LANSING— NextEnergy officially launched a global challenge aimed at inspiring the development of innovative energy solutions at an urban farming operation in Detroit.
“NextChallenge was developed as a way to source ideas, concepts and intellectual properties that will drive technology innovation and economic development,” says Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. “We are confident that the challenge will encourage the development of advanced lighting solutions and that local advanced lighting manufacturers will rise to the challenge with innovative solutions that will spur economic and industry growth in Michigan.”
The challenge will address the unique lighting technology needs of Ford Motor Company and RecoveryPark at a urban farming operation in the city. Ford is seeking innovative interior and exterior vehicle automotive lighting concepts that will add value and differentiation to its portfolio of products.
“Our goal is to find solutions that help us maintain our leadership in lighting innovation,” said Dean Stevenson, chief engineer, Ford Global Design Engineering. “We are particularly interested in receiving concepts related to weight and luminosity, cost-effective production, innovative interior and exterior LEDs, and recyclable lighting.”
For each challenge, up to $80,000 in the form of cash and/or in-kind support will be awarded to further the development and demonstration of the selected initiatives.
“We are interested in optimizing our plant yield through advanced lighting technologies,” said Gary Wozniak, president and CEO of RecoveryPark. “Our objective is to find a cost effective, energy efficient, customized lighting system that will react to various environmental conditions.”
Innovators will be asked to submit an online Request for Solutions proposal to one, or both, lighting challenges by March 6, 2015. A judging panel will review the submissions based on the following objectives: innovation, partnerships, qualifications, competitive advantage, scalability, and Michigan-based intellectual property and investment. Selected semi-finalists will be expected to present their proposals to the sponsor(s) in early spring and awards will be announced in May 2015.
For more information, visit nextenergy.org/nextchallenge.