Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP)

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The Energy Department’s (DOE’s) Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) aims to inspire and equip the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators by providing them with competitive funding for business development and commercialization training and other educational opportunities.

Launched in 2015, Cleantech UP builds on its precursor, the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, which expanded student engagement in clean energy technologies from 2011 to 2015. Since the competition started, participants have formed more than 200 ventures, created 120+ jobs, and raised more than $120 million in follow-on funding.


Eight institutions will host annual Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions, where students receive entrepreneurial support and compete for cash prizes and services to further support the commercialization of their clean energy technologies. The Collegiate Competitions will establish team development and training that will aid students in developing the skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace. Winners of the Collegiate Competitions will be eligible to compete in the Cleantech UP National Competition run by the Hub.

The following list includes the institutions selected to host the 2017 Collegiate Competitions. Click on each one to read about the regional competition and see the 2017 winners. 


A national-level center for student-focused clean energy entrepreneurship training and education, the Cleantech UP Hub ( coordinates and provides a training program including preparation for the National Competition. In addition to providing competition-related instruction and guidance to students, the Hub serves as a learning laboratory and coordination point for the collegiate community to share best practices.

The Hub is responsible for the National Competition, which is the culmination of the Collegiate Competitions, and awards an additional $100,000 in prizes. 


Cleantech UP activities are conducted in four stages over the course of a given year:

  1. Recruit and prepare student teams through the eight Collegiate Competitions.
  2. Award prizes for each Collegiate Competition.
  3. Provide training for Collegiate Competition winners through the Cleantech UP Hub.
  4. Hold a National Competition in which student teams from each Collegiate Competition vie for $100,000 in prizes.


For more information about Cleantech UP, contact EERE’s Technology-to-Market Program.

And the winner is...

Northwestern University’s Aerospec Technologies team took home the top $50,000 prize at Clean Energy Trust’s 2018 Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) showcase.

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