The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology opened applications Monday for the $1.5 million Round 2 of its Clean Tech Seed Grant pilot program.
The program is designed to help accelerate development and innovation of clean technologies by furthering research and development within the Garden State’s clean technology startup community. CSIT developed the program in coordination with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 21. (For more information and an application, click here.)
Similar to the inaugural round of the program, Round 2 will provide grants of up to $75,000 for research & development activities to very early stage, New Jersey-based clean technology companies.
These grants are intended to help clean technology-focused businesses create proof-of-concepts and prototypes so the companies can more readily attract outside investors and, in some cases, begin to generate revenue. Specifically, the program will fund projects that are developing or testing clean technologies intended to recapture or avoid emissions of greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture.
The following technology areas are eligible under the program:
- Chemicals/advance materials;
- Energy distribution/storage;
- Energy efficiency;
- Energy generation;
- Green buildings;
- Waste processing;
- Water and agriculture.
CSIT will host an informational webinar, including a walk-through of the application process, on Wednesday. Registration information can be found here.
Comprised of representatives from the public and private sectors, as well as academia, the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology is tasked with leading the way in promoting the state as a home for academic and technological research, development and commercialization.
This latest round offers double the amount of funding that was available in the initial round of the Clean Tech Seed Grant Pilot Program. CSIT awarded a total of nearly $750,000 to 10 companies statewide through the program’s first round last year. (See list of awardees here.)
All applicants for the Clean Tech Seed Grant Program should be between a minimum technology development level of Technology Readiness Level, or TRL, 2 (applied research) and maximum of TRL 7 (full-scale, similar [prototypical] system demonstrated in relevant environment), based on the Department of Energy definitions. Applicants should use the tool included in the Technical Proposal attachment on the application portal to determine TRL score.
Additional eligibility criteria require that applicants:
- Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in New Jersey, as evidenced by a New Jersey current New Jersey tax clearance certificate;
- Have a minimum of one full-time equivalent employee (working 35 hours per week) including founders, with at least one employee working 50% of their time on the project being proposed;
- Have 50% or more of the work of its employees, including founders and contractors, conducted in New Jersey (calculated on a full-time equivalent basis — 35 hours per week);
- Have 50% or more of employees including founders/contractors live or pay withholding taxes in New Jersey;
- Have less than $2 million in prior third-party funding over its lifetime (excluding government grants);
- Have less than $500,000 in previous calendar year sales revenue.
Applications from businesses located in an Opportunity Zone-eligible census tract, minority- or woman-owned businesses or businesses with technology coming out of New Jersey universities are all eligible for bonus points with respect to the scoring criteria.
At least one award will be reserved for an applicant that is a women-owned company as certified by the state of New Jersey and one award will be reserved for an applicant that is minority-owned as certified by the state of New Jersey.