Via the state-run Third Frontier technology development program, the Ohio Department of Development has announced that it is seeking $27 million worth of “requests for proposals” for its 2010 fiscal year (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010).

ODD and Third Frontier are particularly interested in investing in projects related to fuel cells, photovoltaics, wind energy, biomass energy and energy storage.

The Third Frontier program is designed to assist companies in the precarious development stage referred to as the “Valley of Death” for start-up ventures. It assists by injecting investment monies to aid innovators in the crucial incubation and demonstration steps of growing their businesses. The National Governor’s Association and Pew Center for the States described Third Frontier as “a comprehensive, professionally run effort to build world-class research capacity, promote interaction between research and industry, and commercialize research and development.”

ODD/Third Frontier reps will conduct a bidder’s conference on Aug. 14, 2009, at the TechColumbus center located near the Ohio State University’s main campus. Letters of intent are due to ODD by Aug. 25. Formal proposals will be accepted until Sept. 18 at 2 p.m.

Department officials say the proposals will be evaluated independently and externally, then reviewed by members of the Third Frontier Commission before final approval by the legislature’s State Controlling Board. ODD says the program awards will be announced in December.

Complete RFP materials are available at: