Cleantech Innovations New England, a program of the New England Clean Energy Foundation, has been working closely with the US Environmental Protection Agency on a water challenge that affects our region.  We are happy to announce the addition of up to $130,000 in service awards to MassCEC’s InnovateMass demonstration program.

Please read our full press release below:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 27, 2012

 

Cleantech Innovations New England and EPA to Add Awards to MassCEC Challenge

Cleantech Innovations New England (CINE), a regional program run by the New England Clean Energy Foundation to support cleantech startups, has announced that it is adding additional service awards of up to $130,000 to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) $1M InnovateMass demonstration program. Cleantech Innovations New England worked closely with the US Environmental Protection Agency to identify a pressing regional water challenge that may be addressed with innovative and commercially viable solutions. This $130,000 challenge seeks technologies that offer long-term, resilient, and market-based solutions to the problem of nutrient pollution caused by insufficient wastewater treatment in coastal areas.

Coastal ecosystems are vulnerable to excess nutrient levels that contribute to algae blooms and the depletion of oxygen levels, degrading or destroying aquatic life and putting the entire habitat at risk. The sources of nutrient pollution can vary, but in places like Cape Cod, the overwhelming majority of excess nutrients comes from existing septic systems. Although currently permitted and available systems treat bacteria adequately, they are not designed to remove nitrogen, the nutrient of highest concern for coastal waters. Commercially available advanced treatment technologies are extremely expensive and may not achieve the nitrogen level reductions necessary to avoid harmful impacts.

“The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce seeks to bring together individuals and organizations from the Cape’s environmental, business, and educational communities to call attention to and action on our water quality issues,” said Wendy Northcross, Chamber CEO.  “Our waters sustain and define us. We are hopeful our New England entrepreneurs and innovators can find a way to improve our water quality, and create new companies and employment opportunities.”

Coming up with a viable technology is just the first step in addressing the challenge. Solutions need to advance from ideation through prototype development and ultimately demonstrate that they can operate as envisioned. Some technologies may push the envelope so much that they will face regulatory barriers that must be overcome in order to enter the marketplace.

“When MassCEC created the InnovateMass challenge, we saw a great opportunity to help accelerate the commercialization of promising solutions to regional, national, and global problems,” said Andrew Wilson, Executive Director of the New England Clean Energy Foundation. “Cleantech Innovations New England seeks to help early stage startups enter the marketplace as smoothly as possible; we are proud to help these technologies find a pathway to commercialization.”

MassCEC designed the InnovateMass program with the intent of leveraging the innovation community to address real problems with clean energy solutions. The addition of water related challenges create a win-win situation for the MassCEC.

“With the volume of water required to produce energy and the amount of energy required in the treatment of water, these two issues are intricately linked and present an opportunity for innovation,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt. “Finding paths towards sustainable supplies of both resources will contribute to both the economic and environmental health of Massachusetts going forward.”

This announcement adds to the list of challenges previously identified by MassCEC for the InnovateMass program. In addition to their eligibility to receive up to $150,000 from MassCEC, companies that provide a solution to the nutrient pollution challenge could be awarded up to $130,000 in service awards from CINE to help validate their technology.

The funds for the nutrient pollution solution, as well as all of the other energy challenges, will be awarded to help companies finance demonstration projects, testing and showcasing new technologies in preparation for commercialization and the marketplace. The deadline for proposals is January 18th. The funds supporting this award opportunity come from an i6 Green Challenge grant of $1.175M given to NECEF by the US Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration in partnership with Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

The problem statement and more information is available at: http://www.cleantechinnovations.org/solicitations/epa-water-challenge-innovatemass/

New England Clean Energy Council & Foundation Contact:

Jennifer Donahue, (617) 500-9993

 

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Contact:

Catherine Williams, (617) 315-9386

 

About the New England Clean Energy Council and the New England Clean Energy Foundation

The New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC, a 501c6 trade member organization) was founded in 2006 and has had a significant impact on the emergence and growth of a vibrant clean energy cluster in New England—and on national clean energy initiatives as well.  NECEC is the lead voice for hundreds of clean energy companies across New England, influencing the energy policy agenda and growing the clean energy economy.  Our sister organization, the New England Clean Energy Foundation (NECEF, a 501c3) has quickly become a leader in Cluster Development, Research and Development, Innovation, Workforce Development and related programs.  Combining forces in policy and planning, NECEF is addressing clean energy cluster gaps and accelerating the innovation pipeline across New England.

NECEC and NECEF 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 NECEF executes projects in the areas of Innovation, Cluster & Economic Development, Education & Workforce Development, and Research.

About the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has as its mission to foster the growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry by providing seed grants to companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations; funding job training and workforce development programs; and, as home of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, supporting the installation of renewable energy projects throughout the state.

 

 

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Kimberly Herb

Kim is an Innovation Program Manager at the NECEC Institute, the sister organization to the New England Clean Energy Council.

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