Investing in Innovative Energy Technologies

news story image

The Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEI2) recently awarded the second round of their Energy Innovation Seed Grants to three projects across the University System of Maryland.  The grants are intended to bridge the gap between academic transformative laboratory research results and prototype demonstrations while fostering commercialization through technology development, creation and/or advancement of university start-up companies within the state of Maryland.

Two new seed grants awarded this year include: 

  • A Novel Geared Infinitely Variable Transmission for Tidal Current Energy Harvesting; Lead PI: Weidong Zhu, Professor Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Partnering Company: Talos Industry Corporation
  • Packaging of Solid State Batteries for Strategic Partner Testing and Product Integration; Lead PI: Greg Hitz, CTO Ion Storage Systems, LLC; University Collaborator: Eric Wachsman, Professor Materials Science Engineering, University of Maryland College Park

The last seed grant selected was a Phase II award from last year.

  • RoCo (the Roving Comforter); Lead PI: Reinhard Radermacher, Professor and Director Center for Environmental Energy Engineering, University of Maryland College Park; Partnering Companies: Mobile Comfort, Daikin and Alliance Material Handling 

Phase II proposals were required to include progress made on the technical and business aspects of the previous proposal as well as providing a more complete business plan towards commercialization. 

Proposals were selected by the MEI2Investment Committee based on the likelihood of attracting outside funding, innovation, and the potential for commercial readiness. Dr. Ellen Williams, Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the MEIInvestment committee noted that the committee receivedan outstanding group of proposals, and based on such high-quality work, she sees a great future for Energy Innovation in Maryland.  All recipients will attend and present at the Engineering Sustainability Day workshop on April 22, organized by the MEI2

MEIbrings together science, industry, government and economic leaders to develop new energy technologies and facilitate the transfer of technology ideas into a reality. For more information, please visit:

Published March 12, 2019