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Feb 162010
 

From Green Right Now Reports

Enertia, a team of three University of Michigan graduate students with a plan to harness vibrations to power small electronics such as remote sensors and surgically implanted medical equipment, won the top prize of $50,000 in the 2009-2010 Clean Energy Prize business plan competition. The small generators provide renewable electrical power while replacing toxic electrochemical batteries.

The Clean Energy Prize competition was established by DTE Energy and the University of Michigan to encourage entrepreneurship in Michigan and the development of clean-energy technologies.

Enertia team member Adam Carver, a dual MBA/MS student at U-M’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainability, said the top prize money “enables us to advance our research and development and business expansion.” He added that the Clean Energy Prize had intangible benefits as well. “The competition encouraged us to carry out the hard work necessary to develop our ideas. Winning the prize also enhances our brand as we seek to connect with various partners and business advisors in the future.”

The other members of Enertia are Tzeno Galchev and Ethem Erkan Aktakka, both PhD Fellows at the NSF Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems (WIMS) at the U-M College of Engineering.

The other finalist teams were:

  • Second place: Advanced Battery Control, which offers a proprietary smart battery management system, which will radically enhance battery utilization in electric vehicles. It received $25,000 in prize money.
  • Third place: Green Silane, which provides a low-cost, environmentally benign method for on-site production of silane gas that is used in semiconductor, flat-screen display and photovoltaic panel production. It received $10,000.
  • Fourth place: ReGenerate, which manufactures and leases modular anaerobic digestors to institutional food service operators, transforming food waste into on-site renewable energy as well as nutrient-rich fertilizer products. It received $7,000.