Smart grid fund to stimulate innovation launched in Illinois


Mark Harris,
President & CEO,
Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 27, 2012 – The Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) has been launched as a fund that will invest in promising electrical grid and energy innovations in order to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation as well as empower consumers to employ Illinois’ smart grid.

The $72.5 million effort will be overseen by Jason Blumberg, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and energy sector entrepreneur, and Sara Hochman, who has consulted in the clean energy sector.

“This new entity fills a gap that exists in the Illinois venture capital market today,” said Mark Harris, president and CEO of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, a partner instrumental in the ISEIF’s formation. “It is the only fund focused on catalyzing the next game changing smart grid and energy ideas. Under its new leaders, ISEIF is poised to accelerate the speed-to-market of smart grid businesses and their launch into industry leading companies.”

The ISEIF represents the culmination of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, legislation passed last year by the Illinois General Assembly that allows utilities to spend up to $3.2 billion modernizing the state’s electrical grid, including more than $1 billion in smart grid technology.

ISEIF’s $72.5 million allocation, which is funded by utilities ComEd and Ameren, provides an engine for continued development and adoption of new technologies and business models.