FAIRFIELD, CT: General Electric announced a renewed commitment to its five-year-old Ecomagination initiative, including $10 billion investment, a new campaign, and PR support.
The GE Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid launched July 13 and runs for 10 weeks, promoting more engagement between GE and entrepreneurs.
"The Challenge exemplifies this open innovation and collaborative approach GE is taking with its big initiatives, particularly around SmartGrid for this one," said Leigh Farris, manager of corporate communications for GE.
Entrepreneurs, technology experts, and start-up companies can submit their ideas for building the next generation power grid, with the winning ideas announced in October. Since its launch, GE has received more than 750 ideas for the Challenge.
Working with Edelman for traditional PR and SS&K around social media, GE is targeting green media outlets, as well as technology and business media. Online, it revamped its Ecomagination website, launched a Challenge microsite, and is using social networks including Twitter and Facebook. The company is also planning MeetUp groups around the country.
The Challenge is the first of many initiatives for what Farris called "Eco 2.0," and is a $200 million capital pledge from GE and its venture capital partners. More initiatives promoting open collaboration will be part of Ecomagination going forward. Farris declined to provide financial information specifically about the PR and communications.
"Obviously, PR and communication is always supporting the [Ecomagination] initiatives broadly," Farris said. "We're putting together a sustained plan and effort to continue to drive awareness around the Challenge and the themes of innovation and collaboration, and also to encourage participation in the Challenge."