General Electric and four venture capital funds launched a $200 million contest for innovations in smart grid technology, pledging to use the money to fund development of the winning entries.

Called “Ecomagination Challenge,” the contest invites businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students to submit projects with will help renewable energies penetrate the electricity grid, make the grid itself more efficient, or help make energy use in homes more efficient.

“We want to jump-start new ideas and deploy them