Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Since NECEC formed in 2006, NECEC's core mission has included support for innovation and early-stage cleantech companies across the region.
In early 2014, NECEC formed a strategic alliance with Cleantech Open to support the Cleantech Open Northeast accelerator and to create Cleantech Navigate Northeast, a region-wide network to help cleantech entrepreneurs from New York to Maine connect to the Northeast's innovation ecosystem and its robust innovation resources.
This new initiative follows the Cleantech Innovations New England program, which ran from 2011 to 2013. In 2011, the NECEC Institute was awarded an i6 Green grant from the US Department of Commerce and Economic Development Administration (EDA), to establish the virtual proof of concept center program called Cleantech Innovations New England (CINE). Over two years the CINE program directly managed eight solicitations, evaluated more than 165 different businesses and awarded a total of $381,000 of direct financial support to 15 companies in 11 different cleantech sectors. These awards resulted in the creation of more than 25 jobs throughout the region and at least $15.5 million of follow-on funding to date. A total of 35 percent of these awards went to companies located in distressed areas, six companies were formed as a result of the support, and more that 60 regional advisors were leveraged to support promising cleantech companies.