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January 11, 2016
Innovating the Future of Clean Energy and Water Technologies
Methane gas collection hardware from Loci Controls, 2015 InnovateMass winner, shown on Crapo Hill Landfill in Dartmouth (photo courtesy of Loci Controls)
As the clean energy field in Massachusetts continues to grow, more and more companies are coming up with new and innovative technologies to solve tough environmental problems. Unfortunately, young companies often face a “commercialization valley of death” as they develop their projects: a funding gap between early-stage and late-stage support which makes it difficult to move toward commercialization.
MassCEC’s InnovateMass program, launched in 2013, bridges this gap by providing grants that allow clean energy technology projects with measurable environmental and economic benefits to move closer to manufacturing and sales in the clean energy marketplace. In its last three rounds of awards, InnovateMass has provided a total of $2.2 million in funding to 19 projects and leveraged an additional $12.5 million in other private and public investment.
Applicants for the 2016 InnovateMass program submitted concept papers for their clean energy projects this past November, and the best of the bunch have been selected for the second stage of judging: project pitches. Today, eight finalists presented their technology proposals to an expert panel of judges and a select group of MassCEC staff, who will then choose the strongest projects to be awarded grants of up to $150,000 each.
This year, InnovateMass is offering more funding than ever, with up to $1.15 million in grants to be awarded to clean energy technology projects and up to $250,000 to water innovation projects. The winners – anticipated to be announced in the second quarter of 2016 – will also be provided with project management and technical support to ensure their future success in reducing energy usage and environmental impacts in Massachusetts, allowing the Commonwealth to continue its emergence as a leader in clean energy and water innovation.