The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called for nominations for the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA), and companies engaging in green chemistry innovations will want to act quickly as the deadline for nominations is December 31, 2015.
Winning, or even just being nominated for a PGCCA, confers concrete benefits, including increased brand awareness, public relations opportunity, and validation of your product or process by green chemistry stakeholders.
To be eligible for an award, a technology must:
- Be a green chemistry technology with a significant chemistry component;
- Include source reduction (i.e., pollution prevention at the source);
- Have an eligible sponsor (e.g., be a company or non-government organization);
- Have a significant U.S. component;
- Have a significant milestone in its development in the past five years; and
- Fit within one of the three focus areas:
- Greener Synthesis, including greener feedstocks and reagents, more efficient syntheses, and greener catalysts;
- Greener Reaction Conditions, including greener solvents, solvent-free reactions, and greener analytic methods; or
- Designing Greener Chemicals, where the product itself is less hazardous than the incumbent technology.
In addition to awards in each of the focus areas, there are three special award categories:
- Small business; and
- Specific Environmental Benefit: Climate Change.
Awards in these categories may be in any of the three focus areas as long as they also meet the criteria for the specific category.
Nominating your process or product is an opportunity to tell the story of your technology. You probably already have documents that can form the basis for a nomination, so you will not need to start from scratch. Even if you do not win, EPA typically publicizes the non-winning technologies.
If you have been nominated in the past and not won, as long as your technology is still within five years of a significant milestone, EPA actually encourages you to re-nominate it for an award. If re-nominating, it is advisable to take the opportunity to strengthen your nomination.