MassCEC and MTTC Launch Fourth Round of Funding to Spur Development in Clean Energy

Sep 27, 2011 –
Boston

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC) have launched the fourth solicitation for the MassCEC Catalyst Program, which is aimed at commercializing the game-changing clean energy technologies coming out of Massachusetts’ world-class research institutions.
“Massachusetts’ outstanding academic and research institutions – and the innovations they produce - are integral to the growth of our clean energy sector. MassCEC’s Catalyst Program provides a leg up toward commercialization of these technologies and I look forward to seeing the next round of funded projects,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., who chairs the MassCEC board of directors.
“MassCEC’s Catalyst program showcases the Commonwealth’s vibrant community of passionate technologists who are working to propel clean energy technologies from the research lab to the global marketplace,” said MassCEC Executive Director Patrick Cloney.
The MassCEC Catalyst Program, which is funded by MassCEC and managed by MTTC, awards early-stage researchers grant awards up to $40,000 to help demonstrate the commercial viability of their clean energy technology. In September, MassCEC’s Board of Directors approved funding for two rounds of the MassCEC Catalyst Program for fiscal year 2012.
“The proof of concept funds offered through MassCEC’s Catalyst program really help researchers at Massachusetts universities and research institutes move their technologies from the lab bench towards commercial products.  We are pleased that the MassCEC board recently awarded additional funding so that we can continue this important program.” said MTTC Director Abi Barrow.
Recipients must use funding for projects that move their technologies towards commercialization. This includes gathering initial data to demonstrate proof of concept, how the technology compares to existing technologies and competitive advantages of the technology, or to develop a prototype for the technology. The goal of the MassCEC Catalyst Program is to help technologies progress along the development curve to a point where additional commercialization funding can be obtained.
“For a small research institution like Boston College, external proof of concept funds are important in helping faculty advanced projects.  Many innovations made with basic research support are immature when disclosed to my office and need to be developed into a comprehensive asset to attract significant capital investment,” said Boston College Director, Office for Technology Transfer and Licensing Catherine L. Ives. “The Mass CEC Catalyst program provides this critical funding and has been a key component of developing our new battery technology.” 
“The MassCEC Catalyst award has been extremely helpful in providing the resources necessary to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of our novel technology,” said Catalyst grantee and Western New England University Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Bart Lipkens. “We have built and tested a prototype separation system at a larger scale and shown that our technology is scalable.  Through the MTTC’s Platform meeting we were provided an opportunity to pitch our new company to a group of entrepreneurs and venture capital investors.” 
To be eligible for an award a researcher must be a principal investigator, the technology must be disclosed to a researcher’s host institution and the host institution must be in Massachusetts.
The first deadline for applicants is October 19, 2011. Application directions are available at: http://www.mattcenter.org/events/grants-home.html
For more information, contact Michele Bernier at the MTTC at
mbernier@umassp.edu
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