PSU Cleantech Challenge selects

seven finalists

The PSU Cleantech Challenge has selected 7 student teams from universities around Oregon to receive $2,500 to develop prototypes of environmentally friendly inventions and compete for a grand prize of $10,000 to help bring their innovations to market.

In addition to the prototype funding, each team will be matched with a business development mentor and provided with workspace to refine their ideas and further develop their product pitches over the summer in preparation for the final competition in September. A panel of judges from the cleantech sector selected the 7 finalists after seeing pitches from 14 competing teams.





Surjpower, Portland State, aims to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the amount of energy used by large refrigeration systems.

RECYCL3D, McKay High School, is developing a way to take lunchroom plastic waste and recycle it by making usable products with 3-D printers.

HydroDrone, Oregon State University, is developing technology to help farmers keep from overwatering their crops, which wastes water and creates harmful runoff.


Aquarian Provisions, Portland State, is designing mobile food production greenhouses for growing all varieties of vegetables, as well as an aquaculture system for growing fish and freshwater shrimp.


SunShield, Portland State, is coming up with a new kind of sunscreen that does not contain a common sunscreen chemical that harms coral reefs.


NexGarden, Portland State, is developing automated, modular, farming units that can be located in neighborhoods. They utilize aeroponics, which uses 99 percent less water than conventional farming.


Wahl Separations, Portland State, is making inexpensive filters that can clean pollutants from water. They can be used in a variety of ways, including cleaning oily bilge water from ships.


The PSU Cleantech Challenge began at Portland State University in 2013 and last year opened up to all Portland-area school. Additional funding from Wells Fargo allowed the competition this year to expand statewide and include all Oregon colleges and universities.

“At Wells Fargo, we foster entrepreneurial ideas for emerging clean technologies with leading universities and incubator programs across the nation,” said Oregon Regional President Tracy Curtis of Portland. “We’re proud to support PSU’s Cleantech Challenge for the fourth straight year.” 

The finalists teams will display their prototypes at the 2017 Oregon BEST Fest cleantech conference September 14th. Each team will make their final pitch for their chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. Awards for second place ($5,000), people’s choice ($2,500), and best pitch ($2,500) will also be granted.

About Portland State University (PSU)

Oregon’s urban research university, recognized for excellence in sustainability and community engagement, is located in the heart of downtown Portland. PSU's motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and it offers more than 200 degrees with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. (

About Wells Fargo 
Serving Oregonians since 1852, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,800 locations; 13,000 ATMs; the internet (; and mobile banking. The firm has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 16,300 nonprofits in 2015 and its team members volunteered 1.8 million hours serving their communities. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.