GBA Announces Product Innovation Grants to Three Recipients

July 22, 2008

PITTSBURGH /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - Green Building Alliance (GBA) recently announced a total of $140,000 in Product Innovation Grants for three projects that seek to develop and introduce new and enhanced green building products. This is the second round of Product Innovation Grants awarded since GBA initiated its Green Building Product Initiative; to date, a total of 10 Pennsylvania recipients have received more than half a million dollars. The inaugural round of grants was awarded in December 2007.

Awarded through a competitive selection process, GBA's Product Innovation Grants will expedite the commercialization of new building products within the fast growing green building market. The green building product market is estimated to be worth $30 to $40 billion annually by 2010.

"The green market represents a significant economic opportunity for Pennsylvania, which ranks second in the country in the number of LEED®-certified buildings. Our Product Innovation Grant projects include collaboration between private sector companies and university teams located within Pennsylvania," explains Rebecca Flora, executive director of Green Building Alliance, whose entrepreneurial spirit has steered the success of this 15-year-old nonprofit that drives market demand and facilitates green building practices and products in Western Pennsylvania. Flora is also the current chair of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Three grants were awarded from 14 proposals received by the Green Building Alliance for the second round of Product Innovation Grants. Recipients include:

  • $100,000 for commercialization of an innovative ventilation air energy recovery unit that utilizes a patent-pending membrane technology to allow water vapor molecules to pass freely while blocking other air molecules and particles; a project of Energy Wall, LLC, and Pennsylvania State University.

Two $20,000 Proof of Concept grants:

  • A modular, reconfigurable, and sustainable residential floor and wall system; a project of Drexel University;
  • ReD, a responsive daylighting panel integrating phase change material; a project of Temple University.

"We solicited Product Innovation Grant proposals in early January from established Pennsylvania companies looking to develop innovative sustainable building products or green existing product lines or processes, from start-up Pennsylvania companies looking to enter the green building product marketplace, and from Pennsylvania university researchers and teams developing innovative green building products and the processes to produce them," notes Aurora Sharrard, Ph.D., GBA's research manager and program manager of the Product Innovation Grants. "We're very pleased with the continued interest in the product grant program and look forward to the third round of submissions."

Pennsylvania State University and Drexel University have received awards in both rounds of Product Innovation Grants. A total of $181,062 has been awarded for full proposals submitted by partnerships including Penn State and $40,000 has been awarded to Drexel for two Proof-of-Concept grants. Carnegie Mellon University, Temple University, University of Pittsburgh, and Villanova University also have been partners on or recipients of Product Innovation Grants.

Proposals are assessed based on the criteria of green building leadership, technical merit, commercialization plan viability, partnership resources, and potential market impact. Grant award decisions are made at the discretion of GBA on the recommendations of the Product Innovation Grant Review Committee, which is comprised of individuals with a variety of relevant experience, expertise, and background, including consultants, manufacturers, investors, economic development stakeholders, and academic researchers. Participation on the Review Committee is kept confidential.

A Request for Proposals for the third round of Product Innovation Grants was also recently released, with final proposals due September 12, 2008. Awards will be announced in December 2008. For submission information, visit Funding for GBA's Green Building Products Initiative, under which the Product Innovation Grants are awarded, is due in part to the following funders: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority; The Heinz Endowments; and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Green Building Alliance is a nonprofit organization that advances economic prosperity and human well-being in Western Pennsylvania by driving market demand and facilitating green building practices and products that have minimal impact on the natural environment. The Product Innovation Grants are a component of GBA's Green Building Products Initiative economic development program, which serves all of Pennsylvania.

For more detail on the three individual grantee projects, e-mail [email protected] for project sheets.

For more information, contact Aurora Sharrard of Green Building Alliance: [email protected].

Source: Green Building Alliance

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