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GPIC awards $1.3M in regional energy efficiency grants to seven research projects

They might not reinvent the light bulb, but with any luck, they’ll cost less to use.

The Opportunity Research Fund of the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster announced $1,327,253 in grants to seven research projects on Monday, all aimed at improving energy efficiency at the Philadelphia Navy Yard-based cluster.

The grants, which ranged between $100,000-$250,000 and were announced in a news release, "support research, development, demonstration and deployment of technologies, policies, business models and training programs that advance GPIC goals." GPIC is one of the nation’s three energy hubs working toward reducing American energy use in buildings by 50 percent and stimulate private investment and job creation in our region and beyond.

"The selected projects reflect the priorities and areas of need for GPIC where additional research will contribute significantly toward meeting GPIC goals and spurring innovation," says Henry Foley, executive director of GPIC and VP for research at Penn State University.

GPIC’s 24 member institutions were eligible to apply, but had to partner with a non-member on their proposals. Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania managed the proposal review process. The funded projects include:

- Integrated Lighting Controls with Hybrid Connectivity for Energy Efficiency and Easy Retrofit, $200,573: Penn State University and Phillips Research North America

- Beta Testing, Validation and Manufacturing of Low Cost Next Generation HVAC Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid Retrofits for Commercial and Residential Applications, $146,692: Penn State University Center for High Performance Buildings and Pace Controls

- Demonstration of Modelica-Based Tool Chain for Rapid Prototyping and Evaluation of Integrated Business Controls, $233,000: Purdue University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

- The Sustainability Workshop, $200,000: Drexel University, Penn State University, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

- Electro Chronic Glazing for Improved Performance of Commercial Buildings,$200,000: Penn State University and Sage Electronics

- Navy Yard Operations Center: An Innovative Energy Management, Workforce Development and Education Opportunity for Greater Philadelphia, $161,487: Drexel University, Penn State University, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, University of Pennsylvania, and Viridity Energy

- Construct Baseline Commercial Building Envelope to Evaluate Energy Retrofit Strategies, $185,501: Bayer MaterialScience and Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Source: Christine Knapp, GPIC
Writer: Joe Petrucci
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