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UH Energy Innovation Commercialization Competition

Friday, September 8, 2023

3:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Objectives: To identify promising ideas impacting the energy transition that can lead to commercialization.

Rewards: The winning team gets a $25,000 cash award.

What ideas/projects qualify: The innovative ideas must be aligned with the Department of Energy’s energy transition targets and have the potential to exceed the targets when commercialized. The teams need to submit a plan to commercialize it. The teams are to be made up of one or more students and/or faculty and must be interdisciplinary in nature.

Background: The energy transition is here and will be with us for the next couple of decades. A key focus of UH Energy is to be a leader in academic contributions for the energy transition: research, innovation and education. The success of the energy transition depends on the successful commercialization of a many innovative ideas – energy efficiency, newer transportation modes, power generation, storage and distribution, modular manufacturing, use of AI, developing workforce etc. The DOE and many international organizations have shared targets for a successful energy transition in the critical areas*.

Process: To encourage and support the teams that enter the competition:

UH Energy will help teams get additional resources to round out their interdisciplinary capabilities and

UH Energy will conduct an “informational session” that will provide an overview of the elements of an interdisciplinary plan that investors generally look for in projects that are presented for funding and answer any questions that the teams have.

The teams will have a three-week period to pitch their plans to a panel of judges. Selected semi-finalists will have 10 weeks to work on their final plans. During this period each team will receive a stipend of $2,000 and elite mentoring along the way.

The final presentations will be onstage to a live audience from the Houston area and beyond. The winning team adjudged by a panel of “judges” will take home a grand prize of $25,000.


  • Teams wanting to enter the competition must submit their entry form by April 27, 2023. Include the title of the proposal, the names of faculty, staff, students, external organizations (if any) that will be part of the team working on the proposal, include any additional resources (students, faculty, etc.) that you need to add to round out the capabilities but need help from UH Energy in getting them
  • UH Energy will make available names and background of students/faculty who have volunteered to help be part of teams by May 3, 2023
  • Each team to finalize who will be part of their team and notify UH Energy by May 8, 2023
  • The informational session will be on May 17, 2023 and will provide an outline of information that investors generally look for in project proposals such as: brief description of the proposed project, what is the offering (product, service, etc.), size of the market, current competition, the value proposition, projected growth, financial outcomes, risks and mitigation, …)
  • The pitch session by each of the teams will be on June 2, 2023
  • Final presentation by semifinalists will be during the first full week of September 2023

For all inquiries contact Dr. Radha Radhakrishnan, UH Energy: email: or send an email to

* Notes

For all inquiries contact Dr. Radha Radhakrishnan, UH Energy: email: or send an email to