University of South Carolina

Students vie for $75,000 in Fuel Cell Challenge

By Steven Powell,, 803-777-1923

The USC-sponsored $75,000 Fuel Cell Challenge is looking for students with backgrounds in marketing, engineering, business and a range of other specialties to help industry commercialize hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

The deadline for submitting a student proposal to earn a research grant is Oct. 22.

The USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative has invested nearly $5 million since 2006 in a variety of partnerships to accelerate the commercial use of hydrogen and fuel cells. In this year’s Fuel Cell Challenge, interdisciplinary student teams can either address an industry challenge from a list submitted by participating companies, or they can offer their own innovation and request funding to bring it to fruition.

Industry partners have compiled nine distinct challenges from which student teams can choose. The topics for the “industry challenge” range from technically focused projects, such as the evaluation of fuel canisters for sodium borohydride for recycling, to business- and marketing-oriented challenges, such as the development of a demonstration plan for using fuel cells and other eco-friendly energy sources in the historic Waverly district of Columbia.

For teams with their own idea, the “innovation challenge” offers an alternative: make a case for your new technology or innovation, and you’ll be rewarded with seed money to help get your idea off the ground.

The winning interdisciplinary student teams, with faculty advisors, will work together over the spring 2013 semester and make a final presentation in May.

Full details can be found at this website.

The Fuel Cell Challenge is provided by a partnership that includes USC’s College of Engineering and Computing, College of Arts and Sciences, Darla Moore School of Business and Office of Technology Commercialization, as well as the USC-Columbia Technology Incubator, Innovista at USC, EngenuitySC and SC Launch.

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Posted: 09/20/12 @ 9:00 AM | Updated: 09/21/12 @ 8:34 AM | Permalink