Funding Startups that Accelerate the
Commercialization of Energy Technologies

Spark Fund2019-02-06T10:28:21+00:00

Spark Fund

GLEAMM Spark Fund is a $1M proof of concept grant program designed to accelerate the commercialization of energy technologies through gap funding by launching startups based on GLEAMM-affiliated university intellectual property and attracting private sector sponsored research.

GLEAMM Spark Fund 2018 Cohort

GLEAMM SPARK FUND CALL FOR PROPOSALS #4

Next generation hardware and software design, and intelligent micro-grid components

This RFP focuses on the research, development, testing, evaluation and subsequent deployment of Intelligent/self-healing and resilient renewable energy system components for micro grids. The effort must include at least one of the following attributes: sensing, information management, control, status-of-platform-health reporting, and active/passive surface modification to optimize performance of the micro-grid functions or system engineering and controls across a spectrum of environmental conditions and stress.

In addition, proposals will be judged on applicability to renewable energy systems, and transferability/applicability to dual-use civil and military aviation applications.

Applications Open: January 18th, 2018
Applications Close: March 30th, 2018
Spark Fund Board Reviews Applications: April 2nd – 16th, 2018
Spark Fund Virtual Finalist Presentations: April 20th, 2018

Points of Contact: Weston Waldo – Weston.Waldo@ttu.edu
Dr. Annette Sobel – Annette.Sobel@ttu.edu

GLEAMM-Spark Mini-Symposium

The purpose of this RFP is to fund a maximum of four proposals in the sum of up to $50K each (may be combined) to address the broad topic of Energy Systems and Community Engagement. Engagement broadly involves the service and educational sectors, and public private partnerships. All proposals must involve innovations and must be potentially commercializable, and require disclosure of intellectual property to ORC.

The educational topic is intended to focus on educational platforms, pedagogy and flipped-classroom methodologies to engage a student pipeline from K-12 in the field of applied renewable energy sciences. The service category involves some broad benefit to the Lubbock community and must involve microgrid-associated technologies. The proposal should address at least one of the following:

  1. Novelty of the approach to improve engineered or architectural systems for personal energy and mobility devices and/or platforms for rehabilitation of humans/animals with disabilities.
  2. If school-based STEM proposal, it must involve the Lubbock community educational proposals must be consistent with current State of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
  3. Proposed integration of microgrid, renewables and associated technologies into trades education using new approaches and partnerships with Lubbock community accredited institutions.

Awards will be announced at the Fall GLEAMM-Spark Mini-Symposium.

Awardees

Team:

Dr. Zhaoyang Fan
Nazifah Islam
Md Nadim Ferdous Hoque

Award:

$56,464

Team:

Dr. Stephen Bayne
Dr. Argenis Bilbao
Dr. Michael Giesselmann (not pictured)

Award:

$50,677

Team:

Dr. Suhas Pol
Dr. Carsten H. Westergaard (not pictured)

Award:

$50,000

Team:

Dr. Burak Aksak
Dr. Luciano Castillo (not pictured)
Humberto Bocanegra Evans

Award:

$50,000

Spark Fund Board Members

Annette Sobel
Annette Sobel
Texas Tech University
Igor Alvarado
Igor Alvarado
National Instruments
John Schroeder
John Schroeder
Texas Tech University
Michael Giesselmann
Michael Giesselmann
Texas Tech University
Stephen Bayne
Stephen Bayne
Texas Tech University
Zach Taylor
Zach Taylor
Guadalupe Valley Electric
Francis Atore
Francis Atore
Texas Tech University
Ingmar Sterzing
Ingmar Sterzing
Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc.
Elizabeth Fleming
Elizabeth Fleming
GameChanger at Shell
Tom Campbell
Tom Campbell
Consultant, Energy and Emerging Technology

Fund Goals

  • Translational research funding to facilitate future license opportunities
  • Market validation of technology via an accelerator or lean start-up program
  • Researcher/student education and mentoring on new venture creation
  • Increase public-private partnerships through sponsored research

Eligibility & Award

University researchers may request up to $50,000 per proposal* to accelerate the commercial development of technology within any of the following GLEAMM focus areas:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Weather & energy forecasting
  • Wind
  • Microgrid
  • Solar
  • Phasor measurement units
  • Battery Storage
  • Silicon Carbide development
  • Distributed Generation

* Multiple proposals may be submitted by the same applicant for different technologies. Award timeline is one year.

PROPOSALS THAT SIMPLY ADVANCE RESEARCH OF AN IDEA WILL NOT BE FUNDED.

How Can I Apply?

There are two ways to apply:

Application Criteria

  1. Technology must fit within list of GLEAMM focus areas
  2. Texas Tech employees must disclose idea to the Office of Research Commercialization (ORC)
    • External technologies must indicate the intended or actual relationship to Texas Tech (e.g., Joint or sponsored research).
  3. At least one team member participation in an accelerator program or lean start-up educational workshop such as:

Use of Funds

  • Demonstration of proof of concept, reduction to practice, or prototype development
    • Create/manufacture prototype (e.g., equipment)
    • Student/staff support (undergraduate, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, technicians or other research staff
  • Travel – Customer discovery, customer interviews, market validation, tradeshows, and conferences
  • Business plan development (technology/market landscape studies, startup costs)
  • Indirect costs are not allowed

Application Criteria

  1. Technology must fit within list of GLEAMM focus areas
  2. Evidence of industry sponsor commitment
    • Letter of Intent, RFQ, RFP, SOW, SRA, or other documented evidence
    • External technologies must indicate the intended or actual relationship to Texas Tech (e.g., Joint or sponsored research)
    • Amount of funding committed by industry sponsor
  3. Hard deliverables and Return on Investment
    • Licensing, startup opportunity, follow-on funding, etc.

Use of Funds

  • Industry project development: proof of concept, validation, testing, optimization
    • Student/staff support (undergraduate, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, technicians or other research staff)
  • Business plan development: technology/market landscape studies, startup costs
  • Equipment, Supplies, Travel
  • Indirect costs are not allowed

Application Checklist

Please send applications to Weston Waldo

Contact

Program guidelines and applications:

Weston Waldo
(806) 834-7995
weston.waldo@ttu.edu

Award contracts and Reporting

Tracie Mcclaran
(806) 834-0335
tracie.mcclaran@ttu.edu