BOSTON - August 2, 2016 - The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $280,000
in funding for seven researchers and companies developing innovative clean energy
and water technologies across the Commonwealth. The funding, which comes from the
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's (MassCEC)
Catalyst<http://www.masscec.com/innovate-clean-energy/catalyst> program, will
support clean energy and water research in Amherst, Boston, Cambridge, Medford,
North Grafton, Somerville and Waltham.
"The Commonwealth's entrepreneurs and researchers are developing groundbreaking
solutions to address the energy and water resource challenges before us," said
Governor Charlie Baker. "Supporting these innovators creates jobs, strengthens our
growing cleantech sector and will help the Commonwealth meet our ambitious clean
energy and environmental goals."
"Massachusetts is the epicenter for clean energy and water innovation, turning
promising ideas into growing businesses across the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant
Governor Karyn Polito. "Our administration is excited to support these promising
entrepreneurs and researchers."
The Catalyst program, which is funded by MassCEC and managed by the Massachusetts
Technology Transfer Center (MTTC), provides funding to early-stage researchers and
companies as they work towards bringing promising products and technologies to
"Supporting researchers and early-stage entrepreneurs drives the innovation the
Commonwealth needs to meet our greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements,"
said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. "This funding will
support technological breakthroughs to protect our environment, while fueling local
business growth and creating local jobs."
"These grants will help promising early-stage companies and university technologies
bridge early-stage funding 'valleys of death,' increase business opportunities and
attract private investment to Massachusetts businesses," said MassCEC Interim CEO
Stephen Pike. "The Catalyst program is one more tool we are using to cultivate
innovation in this thriving sector."
The following awardees each received a $40,000 grant:
* Dr. Chul Park (University of Massachusetts) - Amherst - Dr. Park's team is
developing a biological wastewater treatment process that will dramatically reduce
operational energy costs at wastewater treatment plants, while also allowing plant
operators to recover and use otherwise-wasted energy.
* Wright Electric Airplanes (Jeff Engler) - Boston - Wright Electric
Airplanes is developing electric-powered passenger aircraft, with funding supporting
data acquisition and in-air experimental flights.
* Dr. Alan Hatton (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) - Cambridge - Dr.
Hatton's team is developing an energy-saving water purification system focused on
the removal of contaminants and heavy metals.
* Dr. Marc Hodes (Tufts University) - Medford - Dr. Hodes is developing a
technology to lower the amount of energy needed to cool computing data centers,
large consumers of energy.
* Battery Resourcers, LLC (Dr. Eric Gratz) - North Grafton - Battery
Resourcers is developing a recycling process using materials from spent batteries in
new lithium-ion batteries.
* NewGrid (Dr. Pablo Ruiz) - Somerville - NewGrid is developing software to
help electric transmission operators re-route electricity on the grid in times of
system congestion, potentially saving billions of dollars in congestion costs and
allowing for uninterrupted transmission of renewable power.
* CoolComposites, Inc. (Alan Ransil) - Waltham - CoolComposites is
developing an additive for foam insulation that would absorb heat, lowering the
amount of energy needed to cool a building.
Since the program's launch in 2010, the Catalyst program has provided $2.73 million
in grants to 69 companies and research teams across the Commonwealth. Past awardees
have gone on to raise more than $100 million in follow-on financing from various
sources, including angel investors, venture capitalists and grants from federal
programs including the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the
National Science Foundation and the Small Business Innovation Research program
In addition, Catalyst awardees have hired over 140 new employees, received or filed
patents for 104 new pieces of intellectual property and issued 58 research
"As prior awardees have shown, this funding can be truly catalytic in helping to
build entrepreneurial ventures in Massachusetts," said MTTC Founding Director
Abigail Barrow. "These grants, while very small, enable inventors to take
technologies from idea to early prototype to demonstrate that the technology works.
The results of these grants then enable the inventors to raise additional
The Catalyst program will open for applications again this fall, with grants of up
to $65,000 available for researchers and entrepreneurs looking to further advance
Catalyst is funded through MassCEC's Renewable Energy Trust, which was created by
the Massachusetts Legislature in 1997. The trust is funded by municipal electric
departments that have opted to participate in the program, along with a systems
benefit charge paid by electric customers of investor-owned utilities in the state.
"Funding early stage researchers and projects is critical to success of innovative
projects and ideas. With this funding UMass Amherst will be able to continue their
important work on clean drinking water to develop important new technologies for the
future," said State Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). "I think the
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Baker Administration for recognizing these
important projects by awarding this grant funding."
"This is the second time in as many months that the University of Massachusetts has
received major support from the Baker Administration for clean energy innovation,"
said State Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst). "I am so proud of the
University's leadership in sustainability, and for its commitment to clean water
"This grant funding is critical to supporting clean energy research and development
in our Commonwealth," said State Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). "I extend my
congratulations to Battery Resourcers in Grafton on receiving funding for the
development of recycling processes that support a greener future. I also commend
EEA, MassCEC and MTTC for their ongoing commitment to advancing clean energy
initiatives that have the potential to revolutionize the industry."
"It is great to know that researchers and companies within our community are helping
Massachusetts move towards a clean energy environment," said State Representative
David Muradian, (R-Grafton). "I am proud of Battery Resourcers from Grafton and will
continue to support their efforts towards a green initiative in our Commonwealth."
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the
success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the
Commonwealth-while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the
people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean
energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in
residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust
marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.
Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton chairs
MassCEC's board of directors.
About the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center
The Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC) was created in 2004 as a program
in the Massachusetts Economic Stimulus Bill. Its goal is to support technology
transfer activities from public and private research institutions to companies in
Massachusetts. To achieve this goal, the Center works with technology transfer
offices at Massachusetts research institutions; faculty, researchers, and students
who have commercially promising ideas; and companies across the Commonwealth. The
MTTC is based in the University of Massachusetts President's Office. More
information is available at www.MaTTCenter.org<http://www.mattcenter.org/>.