October 20, 2010
By: by James Groelinger, Executive Director, Clean Energy Alliance
Denver, CO and Albany, NY: Clean Energy Alliance, Inc. (CEA), the national association of clean energy business incubators, announced today, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's 23rd Industry Growth Forum, the formation of the Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business and Clean Energy Alliance Partnership. With the support of a $1.2 million grant of American Resource and Recovery Act funds, the Clean Energy Alliance, through its nationwide incubator membership, will provide a complete range of services to U.S. small businesses that are developing and pursuing the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The services will include technical support, business planning, finance and banking, legal and accounting, marketing, communications, outreach, networking and accessing capital.
Companies identified by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will be screened and matched with CEA member incubators. Incubators accepting companies into their programs will receive financial support from the grant funds. After one year, the results will be evaluated with the expectation that progress towards commercialization will be evident, similar to what has been achieved by CEA members over the past decade. CEA will connect selected small businesses to potential private and strategic investors.
"We are thrilled to work with the Department of Energy in this manner, and expect to demonstrate the value of utilizing incubators as a primary route to commercialization for entrepreneurial companies in the clean energy technology development space," said James F. Groelinger, CEA's Executive Director. He continued: "The Clean Energy Alliance has demonstrated remarkable results previously, with a nominal DOE grant, while operating as a loosely organized group. As a result of this program, cross-fertilization of best practices and the implementation of novel enhancements will enable us to significantly advance the state of the art in clean energy technology commercialization. We're aiming to incubate up to 75 companies, with a wide range of technologies, in this Partnership. Preference will be given to companies that received SBIR Phase I support and that applied for, but did not receive, SBIR Phase II support."
Dr. Pradeep Haldar, Past Chair of the Clean Energy Alliance, Professor and Head of Nanoengineering at the College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE), and Director of CNSE's Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC), said: "CEA, UAlbany NanoCollege, and all of CEA's members look forward to partnering with DOE to accelerate the development and deployment of emerging clean energy technologies by supporting the critical commercialization roadmap for small businesses. This collaboration takes on added importance with the growing impact of nanotechnology-enabled innovations, as well as the vital need to address technology demonstration, market validation, and financing challenges so that new and existing enterprises can succeed in the rapidly expanding green economy."
Charles Russomanno, Program Manager of the new DOE SBIR Phase III Xlerator Program, commented: "U.S. small technology companies often face a myriad of challenges on the path to commercialization. In partnering with CEA, DOE hopes to expand its reach in helping such clean-tech firms through CEA's nationwide network of business incubators that have strong ties to universities, local and state economic development agencies, and the investment and services communities. Success here equates to saving existing and creating new U.S. manufacturing jobs, enhancing energy security, and increasing U.S. competitiveness in a fierce and rapidly changing global economy."
About the Clean Energy Alliance: The Clean Energy Alliance (CEA), established in 2000 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is an alliance of leading business incubators dedicated to providing business and financial services tailored to the needs of the clean energy community. Current CEA member incubators are located in California (Environmental Business Cluster, San Jose and CleanStart/McClellan Technology Incubator, McClellan), New Mexico (Technology Ventures Corporation, Albuquerque), Texas (ATI Clean Energy Incubator, Austin), Kansas (Enterprise Center of Johnson County, Lenexa), Alabama (Biztech, Huntsville and Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Mobile), Florida (Technological Research and Development Authority, Melbourne) Georgia (Georgia Institute of Technology-Venture Lab, Atlanta), Virginia (National Institute for the Commercialization of Clean Energy, Blackstone), New Jersey (Rutgers Eco-complex, Bordentown), and New York (Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center, Albany). For additional information on Clean Energy Alliance, see http://www.cleanenergyalliance.com/.