Five teams compete in the PSU Cleantech Challenge for a shot at $10,000 and statewide glory
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: March 14, 2018

Finalists will make their pitches at TechFest NW in April, top two teams will advance to InventOR

Five student teams have been selected to compete in the 2018 Portland State University (PSU) Cleantech Challenge, presented by Daimler Trucks North America. The teams will spend the coming weeks developing a prototype for their innovations that will be presented during the final round of the competition at TechFest NW on April 5. The winning team will receive $10,000 in cash and prizes and the top two teams will advance to the statewide InventOR competition.  

PSU Cleantech ChallengeThe PSU Cleantech Challenge gives students the opportunity to develop innovations that address the social, environmental, and economic challenges of our region and take their ideas from concept to reality, providing $1,500 to each team for prototype development. In its sixth year, the Challenge has sparked dozens of innovative and sustainable ides that have evolved from ideas into bankable inventions.

“The PSU Cleantech Challenge showcases student-led research and innovation from across the University. It is a proven way to engage students in having a positive impact on society before they even graduate,” said PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi. This year the five competing teams represent PSU programs in engineering, architecture, and biology.


Innovations include:

  • Recycling smart phones for use in virtual reality-aided educational programs
  • Wastewater treatment through the use of specific kinds of bacteria
  • Rethinking temporary architecture with fully reusable materials
  • The development of novel plant systems for use in biofuel energy production
  • A low-cost, high-efficiency kit for the production of backyard homes

“The range of ideas and inventions represented by the 2018 Cleantech Challenge teams is truly inspiring and illustrates Daimler’s vision for a more sustainable region,” said Lori Heino-Royer, Director of Business Development for Daimler Trucks North America, presenting sponsor for the competition.

PSU Cleantech Challenge StudentsThe top two teams from this year’s challenge will advance to the statewide InventOR event in which teams from a dozen colleges and universities from across the state will compete for the statewide prize and $25,000 on June 29 in Klamath Falls, Ore.

“The Cleantech Challenge and InventOR represent the best in student-led problem solving on a regional scale,” said Angela Jackson, Director of the PSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Managing Director of the Portland Seed Fund. “Every year we see more and more schools following Portland State’s lead in providing a pathway for the development of solutions for a better world.”

To learn more about the PSU Cleantech Challenge, visit Information about the InventOR competition can be found at