InnovateMass is a competitive program that provides awards to applicant teams that offer the most innovative, effective and impactful clean energy solutions to tough energy and environmental problems here in the Commonwealth. InnovateMass program funding helps companies and their technologies move closer to commercialization, signaling to the marketplace that the technology is approaching readiness for manufacturing and sales. 

InnovateMass was specifically designed to provide targeted, strategic support to companies facing the so called “commercialization valley of death,” a widely-recognized funding gap that exists between early-stage support offered by angel investors or programs like  ARPA-e, SBIR, and MassCEC's Catalyst, and later-stage support historically provided by venture capital and strategic investors.

InnovateMass applicant teams must consist of at least two members: a technology developer – typically a clean energy company - and a demonstration site/host.  The program looks for teams that can prove out new technologies or combine existing technologies in clean energy demonstration projects that are scalable, have strong commercialization potential and create jobs here in Massachusetts while reducing energy use and environmental impacts.

InnovateMass funding is made available once a year, typically in the fall. Teams are eligible to receive awards up to $150,000.  While most InnovateMass funding rounds accept applications covering a wide array of clean energy technologies, the program may issue specific energy challenges to foster innovation within particular sectors that are priority areas for the MassCEC, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  

Program Objectives and Benefits

  • Accelerate development and deployment of new clean energy technologies and companies
  • Help address a widely-recognized funding gap between early- and late-stage clean energy technology companies
  • Reduce early adopter/customer environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Foster growth with the Massachusetts innovation economy
  • Create local jobs and business partnerships

Program application process

Once the request for proposal (RFP) is released, applicants must submit a concept paper, up to 5 pages in length.  If the concept paper is deemed responsive, complete, and among the strongest applications, the team will be asked to pitch their project proposal to an expert panel of judges and select MassCEC staff.  Awards are made based upon the strength of the applicant team’s pitch, and the extent to which the concept paper meets the Program selection criteria outlined in the RFP.   

Monitoring awardees’ progress

MassCEC is strongly committed to the success of awardees companies and their technologies. The program provides third-party project management and technical support to all awardees to ensure that projects are successful. The program technical consultant will meet regularly with awardees to review workplans, discuss and resolve technical and other project related barriers, and review performance monitoring and evaluation plans. 

Previous awardees

On March 11, 2015, MassCEC announced nearly $1 million in funding for eight projects across the Commonwealth under the InnovateMass program after receiving 25 applications. In total, the awardees secured over $700,000 in matching funds. These projects join the ten previous awardees, six projects from the pilot round in 2013 and four projects in 2014. Since its launch in 2013, InnovateMass has awarded $1.2 million in funding for demonstration projects across the Commonwealth, leveraging $2.4 million in other private and public investment.

For more information, please see the press related announcements below.

InnovateMass Program Offerings

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