughout this process.
The Fraunhofer TechBridge program supports cleantech startups through technology development and validation projects that help companies reach commercialization milestones. As an independent third party, TechBridge helps startups de-risk their technologies, lowering barriers to private investment and strategic partnerships. This Challenge builds on TechBridge’s previous award programs, which have supported over 15 start-ups over the past 4 years–companies that have raised $116 million in follow-on funding to date.