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Awards made to support students and researchers to advance energy technologies and sustainability ventures

Image of a TomKat Center community social event
The TomKat Center has built a robust and supportive community of researchers, founders, and other stakeholders that collaborate to advance sustainability technologies and solutions.

The 2022-23 academic year ushered in a significant effort to address global challenges with the launch of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. The TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy joined its new administrative home and community under the school and has continued its efforts of the last decade to empower students and researchers who are developing and deploying impactful energy and sustainability solutions. This year, the center’s Innovation Transfer Program awarded grants to help 11 new teams embark on the journey of moving their innovations out of the University.

Since its inception in the fall of 2013, the Innovation Transfer Program has granted $6.1 million to 107 Stanford teams to advance new ventures that impact problems in energy and sustainability. The new awardees join a robust and supportive ecosystem of founders, many of whom have led companies to achieve significant market traction resulting in over $1.6 billion in external follow-on funding.

The program supports entrepreneurial teams from across the University, who, under the guidance of Stanford faculty members and expert mentors, move Stanford innovations toward commercialization. Grants are awarded to develop and iterate prototypes, refine business plans, conduct customer trials and market research, and establish commercial viability.

2022- 23 Grantees

The 11 early-stage ventures that were awarded Innovation Transfer Grants include teams that are advancing both technological and business model innovations. They are commercializing sustainability solutions for challenges in energy, agriculture, resource discovery and recovery, supply chain sustainability, and carbon capture.

Blumen is building automated software to manage the regulatory reporting process for animal feeding operations, grain fields, minerals and metals mines, and geothermal well pads– providing a path to identify environmental risks and opportunities. Hannes Boehning (MS, CS), Prof. Alexandra Konings (CEE) Innovation areas: Energy, Food, and Water Nexus; Materials and Chemicals; Software and Data Analytics

CleanPower has developed a novel solids management system for wastewater treatment that significantly reduces the energy and space needed for downstream processing. Sebastien Tilmans (Exec. Dir. Codiga, CEE), Himanshu Khuntia (Postdoc, CEE), Prof. Bill Mitch (CEE), Prof. Craig Criddle (CEE) Innovation areas: Energy, Food, and Water Nexus; Environment and Health, Built Environment and Infrastructure 

CtrlZ is working toward a gigaton-scale carbon removal and storage solution in the built environment. Amit Bharti (MSx, GSB), Ananya Jain (ME, CEE); Prof. William Barnett (GSB) Innovation areas: Environment and Health, Built Environment and Infrastructure, Materials and Chemicals

ExploreTech increases critical mineral exploration efficiency with scalable AI software. Alex Miltenberger (PhD, Geophysics), Tyler Hall (PhD, Geological Sciences), Prof. Jef Caers (Earth & Planetary Sciences / PI) Innovation areas: Materials and Chemicals, Software and Data Analytics, Built Environment and Infrastructure

Fundusol is creating resilience and new revenue opportunities for American farmers through a data-driven approach to agrivoltaics–the co-location of crops and solar panels. Michael Bendok (BS, Econ; BS, Data Science), Esteban Herrera-Vendrell (BS, Math; BS, Physics), Peter Westbrook (BS Math, BS CS), Luca Borletti, Prof. Adam Brandt (ESE) Innovation areas: Generation and Conversion; Energy, Food, and Water Nexus; Software and Data Analytics 

Greenify helps homeowners comprehend their home’s energy usage and offers them personalized recommendations to reduce their utility bills. Eric MacBlane (MBA, GSB), Guillaume Noziere (MS, MS&E), Prof. Garth Saloner (GSB) Innovation areas: Built Environment and Infrastructure, Energy Management and Efficiency, Software and Data Analytics

Perseus is pushing the leading edge of sustainable and recyclable composite material technology. John Feist (PhD, Chem), Dan Lee (Postdoc, Chem), Prof. Yan Xia (Chem) Innovation areas: Built Environment and Infrastructure, Environment and Health, Materials and Chemicals

SOURCE Climate Solutions is developing energy project design tools that make energy services easy and accessible to all. Blake Dressel (MS, CEE), Atharva Ekatpure (MS, CEE), Prof. Meagan Mauter (CEE) Innovation areas: Energy Management and Efficiency, Grid Integration and Resiliency, Software and Data Analytics

Switch aims to increase the adoption of cleantech by identifying all available economic and funding mechanisms. Rauf Khan (MBA/MS, GSB/E-IPER), Maximus Santosa (MS, MS&E), Prof. Mark Jacobson (CEE) Innovation areas: Built Environment and Infrastructure, Environment and Health, Software and Data Analytics

Terradot is collaborating with major global Agricultural institutions to design a high-integrity, scalable soil carbon sequestration measurement system using AI and remote sensing. Sasankh Munukutla (BS/MS, CS), James Kanoff (BS, Symbolic Systems), Prof. Scott Fendorf (Earth System Science) Innovation areas: Developing Economies; Energy, Food, and Water Nexus; Software and Data Analytics

Vrinda aims to revolutionize the fashion industry’s economic model, shifting from a supply-side focus to an informed demand-driven approach. Priyanka Ladha (MSx, GSB), Prof. Ilya Strebulaev (GSB) Innovation areas: Environment and Health, Software and Data Analytics, Developing Economies