NEESC Launches Pilot Program to Assist Hydrogen/Fuel Cell and Energy Storage Entrepreneurs

The pilot Innovation Action Program offers technical assistance through third-party providers to help hydrogen/fuel cell and energy storage businesses leverage private financing or federal funding for research and new product development, and to facilitate the commercialization of emerging technologies.

East Hartford, Conn. May 26, 2015


The Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster (NEESC), administered by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT) and strategic partners throughout the region, today announced the launch of a pilot Innovation Action Program to provide fast-track resources to small businesses in the hydrogen/fuel cell and energy storage industry.

The NEESC pilot Innovation Action Program offers technical assistance through third-party service providers to help hydrogen/fuel cell and energy storage businesses leverage private financing or federal funding for research and new product development, and to facilitate the commercialization of emerging technologies.

"The goal of NEESC, which is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is to drive economic development, innovation, and job creation in the nation's increasingly important clean-energy sector," stated Joel Rinebold, director of energy initiatives, CCAT and Chair of NEESC.

"This new pilot program will aid small, clean-energy businesses in securing technical and financial services to support growth and will help us learn what services are most needed," stated Joel Rinebold, director of energy initiatives, CCAT.

Some service requests may be eligible for support from existing resources, such as the Small Business Development Centers and CCAT's Advanced Manufacturing Center. If the NEESC resource network offers no suitable provider, up to $5,000 may be made available for other third party services.

The Innovation Action Program will consider projects designed to achieve substantial and measurable improvements to the company's overall profitability and competitiveness. Eligible uses of this funding include, but are not limited to, services to solve engineering, marketing, patent/IP challenges, financial training and market growth planning, prototype development, commercialization, technology readiness assessments, accounting support, and grant writing.

"We are pleased to be a resource partner with NEESC," commented Emily Carter, state director, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). "We provide both no-cost advising and low-cost training to both prospective and existing business owners to help them start or expand their businesses."

A webinar will be held on May 28 at 2:00 PM ET to further explain the pilot program. To participate in the webinar, go to http://www.neesc.org/events for more information.

For program details and to apply, go to iap.neesc.org or contact Alex Barton, abarton(at)neesc(dot)org, 860.291.8832.

ABOUT NEESC
Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster (NEESC) is a network of industry, academic, government and non-governmental leaders working together to provide energy storage solutions. Based in New England, New York and New Jersey, the network focuses on the innovative development, production, promotion and deployment of hydrogen fuels and fuel cells to meet the pressing demand for energy storage solutions. NEESC is administered by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. and its industry partners, Maine Hydrogen Energy Center (HEC), Massachusetts Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Stakeholders (MHFCS), New Energy New York (NENY), and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA).

ABOUT CCAT
Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT), a nonprofit economic development organization headquartered in East Hartford, Conn., is a leader and go-to resource for strengthening competitiveness and high-tech business development in the state, region and nation. CCAT focuses on three core areas: technology, efficiencies and workforce development, with expertise in manufacturing technology, IT, education and workforce strategies, and alternative energy. Through the synergy of its experienced teams, advanced technologies and extensive partnerships, CCAT provides manufacturers, educators, government, nonprofits and entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to tackle economic challenges, compete and succeed.

About SBDCs
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. By supporting business growth, sustainability and enhancing the creation of new businesses entities, SBDCs foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention. SBDCs provide services to all populations through professional business advisors such as development of business plans; manufacturing assistance; financial packaging and lending assistance; exporting and importing support; disaster recovery assistance; procurement and contracting aid; and market research services.

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