Skip to main content

News Release: NREL's Clean Energy Forum Attracts National Investment Community

November 5, 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 22nd Clean Energy Industry Growth Forum this week attracted nearly 600 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers to Denver. 

The three-day forum highlighted clean energy industry technology and business developments. NREL also introduced the first NREL Opportunity Forum showcasing the latest clean energy opportunities in Colorado and across the country.

 “We need to approach energy differently and the key will be innovation. This forum brings together the clean energy innovators, investors and policymakers needed to bring about transformational change,” said NREL Director Dan Arvizu. 

More than $2.5 billion has been raised by companies presenting at the Forum since 2003. 

Three entrepreneurial companies were singled out from the 34 competitively-selected presenters to win the 2009 Clean Energy Venture Awards sponsored by Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors. 

"The range of technologies represented by the participating companies highlights the breadth of creative solutions being deployed to address our greatest energy and environmental challenges.  We are pleased to support this forum to help these young companies develop their ideas into commercial solutions," said Gisele Everett, Director of Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors.

Cash prizes include $10,000 for Best Venture and $5,000 each for the two Outstanding Presentation Awards. NREL will provide the winners with in-kind commercialization support matching the cash award to help increase their chances of commercial success.  

Ecovative Design took the top prize receiving the Best Venture award.  Ecovative Design creates compostable products that replace commonly used packaging materials like Styrofoam.

An Outstanding Venture award went to Exro Technologies for bringing to market a unique clean-energy electrical generator capable of delivering double-digit increases to the annual kilowatt hours produced out of a wind turbine, without increasing capital costs.

The second Outstanding Venture award went to Colorado based Evolutionary Genomics for developing and successfully patenting, a cost-effective technology platform to identify the key genes that control fundamental biofuel plant and algae traits such as biomass, stalk sugar, grain yield, and oil content.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

Contacts:  Marty Murphy and Tod Perry Co-Chairs, 22nd NREL Industry Growth Forum 303-275-3050 and 303-275-3673, and For a list of participating companies and sponsors, please visit the Industry Growth Forum Web site:




Visit NREL online at


—David Glickson