The Rutgers EcoComplex EcoIgnite Clean Energy Proof of Concept Center & Accelerator Program was one of 35 organizations from 19 states to receive funding to create and expand cluster-focused, proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the U.S. Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. The Rutgers EcoComplex is a clean energy innovation center located in Bordentown, NJ, and an-off campus station of NJAES.
The Rutgers EcoIgnite program grant of $439,000 will be used to harness a network of new and existing resources to assist clean energy technology companies to successfully maneuver the innovation pathway that includes discovery, concept assessment, business model assessment, technology verification, scale-up and commercialization. The ultimate goal is to provide a solid network for clean energy industry growth and to maximize economic development impacts. EcoIgnite will target renewable energy (sustainable biomass, wind, solar, and waste-based energy) and energy efficiency sectors.
Led by a team at the EcoComplex, the Rutgers EcoIgnite program will develop a clean energy proof of concept technology hub and acceleration center for pre‐competitive demonstration. This will provide technical and business solutions, reduce business and technological barriers, and bridge the gaps between policy makers and researchers, between researchers and end‐users, and industry and universities.
Serpil Guran, director of the EcoComplex, noted that “the Rutgers EcoIgnite program will bring together regional assets in clean energy including the diversity of businesses in the industry, government incentives to build markets, business assistance programs, and universities conducting cutting edge research in clean energy. These assets are all strengths of the cluster.”
“Our region’s industrial work force is rich with highly trained engineers and technicians that can be quickly retrained and employed in clean energy industries,” she added.
According to Rutgers Associate Vice President for Economic Development Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, “the invention-to-innovation pathway is a complex system and incubation and acceleration programs are well recognized as important components to successfully bring innovations to the market place. The EcoIgnite program will assist innovators in our region in commercializing their technologies by leveraging a wide range of business development expertise.”