Effective as of September 2022


This Privacy Policy describes how Breakthrough Energy Foundation (Breakthrough Energy Foundation and our affiliated entities referred to collectively as "Breakthrough Energy Fellows", "we", "us", or "our") collects, uses and shares your personal information if you visit or our other websites or services that link to this Privacy Policy or apply to or are part of the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program application process (collectively, the “Services”) or take other actions through the Services such as choosing to contact us, receive our communications, or attend our events. This Privacy Policy does not cover activities of the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program itself beyond the fellows selection process.

We provide important information for individuals in Europe below.

Table of Contents (click to jump)

Personal Information We Collect

Information you provide to us. Personal information you provide to us through the Services may include:

  • Contact information, If you request communications from us, we have a form that allows you to provide details, such as your first and last name, email address, and postal or zip code. You are not required to provide any of these other than an email address so that we can fulfill your request to communicate with you. If you choose to provide a name in your request for communications, you are free to use a pseudonym.
  • Fellows Program Applicants or Grantees. If you are nominated as a fellow and apply for the post, we have a form that requests information such as name, location, email address, mobile number, current employer and position, area of research interests, resume or CV, references, and demographic details (such as disability status, veteran status, race, gender/ethnicity, citizenship, and other details that helps us understand and expand the diversity of our candidates and fellows).
  • Fellows Program Application Reviewers. If you apply to be a reviewer (i.e., someone who reviews the applications for Fellow Grants), we have an online intake form that requests information such as name, current institution/affiliation, current location (city, state/province, country), email address, and area of expertise. We also ask you to describe your area of expertise and technical experience. We ask that you not include personal information in this text box. We also receive recommendations with the name and contact information of prospective reviewers from our organizational network (such as from Breakthrough Energy, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Gates Ventures).
  • Feedback or correspondence, such as information you provide when you contact us with questions, feedback, or otherwise correspond with us.
  • Usage information, such as information about how you use the Services and interact with us, including information you provide when you use any interactive features of the Services.
  • Marketing information, such as your preferences for receiving communications about our products, activities, and publications, and details about how you engage with our communications.
  • Other information that we may collect which is not specifically listed here, but which we will use in accordance with this Privacy Policy or as otherwise disclosed at the time of collection.

Information we obtain from social media platforms.We may maintain pages for Breakthrough Energy on social media platforms, such as Medium, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. When you visit or interact with our pages on those platforms, the platform provider’s privacy policy will apply to your interactions and their collection, use, and processing of your personal information. You or the platforms may provide us with information through the platform, and we will treat such information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

If you choose to connect your account on a third-party platform or network to the Services, like using your Medium account to access our blog, we may collect information from that platform or network. For example, this information may include your Medium username, profile picture, and other profile information. You may also have the opportunity to provide us with additional information via the third-party platform or network, such a list of your connections. You can read more about your privacy choices for social media networks and other third-party platforms below.

Cookies and Other Information Collected by Automated Means

We, our service providers, and our business partners may automatically log information about you, your computer or mobile device, and activity occurring on or through the Services. The information that may be collected automatically includes your computer or mobile device operating system type and version number, manufacturer and model; device identifier; browser type; screen resolution; IP address; the website you visited before browsing to our website; general location information such as city, state or geographic area; and information about your use of and actions on the Services, such as pages or screens you viewed, how long you spent on a page or screen, navigation paths between pages or screens, information about your activity on a page or screen, access times, and length of access. Our service providers and business partners may collect this type of information over time and across third-party websites and mobile applications.

See our Cookie Policy for more information.

How We Use Your Personal Information

We use your personal information for the following purposes and as otherwise described in this Privacy Policy or at the time of collection:

To operate the Services. We use your personal information to:

  • provide, operate, and improve the Services;
  • facilitate social features of the Services, such as our blog
  • communicate with you about the Services, including by sending you announcements, updates, security alerts, and support and administrative messages;
  • understand your interests and personalize your experience with the Services;
  • provide support and maintenance for the Services; and
  • respond to your requests, questions and feedback.

To select Innovation Fellows and Reviewers and To Administer Program. We use information provided by nominators and by applicants themselves to select grantees/Fellows and reviewers and to administer, assess, and improve the Fellows program. We use demographic information (such as race and disability) to understand and improve our diversity, equity, and inclusion and to support Fellows.

For research and development. We analyze use of the Services to improve the Services and to develop new products and services.

To send you marketing and promotional communications. We may send you marketing communications as permitted by law. You can opt out of our marketing and promotional communications as described below.

To comply with law. We use your personal information as we believe necessary or appropriate to comply with applicable laws, lawful requests, and legal process, such as to respond to subpoenas or requests from government authorities.

For compliance, fraud prevention, and safety. We may use your personal information and disclose it to law enforcement, government authorities, and private parties as we believe necessary or appropriate to: (a) protect our, your, or others’ rights, privacy, safety, or property (including by making and defending legal claims); (b) enforce the terms and conditions that govern the Services; and (c) protect, investigate, and deter against fraudulent, harmful, unauthorized, unethical, or illegal activity.

With your consent. In some cases we may specifically ask for your consent to collect, use, or share your personal information, such as when required by law.

To create anonymous data. We may create aggregated and other anonymous data from your personal information and other individuals whose personal information we collect. We make personal information into anonymous data by removing information that makes the data personally identifiable to you. We may use this anonymous data and share it with third parties for our lawful business purposes, including to analyze and improve the Services and promote our business.

How We Share Your Personal Information

We do not share your personal information with third parties without your consent, except in the following circumstances or as otherwise described in this Privacy Policy:

Affiliates. We may share your personal information with our affiliated organizations, such as Breakthrough Energy, LLC, for purposes consistent with this Privacy Policy.

Reviewers. The Fellows program is currently designed to leverage the expertise and connections of evaluators, to help review applicants. Our policy is to have NDA’s in place with reviewers.

Nominators. The Fellows program is currently designed to leverage the expertise and connections of nominators. We receive applicant recommendations for both grantees and reviewers from nominators.

Service providers. We may share your personal information with third-party companies and individuals that provide services on our behalf or help us operate the Services (such as customer support, website troubleshooting, hosting, analytics, email delivery, marketing, and database management services).

Examples of some our current service providers (with links to their privacy policies and/or legal terms) as of the date of posting this privacy policy are:

Partners. See our Cookie Policy for more information about third parties that collect information through our Services with cookies and similar technologies.

Professional advisors. We may disclose your personal information to professional advisors, such as lawyers, bankers, auditors, and insurers, where necessary in the course of the professional services that they render to us.

For compliance, fraud prevention and safety. We may share your personal information for the compliance, fraud prevention and safety purposes described above.

Government Requests. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this policy, we may preserve or disclose your information if we believe that it is reasonably necessary to comply with a law, regulation, or legal request or to protect the safety, property, or rights of Breakthrough Energry or others. However, nothing in this policy is intended to limit any legal defenses or objections that you may have to a third party or government request to disclose your information.

Corporate transfers. We may transfer or otherwise share some or all of our business or assets, including your personal information, in connection with a (potential) organizational transaction such as a merger, consolidation, reorganization, or in the event of dissolution.

Your Choices

In this section, we describe the rights and choices available to all users. Users who are located within Europe can find additional information about their potential rights below.

Opt out of marketing communications. You may opt out of marketing emails by following the unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of the email. You may continue to receive service-related and other non-marketing emails.

Cookies & browser web storage. For information on how to disable cookies and similar technologies used in the Services, see our Cookie Policy.

Do Not Track. Some Internet browsers may be configured to send “Do Not Track” signals to the online services that you visit. We currently do not respond to “Do Not Track” or similar signals. To find out more about “Do Not Track,” please visit

Choosing not to share your personal information. Where we are required by law to collect your personal information, or where we need your personal information to provide the Services to you, if you do not provide this information when requested (or you later ask to delete it), we may not be able to provide you with the Services or certain features. We will tell you what information you must provide to receive the Services by designating it as required at the time of collection or through other appropriate means. In some cases, you may provide a pseudonym, such as when you sign up for our email list.

Other Sites, Mobile Applications, and Services

The Services may contain links to, or content or features from, other websites and online services operated by third parties. These links are not an endorsement of, or representation that we are affiliated with, any third party. In addition, our content may be included on web pages or in mobile applications or online services that are not associated with us. We do not control third-party websites, mobile applications, or online services, and we are not responsible for their actions. Other websites and services follow different rules regarding the collection, use, and sharing of your personal information. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of the other websites and mobile applications and online services you use.

Security Practices

The security of your personal information is important to us. We employ a number of organizational, technical and physical safeguards designed to protect the personal information we collect. However, security risk is inherent in all internet and information technologies and we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information.

Some of our current security practices as of the date of this privacy policy include: Data is stored within a secured facility that limits physical access. Data at rest is stored in an encrypted state . Vendors must receive individual, per-instance authorization before being able to access our data stored within their facility (which access is only allowed as part of troubleshooting). All administrative accounts are protected by multi-factor authentication and, in most cases, access is also limited by IP address. All administrative actions are audited. An automated security review is undertaken on a regularly scheduled basis.

A specific and targeted security review is conducted bi-annually or more often as dictated by the needs and changes introduced in the services offered. An SDLC (software development lifecycle) program is used by the development partners to manage security practices and data handling during the development and maintenance cycles.

International Data Transfers

We are headquartered in the United States and have service providers in other countries, and your personal information may be transferred outside of your state, province, or country to the United States or other locations where privacy laws may not be as protective as those in your state, province, or country.


The Services are not directed to, and we do not knowingly collect personal information from, anyone under the age of 16. If we learn that we have collected personal information of a child without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian, we will delete it. We encourage parents with concerns to contact us.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended version on the Services and indicating the effective date of the amended version. We may announce any material changes to this Privacy Policy through the Service and/or via email if we have your email address. In all cases, your continued use of the Services after the posting of any modified Privacy Policy indicates your assent to the amended Privacy Policy.

How to Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about this Policy or Breakthrough Energy’s privacy practices, email us at

Your California Privacy Rights

California has recently passed a new law called the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). If the CCPA is applicable to us and to you, you have the right to:

  1. know the categories of personal information collected about you in the prior 12 months and its sources and business purpose;
  2. know whether your personal information is sold or disclosed, and to whom, in prior 12 months;
  3. access and then delete your personal information (subject to exceptions); and
  4. equal service and price (non-discrimination) if you exercise your privacy rights.

Please submit any requests to You will need to verify your identity but confirming the details that you originally provided to us receive communications. If you did not request communications, you will need to verify the personal information that is related to your request. If you are an agent

For purposes of CCPA, "Personal Information" is defined to include information that identifies, relates to, describes, or is capable of being associated with a particular consumer or household. This includes (among other types of personal information) IP addresses, geolocation data, biometric information, and "unique identifiers" such as device and cookie IDs, Internet activity information like browsing history, commercial information such as products or services purchased or consuming histories or tendencies, and characteristics concerning an individual’s race, color, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), age (40 or older), religion, genetic information, sexual orientation, political affiliation, national origin, disability or citizenship status. Inferences drawn from personal information "to create a profile about a consumer reflecting the consumer’s preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, preferences, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes" are also considered "personal information."

Your Nevada Rights

You may review and request changes to your information or opt-out of the sale (if applicable) of your personal information at

Notice to European Users

The information provided in this section applies only to individuals in the European Economic Area and United Kingdom (collectively, "Europe").

Personal information. References to "personal information" in this Privacy Policy are equivalent to "personal data" governed by European data protection legislation.

Controller and Representative. Breakthrough Energy is the controller of your personal information covered by this Privacy Policy for purposes of European data protection legislation.

The contact information for our representative in Europe is: [_________]

Legal bases for processing. The legal bases of our processing of your personal information as described in this Privacy Policy will depend on the type of personal information and the specific context in which we process it. However, the legal bases we typically rely on are set out in the table below. We rely on our legitimate interests as our legal basis only where those interests are not overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or our processing is otherwise required or permitted by law). If you have questions about the legal basis of how we process your personal information, contact us at

Processing purpose (click link for details)

Details regarding each processing purpose listed below are provided in the section above titled "How We Use Your Personal Information".

Legal basis

To operate the Services

Select fellows and reviewers and manage fellows program

Processing is necessary to perform the contract governing our provision of the Services or to take steps that you request prior to signing up for the Services. If we have not entered into a contract with you, we process your personal information based on our legitimate interest in providing the Services you access and request and/or evaluating your application for a fellowship and managing the program.

Note re special categories of data: to the extent we receive special categories of data, such as race or disability of applicants, we use this under Article 9 subsection (d) as a nonprofit for our legitimate interest of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion and do not share it outside our organization except with those acting on our behalf. It is also supported by additional legal bases in Article 9 subsections (b) (supporting employment activities and (g) (matters of public interest.

For research and development

To send you marketing communications

For compliance, fraud prevention and safety

To create anonymous data

These activities constitute our legitimate interests.

To comply with law

Processing is necessary to comply with our legal obligations.

With your consent

Processing is based on your consent. Where we rely on your consent you have the right to withdraw it any time in the manner indicated when you consent or in the Services.

Use for new purposes. We may use your personal information for reasons not described in this Privacy Policy where permitted by law and the reason is compatible with the purpose for which we collected it. If we need to use your personal information for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and explain the applicable legal basis.

Sensitive personal information. We ask that you not provide us with any sensitive personal information (e.g., social security number, government-issued identification, payment card information, information related to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or other beliefs, health, biometrics or genetic characteristics, criminal background or trade union membership) on or through the Services, or otherwise to us.


We retain personal information where we have an ongoing legitimate business need to do so (for example, to provide you with a service you have requested; to comply with applicable legal, tax or accounting requirements; to establish or defend legal claims; or for fraud prevention). When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.

"Live" user data (username, email, sign-in information [whether a link to a Facebook or Twitter ID or a password if the user is using our internal authentication]) is stored without any active plans on purging old or inactive data.

User generated content (comments, documents, or other files) is retained indefinitely unless a request or order is received to remove it.

Backup data (which may contain the above user-specific information) is retained for up to 1 year.

A user may request, in accordance with standards such as GDPR, to have their data removed from our live system, and it will eventually expire out of the backups once the retention period has ended.

Your rights

European data protection laws give you certain rights regarding your personal information. If you are located within Europe, you may ask us to take the following actions in relation to your personal information that we hold:

  • Access. Provide you with information about how we process your personal information and give you access to your personal information.
  • Correct. Update or correct inaccuracies in your personal information.
  • Delete. Delete your personal information.
  • Transfer. Transfer a machine-readable copy of your personal information to you or a third party of your choice.
  • Restrict. Restrict the processing of your personal information.
  • Object. Object to our reliance on our legitimate interests as the basis of our processing of your personal information that impacts your rights.

Please contact us to submit these requests. We may request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and process your request. Applicable law may require or permit us to decline your request. If we decline your request, we will tell you why, subject to legal restrictions. If you would like to submit a complaint about our use of your personal information or our response to your requests regarding your personal information, you may contact us or submit a complaint to the data protection regulator in your jurisdiction. You can find your data protection regulator here.

Cross-Border Data Transfer

If we transfer your personal information from the European Economic Area to a country outside of it and are required to apply additional safeguards to your personal information under European data protection legislation, we will do so. Please contact us for further information about any such transfers or the specific safeguards applied.