Carnegie Mellon University

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July 21, 2021

DOE Awards Over $1.65 Million to Three CMU Clean Energy Startups

By Liz Rosevear

Liz Rosevear

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded three Carnegie Mellon University aligned startups over $1.65 million in SBIR/STTR grant funding for clean energy technology solutions. In total, the DOE has awarded $125 million to support 110 innovative projects focused on "tackling the climate crisis by harnessing market-oriented solutions and emerging technologies."

Grid Fruit, AI platform reducing supermarket energy costs, received a Phase II award of $1,099,976 for their project exploring AI-driven controls technology to more efficiently run commercial refrigeration systems. Grid Fruit Key Researchers include Faculty Affiliate Soummya Kar, alumnus Jesse Thornburg, and former faculty member and alumnus Javad Mohammadi.

CorePower Magnetics, soft magnetics technology CMU spinoff, received a Phase I award of $199,940 for their proposal exploring optimized high-performance electric motor designs suitable for electric vehicles with advanced, state-of-the-art magnetic materials free of rare earth elements. CorePower Magnetics is led by alumni Samuel Kernion, Paul Ohodnicki and CMU Professor Michael McHenry.

Liquid Ion Solutions (RoCo Global), carbon capture and advanced functional materials technology, received two Phase I awards. $206,275 for their approach to overcoming the environmental and technical problems associated with mixed plastics. This additive approach will compatibilize and enhance mixed plastics properties, addressing environmental issues due to plastic wastes and reducing our energy consumption to produce new plastics. $253,865 for 3rd Generation, High Performance, Water-lean Solvents for Carbon Capture. RoCo Global was founded by former faculty member Hunaid Nuwala.