- EMERGING INITIATIVES
- ABOUT MassCEC
AmplifyMass funds projects pursuing cost share or adders for a federal/non-federal prime award (such as awards from ARPA-E, NSF, DOE, and USABC) and other projects that further MassCEC’s mission. Awards can range between $5,000 and $500,000. This program has merged with former MassCEC programs Leveraging Funding Opportunities and Academic Collaboration.
This program is currently OPEN
Proposals must satisfy the definition of “clean energy” and/or “water technology”
May apply for projects pursuing cost share or adders for a federal/non-federal prime award (such as awards from ARPA-E, NSF, DOE, and USABC) only
Awards are typically a fraction of the required cost share and the total project cost
For cost share support, applications must be submitted before the primary funding is contracted.
Must be a small business as outlined by the United States Small Business Administration’s “Table of Small Business Size Standards.”
Must have a significant MA presence
Massachusetts Academic Institutions/Universities
May apply for projects pursuing cost share or adders for a federal/non-federal prime award (such as awards from ARPA-E, NSF, DOE, and USABC). Applicants may submit projects that are not cost share or adders, but further MassCEC’s mission, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Awards are typically a fraction of the required cost share and the total project cost
For cost share support, applications must be submitted before the primary funding is contracted. Certain exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Awards are subject to availability.
Applications must include the following materials:
Copy of the project proposal submitted to federal/non-federal prime funder (for ARPA-E applicants, include both the concept paper and the full application) with confidential information redacted. (Please note: MassCEC is a quasi-public entity and is subject to the Freedom of Information Act)
Biographies of project team members (not to exceed 200 words each)
Feedback and responses from prime awarding agency, if available
Step 1: All application materials should be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com. Applications must be complete before being considered for processing.
Step 2: Upon confirming eligibility and funding availability, MassCEC will issue a firm commitment letter to provide cost share. A funding agreement will be provided for review at this time.
Step 3: Upon execution of funding agreements with both MassCEC and the corresponding prime award, funds will be disbursed to awardees based on mutually agreed-upon milestones and deliverables, as negotiated per the contract.
Optional: Applicants may apply for a Letter of Consideration to bolster their prime award application. Upon confirming eligibility of the application, MassCEC may issue a Letter of Consideration indicating that MassCEC has received the application to our program and that it will be considered for review according to our process. This letter of consideration can be submitted as part of the applicant’s full application to the prime award of interest. To receive a letter of consideration, companies and academic teams should submit all of the materials referenced above except the completed budget template and the feedback from the prime awarding agency. Requests for a Letter of Consideration must be submitted with two weeks’ notice.
Q: What does the “significant Massachusetts presence” requirement mean?
If you are an academic institution, you must be a Massachusetts academic institution. If you are a company, you must have both of the following located in Massachusetts:
An office with significant employee headcount (>4 or larger than 50% of number of employees)
Applicant must have one of the following characteristics for the project under consideration
Primary project related research and development operations
Primary manufacturing operations
If you are a Massachusetts-based academic institution or company currently working as a subcontractor under a prime award to a different entity, you are still eligible to apply for AmplifyMass.
Q: What is the definition of "clean energy" and/or "water technology"?
MGL c. 23J s. 1 defines this as “...advanced and applied technologies that significantly reduce or eliminate the use of energy from non-renewable sources, including, but not limited to: energy efficiency; demand response; energy conservation and those technologies powered in whole or in part by the sun, wind, water, biomass, alcohol, wood, fuel cells any renewable, non-depletable or recyclable fuel...”
The Massachusetts Water Industry Roadmap defines the water technology industry as “…companies that manufacture equipment or systems; provide engineering, design or technical expertise to develop, deploy or improve technologies; provide scientific, analysis or consulting services; or otherwise have a high potential to be involved with the development, distribution and use of cutting-edge water technologies…”
Q: What is the amount of an AmplifyMass award?
Awards range between $5,000 and $500,000. Awards that are not tied to a specific prime awarding agency are capped at $100,000.
Applicants are encouraged to ask for what they need with the expectation that they may not receive the full amount requested, based on availability of MassCEC funds.
Q: How long after submitting my AmplifyMass application should I expect a response from MassCEC?
MassCEC employs a diligent review process of each application, in the order that they are received. MassCEC will respond shortly after submission to confirm receipt of your application. Depending on the volume of applications, the review process can take a variable amount of time depending on the subscription to the program (up to several weeks). MassCEC may contact you sooner if there are questions on your application. Please keep this timeline in mind when applying to AmplifyMass in order to meet your cost share commitments related to your prime award.
Q: How long does the AmplifyMass application take to complete?
The AmplifyMass application is intentionally designed to leverage the prime award application and is therefore very straightforward. The application is 2-3 pages and should take no more than 2-3 hours to complete.
Q: If the prime agency (such as the Department of Energy, ARPA-E, etc.) discouraged me from submitting a full application, am I still eligible to apply for AmplifyMass?
Yes. As long as your concept paper was not deemed non-compliant or non-responsive, you are eligible to apply.
Q: If my concept paper or application was rejected by the prime award as non-compliant or non-responsive, am I still eligible for AmplifyMass?
Q: If I did not submit an application to AmplifyMass prior to receiving award notification, can I still apply to AmplifyMass?
You are still eligible to apply, provided that you have not yet executed a Cooperative Agreement or similar agreement with the prime awarding agency. You should fill out the AmplifyMass Application and provide the required attachments. Bear in mind, however, that awards are subject to availability, so the sooner you are able to apply, the more likely you are of receiving a cost-share award.
Q: I am currently conducting an ARPA-E or other project under a federal grant. Am I eligible to apply for AmplifyMass?
No. Only applicants who have not yet executed a Cooperative Agreement or similar agreement with the prime awarding agency are eligible to apply. If you are considering applying for a plus-up award or a new award, however, you may be eligible. See question below.
Q: If I received an AmplifyMass award in the past, am I eligible to apply again if I receive another prime award or an increased prime award?
Yes. If you have received a new award for a unique project, you are eligible to apply for AmplifyMass. Award selection will be subject to satisfactory performance under the previous AmplifyMass award.
Q: If I am applying to the prime awarding agency for plus-up funds to an existing award, am I eligible to apply for AmplifyMass? What if I received an AmplifyMass award for my original project?
You are eligible to apply, provided that you have not yet executed a Cooperative Agreement or similar agreement with the prime awarding agency specifically for the plus-up funds. You should follow the same application process as if you were applying for a new award. You will only be eligible for AmplifyMass funds to support the plus-up project, not the portion of the project which has already been awarded.
If you received an AmplifyMass award for your original project and are now applying for a plus-up project, you may be eligible to apply to AmplifyMass again. However, the sum of your AmplifyMass awards for both the original award and the plus-up award may not exceed the cap of $500,000.
Q: If I receive a letter of consideration for AmplifyMass but am not selected by the prime awarding agency, am I still eligible to receive an AmplifyMass award?
No. Only applicants who have been notified that they have been selected for an award are eligible to receive an AmplifyMass award from MassCEC. AmplifyMass awards are contingent upon the prime award.
Q: I work for a non-profit research institution in Massachusetts and am applying for a prime award. Am I eligible for AmplifyMass?
Yes. Non-profit research institutions based in Massachusetts can apply to AmplifyMass under the same rules as academic research teams.
Can I apply for AmplifyMass prior to applying to a specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?
In most cases, you must apply for cost share support related to a specific Funding Opportunity Announcement from a federal or non-federal prime awarding agency. However, exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Q: How does MassCEC decide who receives AmplifyMass awards?
Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. MassCEC first ensures that applicants meet the eligibility criteria described above. Additionally, the applicants must demonstrate in their application the clean energy impact, how the proposed project meets MassCEC’s organizational goals, and the value and impact of MassCEC’s support. Then, the applicant must receive an award from a federal or non-federal awarding agency.
Q: What does it mean that the AmplifyMass awards are “subject to availability?”
Each fiscal year, a specified dollar amount is budgeted for AmplifyMass. Once that budget has been spent, no further awards can be made. The current fiscal year budget is $2.2 million, which means that a total of $2.2 million is available from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. This budget is subject to annual review and renewal. Awards will be made to eligible awardees on a first come, first served basis. In the case that a large number of MA-based awardees are awarded in the same application round, MassCEC reserves the right to reduce the amount of each individual award in order to provide awards to a larger number of awardees.
Q: If I’m an out-of-state university, can I still apply to AmplifyMass for projects in Massachusetts?
No. Only Massachusetts universities can apply as a university research team for AmplifyMass funding.
Q: Can I have partners on my application that are based outside Massachusetts?
Yes, applicants are encouraged to partner with other entities (universities, companies, etc.) both within and outside the Commonwealth. However, the award will only be disbursed to the Massachusetts-based organization and all agreements will be signed with the Massachusetts-based organization. The Massachusetts-based organization must be playing a significant role in the ARPA-E project and MassCEC reserves the right to use its discretion in making this determination.
Q: I am planning on submitting multiple concept papers to a FOA on different technologies. Am I eligible to apply to AmplifyMass for every concept paper?
Yes, provided that each concept paper is for a unique and distinct technology, and meets the clean energy definition, Massachusetts presence, and small business eligibility requirements described in the solicitation, individual entities may submit multiple applications to AmplifyMass.
I am an awardee of another MassCEC program, such as Catalyst or InnovateMass. Am I eligible to apply to AmplifyMass?
Yes, provided that the scope of work being proposed under the AmplifyMass project is unique from that conducted under the other MassCEC award and does not replicate work that MassCEC has previously funded, you are eligible to apply. However, MassCEC reserves the right to disqualify applications which have not been compliant with previous MassCEC awards.