Website: development-green-energy-bridge-2020

Funding: Total available: $51,000,000. Maximum grants: $1.5M-$3.5M.

Dates: Pre-Application Workshop: July 30, 2020
Deadline for Written Questions: August 07, 2020
Application Submission Deadlines: 1st Round- October 09, 2020, 2nd Round- February 5, 2021, 3rd Round- June 11, 2021, 4th Round- October 8, 2021

Summary: This purpose of this solicitation is to competitively award follow-on funding for the most promising energy technologies that have previously received an award from an eligible California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) program or United States federal agency applied research and development or technology demonstration and deployment award.

BRIDGE 2020 seeks to 1) help start-up companies minimize the time between when their successful publicly-funded project ends and new public funding becomes available; and 2) mobilize more early-stage capital in the clean energy space by providing non-dilutive, matching investments in promising clean energy companies alongside investors and commercial partners.

Project Topic Areas: Eligible projects must fall within the following project groups:

Group 1: Energy Efficiency
Solid-state lighting; Non-vapor compression cooling; Enabling technologies for advanced electric heat pumps; Advanced materials and coatings for fenestration and building envelopes; Wastewater treatment, recycling, reuse

Group 2: Energy Storage
Enabling technologies for lithium sulfur and lithium-metal batteries; Flow batteries; Ultra- or super- capacitors; Non-lithium electrochemical battery; Enabling technologies for green hydrogen for long duration energy storage (including technologies such as electrolyzers)

Group 3: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Advanced Sensing
Building Automation; Smart Manufacturing and Industrial Processes; Precision Irrigation; Virtual Power Plants; Climate and Weather Risk Prediction to electric infrastructure and services; Advanced Sensors

Group 4: Advanced Power Electronics/Power Conditioning
High-efficiency plug-load devices; Solid-state distribution system components (transformers, inverters, circuit breakers); Ultra-fast electric transportation charging; High-power electric drive for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle applications; High-efficiency computing; Industrial motors and equipment

Group 5: Zero- and Negative-Carbon Emission Generation
Geothermal; Emerging thin film solar PV materials (perovskites, quantum dots, organic semiconductors); Solid-state energy harvesting (thermoelectric, thermionic, piezoelectric); Bioenergy


There is up to $51,000,000 available for grants awarded under this solicitation – this funding is split between $36,000,000 of Applied Research and Development funding and $15,000,000 of Technology Demonstration and Deployment funding.

Match funding is required in the amount of at least 50% of the requested grant project funds. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can meet the minimum match requirement. Applicants must provide proof that they have received the match funding investment from one of the following entities within 18 months of the application due date for the application round they are applying for. Match funding contingent upon the BRIDGE 2020 award is allowable, however the applicant must furnish proof of receipt of match funding before approval at a Business Meeting: Angel Investment; Corporate Strategic Investment; Foundation Investment; or Venture Capital Investment.

Topic Area Requirements:

This solicitation includes four application rounds. Applicants that submit a proposal for Round 1 or Round 2 and are not selected may reapply for Round 3 or Round 4. However, they must wait at least one round between proposal submissions.

As mentioned previously, the purpose of this solicitation is to help clean energy start-up companies bridge the gap from their previous public funding awards to private investment. As a result, this solicitation has special requirements including:

  • Prior Funding Requirement: Projects must have previously received a funding award from the CEC or an eligible U.S. federal agency.
  • Demonstrated Success: Applicants must provide documentation that they met key technical performance targets under their previous publicly funded award. Applicants are required to submit a Previous Project Evaluation Form with their proposal.
  • Multiple Application Deadlines: There are multiple application due dates for this solicitation to provide an opportunity for applicants who have not yet secured private sector investment or do not have completed project results from their previous award to apply. Please carefully read the Key Activities Schedule and Evaluation and Award Process portions of this solicitation.
  • Commercialization: This solicitation requires the prime applicant to be a for-profit commercial entity with rights to the intellectual property being advanced under the proposed project. Applicants whose technology received funding while being developed at an academic institution, national laboratory, or non-profit private research institution are eligible as long as the core intellectual property resides with the applicant.
  • Match Funding Requirement: Applicants must have received a private investment within the last 18 months for their technology. This solicitation has a 50% match funding requirement.

Eligible Applicants:

This solicitation is open to all private, for-profit entities and individuals that have previously received a funding award from an eligible CEC program or U.S. federal agency that provides energy research for applied research of the technology identified in the proposal. The CEC is looking for applicants with clear intentions, and a path forward for commercializing the technology in California as demonstrated by the responses in the Project Narrative. In accordance with CPUC Decision 12-05-037, funds administered by the CEC may not be used for any purposes associated with local publicly owned electric utility activities. Because the purpose of this solicitation is to advance technology development to commercialization, the following entities are not eligible to be prime applicants for this solicitation: Public and private universities; National Labs; Utilities; Private non-profit research organizations; End-use customers of the proposed technology. Companies that have completed their CalSEED concept award are eligible for this solicitation.