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Guest blog: Della Cassia, The Engineering Society of Detroit: E-Challenge Competition Inspires Michigan’s Future

By Posted on August 6, 2013


Ideas drive innovation, and innovation drives entrepreneurship which spurs a vibrant economy. Despite all the negative financial news out of Detroit, there are equally as many positive stories of young innovators setting up shop in the city to create the new products and services that will help turn it around. There are also many incubators helping them along the way including; the Green GarageTech ShopTech TownThe Detroit Creative Corridor and NextEnergy.

There is no doubt that the entrepreneurship spirit is gaining steam across Michigan. In fact, many companies and nonprofit organizations are joining together to help recognize and reward new ideas. To that end, The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) is proud to partner with DTE Energy and NextEnergy on the 2013 E-Challenge for Energy Efficiency competition with a focus on advanced lighting technology.

The purpose of the E-Challenge, which was launched in 2012, is to showcase innovation through market-ready advanced lighting solutions. This year’s competition requires that demonstrations showcase advanced lighting in areas including, but not limited to: integration of sensors, adaptive controls; network controls to optimize energy savings; utilization of advanced lighting luminaire designs; creative lighting designs; advanced optics designs; and exterior lighting applications.

From municipalities to carmakers and businesses, the use of advanced lighting technology has gained significant traction in the past several years. According to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, by 2015 more than $270 million will be invested annually in energy efficiency in Michigan.

So, the market is ripe in this field, and we are calling on innovators to submit their projects for consideration.  Submissions should integrate energy efficiency solutions through collaborations, bring under-utilized energy efficiency products to the DTE Electric service area, or accelerate the commercialization of Michigan-based energy technologies.

Examples of advanced lighting technology applications include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Integration of sensors for registering daylight, occupancy/vacancy
  2. Integration of adaptive controls to allow dimming, on/off capabilities, collect and report data, and manage usage
  3. Network controls across series of lights to optimize energy savings
  4. Utilization of advanced lighting luminaire designs that allow for significant improvements in energy savings ROI over traditional lighting products
  5. Creative lighting designs that reduce number of fixtures while maintaining or improving light illumination and quality
  6. Advanced optics designs that improve lighting illumination/ quality while reducing luminaire complexity and cost
  7. Exterior lighting applications, including parking lot lighting and street lighting

Michigan’s rebirth is largely dependent upon the ideas of its innovators. We hope that this competition will contribute to that rebirth by introducing new products into the market that make our environment better, and our lives smarter.

For more information about the E-Challenge competition, visit


Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Alessandra Ribeiro says:

    Across all industries, intelligent automation and energy management, transparent energy balance, energy-efficient motors, converters and process optimization services are essential, as are sustainable wastewater treatment and environment-friendly mobility. In the field of healthcare, energy-efficient appliances are becoming more and more important.

  • Ghassan a. chehab says:

    Further more to the green energy, I consider electronics for cooling “& lighting purposes” are effective and beneficent.

  • Custom Craft Technologies does not compete for government contracts; CCT does not commercially manufacture any physical thing and concedes precedence to private developer’s verification willingness concerning independent fractured energy recovery, rights of 90% earnings from all CCT product category deployments.

    CCT investigates hydraulic compaction reactors in an effort to understand and explain hydraulic energy fracture and recovery. In terms of emerging energy technology CCT patent and related product conglomerations are very new and relatively under explored.

    Perhaps a new year Next Energy Competition will be won buy a CCT independent developer.

    Randall Walters

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