Elemental Excelerator, a Honolulu-based organization that funds innovative enterprises addressing climate change, has received a $32.5 million grant from the Office of Naval Research. The five-year grant marks the third installment of Navy research funding, and brings the total funding from the office to more than $90 million, Elemental Excelerator said.

TerViva Manager Will Kusch shows us the Pongamia trees that once the flowers are pollinated, produce these small seed pods which can then be processed into jet fuel and two kinds of diesel on their farm located in the Koolau above Haleiwa, North Shore, Oahu.
Among the companies Elemental Excelerator has funded is TerViva which grows Pongamia trees, whose seeds can be processed into jet fuel. Pictured above is manager Will Kusch. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2017

“This grant from the Navy is a vote of confidence in our ability to select technologies and design projects that transform the systems behind climate change,” said Dawn Lippert, Elemental Excelerator’s chief executive. “The Navy’s five-year commitment enables us to bring new private and philanthropic funders to the table who are increasingly stepping up to invest in equitable climate solutions.”

The organization’s initiatives include the Elemental Policy Lab, a team of policy experts; Elemental Navigator, corporate members that collaborate with Elemental’s pipeline and portfolio companies and EDICT, a comprehensive internship and education program.

Since it started Elemental has invested in more than 130 climate technology startups worldwide and is now evaluating applicants for its 11th cohort of investments, with 15-20 companies to be named in October. Selected companies will receive $300,000 to $600,000 in funding.

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