February 10, 2017

InnovateMass: Promoting Innovation, with Impressive Results

Alice Guin, Market Development Fellow

Every year, the InnovateMass team at MassCEC awards grants of up to $150,000 to innovative technology companies in the cleantech or water tech space. These grants allow companies, like UltraCell Insulation, to further develop and test their technology in the field. Ranging from state-of-the-art, highly reliable wind turbines to water filtration membranes, these InnovateMass-supported technologies showcase some of the most inspired minds in Massachusetts. UltraCell, a Newtonville-based company that was awarded in 2015, has proved to be both economically- and environmentally-friendly. The company has recently launched a demonstration in Shirley and is already seeing impressive results.

UltraCell is an advanced form of cellulose insulation that competes with fiberglass and foam insulation.  UltraCell boasts a 42 percent improvement in thermal efficiency versus fiberglass and uses materials that are 91 percent recycled. While fiberglass and foam insulation alternatives are inorganic and largely non-recycled, UltraCell is viable and sustainable. The cellulose material allows homeowners to save on heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer and allows for a green alternative to standard insulation materials. By combining recycled cardboard with other recycled paper feedstocks, UltraCell has found a cost-effective way to produce high-quality insulation that meets not only homeowners’ standards, but those of building developers and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well.

Part of UltraCell’s innovation is explained by holding a 2000°F torch to a section of the insulation material, held up by a mere bare hand. MassCEC’s own Emily Izzo experimented with UltraCell’s Director of Technical Services and Product Quality, Bill Hulstrunk, and found that despite the high temperature radiating onto the insulation material, her hand remained at room temperature, and very much unharmed. This dramatic experiment demonstrates the effectiveness of UltraCell’s patented flame retardant formulation, which is impregnated directly into the cellulose fiber cells.  Superior fire retardation versus fiberglass insulation can save lives.    

“We are very grateful to MassCEC for their support of our demonstration projects,” said Jon Strimling, CEO of UltraCell.  “Real-world demonstrations are crucial for the successful launch of our company.”


For more information on UltraCell Insulation, contact:

Marco Peterson


For more information on other InnovateMass projects, contact:

Emily Izzo