The joint mission of the NECEC Institute and its sister organization, the New England Clean Energy Council, is to accelerate New England’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean energy companies.
The NECEC Institute, a 501(c)(3), leads regional programs to develop the region’s cleantech cluster focusing its efforts on
- Cluster Research & Economic Development
- Education & Workforce Development
Cleantech Innovations New England
The Institute received a $1,250,000 award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (“EDA”) in 2011 to fund a New England-wide innovation consortium aimed at accelerating clean energy startup activity. This award was one of six i6 Green Challenge grants presented by EDA nationally to proposals aimed at regional economic development through innovative, groundbreaking programs that accelerate cleantech commercialization, new venture formation, and job creation across the United States in the cleantech space.
This pilot program is a regional collaboration led by the Institute, with support from the six New England states, EDA, and private funders.
The Cleantech Innovations New England program is rooted in the understanding that in order to form and accelerate new cleantech enterprises, inventors and early-stage entrepreneurs need business, technical, and market support to validate their new ventures. Cleantech Innovations New England has connected more than 30 regional innovators, partners, state programs, the Cleantech Open and the Association of Cleantech Incubators Of New England (ACTION) incubators. Cleantech Innovations NE aims to make it easier for entrepreneurs to locate and connect with our partnering state programs, accelerators, incubators, mentors, EIRs, technology development resources, and test sites, as well as to enable grant applications to fund and accelerate the most promising cleantech start-ups. Cleantech Innovations NE also provides awards to the most promising early-stage projects, leveraging federal and state funding and partner programs.
Major Program Components
Cleantech Innovations New England has developed CleanzoNE, an online platform designed to help parties in the cleantech innovation community find each other and collaborate across the region.
CleanzoNE assists emerging companies by simplifying the task of identifying and connecting with regional resources that can help close the gaps in their business plans, improving their chances of finding independent funding. The platform also enables investors and corporations interested in specific research or product areas to discover and engage with scientists and entrepreneurs throughout New England.
CleanzoNE supports the solicitation, application, review and award of competitive grants. As more partners add their solicitations to the CleanzoNE network, CleanzoNE aims to be a single interface for entrepreneurs to access and apply for funding opportunities and enabling the judging and administration that the funding body needs.
Many early stage entrepreneurial ventures face fundamental challenges to starting their business. They may need to build their first working prototype. They may struggle with understanding their market or determining the best business model to pursue. They may need to demonstrate the feasibility of their technology at a commercially viable scale, or they may need physical space for their team and partners. Cleantech Innovations New England utilizes federal and New England state funds to competitively award grants and services to address these challenges.
Incubation and State Program Liaisons
In order to foster connections across the community, the Institute also has “people on the street” in the cleantech incubation community through ACTION (the Association of Cleantech Incubators Of New England) and through a network of State Program Liaisons. These liaisons connect entrepreneurs to mentors, research, test and development facilities, and offer expert advice and counsel to cleantech entrepreneurs on resources to help accelerate their start-ups.
In December 2012, with the support and collaboration of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cleantech Innovations NE announced a competition to grant service awards of up to $130,000 to supplement the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s $1M InnovateMass demonstration challenge. These supplemental awards will support companies delivering technologies that offer long-term, resilient, and market-based solutions to the problem of nutrient pollution caused by insufficient wastewater treatment in coastal areas.
Recent Cleantech Innovations NE Awards
Cluster Research & Economic Development
The NECEC Institute’s newly launched Segment Development program focuses on identifying and removing barriers to growth affecting promising market sectors of the region’s clean energy industry. The program leads segment-specific projects that convene a diverse set of collaborators to analyze barriers and develop recommendations for market segment growth, technology development and deployment, and public policy. Current projects include:
Education & Workforce Development
The Institute’s Workforce Development program collaborates with government agencies, industry employers and the region’s educational community to develop a world-class clean energy workforce in New England. In collaboration with Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), and with funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the State of Vermont, the Institute manages and updates an online directory of all clean energy related training and education programs in Massachusetts and Vermont, from vocational high schools to PhDs. This comprehensive online training directory is located at CleanEnergyEducation.org.
In addition, the Institute and its partners help grow the cleantech sector by providing accurate labor market research studies, paid internship programs, training opportunities and career pathways with industry and educational partners, a professional development network for clean energy HR executives, and career awareness events.
- Rhode Island Energy Efficiency Workforce Study
Under contract to National Grid, the Institute is conducting a study of the number and types of jobs supported by energy efficiency incentives in Rhode Island in 2012. A draft report is scheduled for March, 2013.
- Massachusetts Community Colleges and Workforce Development Transformation Agenda (MCCWDTA)
Working with a $20 million grant from the US Department of Labor, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is engaged in a creative initiative to help the state’s community colleges and career assistance centers do a better job of meeting the workforce needs of six selected industries, including clean energy. The MCCWDTA has contracted with the Institute to provide technical assistance and employer engagement help to community colleges with emerging programs aimed at energy efficiency, solar energy, integrated facilities management, HVAC, sustainability management and energy management. Track this project at www.mccwdta.org.
- Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Internship Program
The Institute is proud to be the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s partner in offering this outstanding program. Now in its third year, the program provides paid internships for college students at clean energy businesses in the Commonwealth. In 2012, the program supported 146 interns from 45 different colleges at 77 clean energy companies on a MassCEC budget of over $750,000. In 2013, the program has expanded beyond paid summer internships to offer work/learning opportunities year- round. For more information, or to apply, visit ma.cleanenergyeducation.org.
Leading Clean Energy Ventures: Executive Certificate Program
Offered in partnership with the Boston University School of Management, this Certificate program in "Leading Clean Energy Ventures" helps entrepreneurs and executives master the clean energy sector. The course, which evolved out of the LCEV New England Clean Energy Council's signature Fellowship program, features both in-person and remote learning opportunities as well as a capstone project. Click here for more information.
About The New England Clean Energy Council and the NECEC Institute
The New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC, a 501(c)(6) trade member organization) is the lead voice for hundreds of clean energy companies across New England, influencing the energy policy agenda and growing the clean energy economy. The NECEC Institute (a 501(c)(3)) is a leader in programs that support Innovation, Cluster Research & Economic Development, and Education & Workforce Development.
As sister entities under the NECEC umbrella, the organizations share a common mission to accelerate New England’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean energy companies. NECEC leads efforts in Policy, Government Affairs, Communications, Member Benefits and Stakeholder Engagement, while the NECEC Institute executes projects in the areas of Innovation, Cluster Research & Economic Development, and Education & Workforce Development.
- Mitch Tyson, Tyson Associates (Chair)
- Jessica Bailey, Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA)
- Nick d'Arbeloff
- Rob Day, Black Coral Capital
- John P. DeVillars, BlueWave Capital
- Dan Goldman, GreatPoint Energy
- Margaret Hall, GreenLight Fund
- Richard Lester, MIT
- Jim Matheson, Flagship Ventures
- Lawrence Miller, VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development
- Mark Muro, The Brookings Institution
- Rob Pratt, GreenerU
- Jamey Rosenfield, IHS CERA