General Electric Co. and three Silicon Valley venture capital firms launched a $200 million open innovation challenge Tuesday seeking breakthrough ideas on the electric grid and ways to accelerate its adoption. Technologists, entrepreneurs and start-ups have been invited to share their best ideas and come together to take on the challenges of building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century. The challenge is one of the largest ever and is open immediately at www.ecomagination.com/challenge. It is being launched in collaboration with leading venture capital firms Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer and RockPort Capital, and Wired Magazine Editor Chris Anderson as part of GEâ¿¿s ecomagination initiative to build innovative clean energy technologies and will help fund the most promising ideas. Also participating is Emerald Technology Ventures, which has its North American headquarters in Toronto. Proposals are sought in three, broad categories: Renewables, Grid and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings. Select Challenge entrants will be offered the opportunity to develop a commercial relationship with GE. Kleiner Perkins managing partner Ray Lane said the firm is working to reduce world dependency on fossil fuel-based energy by growing its portfolio of innovative Greentech companies. "We believe the Smart Grid is the information technology backbone that will enable faster scaling of energy innovations,â¿ Lane said. â¿¿We are committed to working closely with GE and other investor partners to help commercialize the best Smart Grid innovations.â¿ The $200 million commitment will help bring these new ideas to market by providing businesses and individuals with the opportunity to secure growth capital through GE investment and/or investment by participating venture capital firms. It is open to anyone aged 18 years or older and all legally formed entities.