CBE is one of 30 research testbeds supporting the California Test Bed Initiative, a laboratory-based commercialization development program for innovators and entrepreneurs working to bring early to mid-stage clean energy concepts to market. It is made possible by an $11 million grant from the California Energy Commission. Under the program, CalTestBed will award vouchers worth up to $300,000 to test and validate candidate technologies at one of nearly 30 testbeds across the UC system and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Additional benefits include access to experienced clean energy entrepreneurs, industry experts and prospective partners.
As one of the testbed facilities, CBE offers many advanced research capabilities, including a controlled environment chamber that allows precise control over temperature, humidity, ventilation and lighting, and that may use human subjects and/or advanced physical measurements. Additional experimental facilities include instrumented “thermal mannequins” and an extensive set of mobile and wireless measuring equipment for conducting field studies within operating buildings. To review whether suitable testing capabilities exist at any of the testbed facilities, please see the CalTestBed Directory.
The program is focused on mid- to later-stage technologies that add value to the electrical grid system, but that lack capital for testing and validation. The first cohort of 26 clean energy entrepreneurs was announced in December of 2020. Applicants must have a California presence and may apply under one of twelve wide-ranging technology categories, including building technologies, energy storage, materials, internet of things, grid technologies, renewable generation, transportation and water.
CBE will announce the next solicitation as soon as it is released. Applications are expected to be open from late February through mid March of 2021. Please send this link to any potentially interested parties, and see the links below for additional details.