U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says $2 million in funding is now available for the DOE's new National University Clean Energy Business Challenge. This competition is intended to create a network of regional student-focused clean energy business creation competitions whose winners will compete for a National Grand Prize at a competition held at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. in early summer 2012.

The funding will support up to six regional competitions that will inspire, mentor and train students from across the country to develop successful business plans to create a new generation of American clean energy companies. These regional competitions will take place before May 1, 2012.

“Fostering innovation at America's universities and producing our nation's next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs is vital to ensuring our nation's competitiveness in the clean energy economy of tomorrow,” said Chu. “This investment will train a new generation of scientific and technical leaders and support the Administration's continued effort to ensure that America has the workforce we need to secure our energy future, create jobs here at home, and win the future.”

For more information, check out the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) now posted to www.fedconnect.net under the reference number “DE-FOA-0000570.” Applications are due Aug. 22 and selections are expected to be made before Oct. 1.