The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship announced the opening of its $12 million i6 Green Challenge in partnership with the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six teams around the country with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy, increased U.S. competitiveness and new jobs. Its partner agencies will award more than $6 million in additional funding to i6 Green winners.

“Initiatives like the i6 Green Challenge support the president’s vision for out-innovating the rest of the world by moving great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to spur the development of 21st century jobs and industries,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “We know that in the last 30 years, nearly all net new jobs were created by startups, and they will continue to play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity.”

First announced at the White House launch of Startup America in January, i6 Green follows last year’s inaugural i6 Challenge to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship in the United States.

“The $12 million i6 Green Challenge is an important component of President Obama’s Startup America initiative to promote American innovation and win the future,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. “The multi-agency competition builds on the success of last year’s initiative by encouraging Proof of Concept Centers and promoting green growth to increase our nation’s competitiveness and accelerate the economic recovery.”