Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey


New Brunswick, NJ

Project Name

Ecolgnite: Clean Energy Proof of Concept Center and Accelerator Program



Award Amount


Clean energy innovation is a key driver to achieving domestic energy security, mitigating climate change, and the rational use of low-carbon forms of energy, with an overall goal of creating a strong, low-carbon economy. The invention-to-innovation pathway is a complex system, and incubation and acceleration processes are well recognized as important components to successfully bring innovations to the market place. Some of the greatest challenges along this pathway are gaining market penetration of clean energy innovations and accelerating economic development through successful business development. A solution is the creation of a regionally-relevant, comprehensive clean energy ecosystem that can accelerate the commercialization of clean energy innovation and maximize economic impacts. A successful ecosystem involves strong partnerships and this project will be developed and implemented in collaboration with the University of Maryland, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, business service and training providers and universities in the region.

The Mid-Atlantic region has a number of assets in clean energy, including a diversity of businesses, government incentives to build markets, business assistance programs, a skilled workforce, universities conducting research in clean energy, among others. These assets are all strengths of the regional clean energy cluster. In addition, the Mid-Atlantic region’s significant industrial work force, from highly trained engineers to technicians, can be quickly retrained and employed in the clean energy sector.

The Rutgers EcoIgnite program will 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. It will promote interdisciplinary research that provides solutions, reduces business and technological barriers, and bridges the gaps between policy makers and researchers, between researchers and end-users, and industry and universities. The ultimate goal is to provide a solid network for regionally-relevant 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.