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Facebook, Cleantech Group Launch Contest To Accelerate Environmental Solutions

Facebook and the Cleantech Group have asked contestants to submit concept pitches for products, applications or services that utilize the social network’s billion-person user base to reduce environmental impact and engage in conversation over sustainability challenges.

The first Cleantech Goes Social contest offers $25,000 in funding and personalized guidance from Cleantech Group and Facebook to the entrant with the best plan to leverage the social network to advance the adoption of renewable technologies, engage people on resource and energy issues, or promote environmental sustainability.

Submissions will be reviewed by a group of judges composed of representatives from Facebook, Cleantech Group and the Global Cleanweb Initiative and will gauge contestants based on four criteria: impact, innovation, feasibility and usability.

The competition is open to submissions through March 4, and the top three entries will be invited to pitch their ideas to the Clean Tech Forum in San Francisco on March 19. Concepts can be built entirely on Facebook or integrate the social network into a product or service. The winner will be announced on March 20.

This won’t be the first time Facebook is used in this fashion. Last year, software company Opower — which works with utilities to encourage energy efficiency among ratepayers — developed a Facebook application aimed at stirring up friendly competition among the social network to see who can reduce their home energy use the most.

@Bart_King is a freelance writer and communications consultant. @mikehower contributed.