$2.5M CSIT Clean Demonstration program offering grants to support startups testing prototypes

Program to offer up to $250,000 to offset costs associated with demonstration, validation in real-world settings

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology will launch the Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Program, a competitive $2.5 million program to support New Jersey companies accelerating the commercialization and deployment of innovative clean energy technologies.

The Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Program will provide grants of up to $250,000 each to help startups develop their technologies intended to create a cleaner and greener future for New Jersey.

Applications for this program, which opens on Dec. 5, are available here.

The Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Program is designed to support clean technology businesses that have an existing prototype of their technologies and are ready to validate them in a real-world setting.

Awardees can use the funding for such costs as testing and validating technological performance at customer sites, travel, equipment purchase, licensing and patent fees.

(For a complete list of acceptable uses, click here.)

The Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Program will fund pilot demonstration projects intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture, greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture.

The proposed project must be between Technology Readiness Level 6, ready to beta test the prototype, and TRL 8, in the pre-commercial demonstration. The TRL is a globally recognized scale that measures and assesses a technology’s maturity.

The following technology areas are eligible under the program:

  • Chemicals/advance materials;
  • Energy distribution/storage;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Energy generation;
  • Green buildings;
  • Transportation;
  • Waste processing;
  • Water and agriculture.

All applicants must have a minimum of two full-time employees and no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees at the time of application. Additionally, at least 50% of the work being performed by employees, including founders and contractors, must be conducted in New Jersey. Lastly, all pilot demonstration projects must be done in New Jersey.

Complete program eligibility can be found here.

Award scoring will be based on innovation, market opportunity, feasibility and economic and environmental impact. Bonus scoring will be awarded to applicants that are New Jersey-certified women-owned, minority-owned or veteran-owned businesses; or have a primary place of business/research and development located either within an Opportunity Zone eligible census tract or within Trenton, Paterson or Atlantic City.

CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft said she feels the program can have a big impact.

“The majority of our clean technology portfolio companies have some form of prototype, and funding through this program will offset many of the costs associated with demonstration and validation as they work toward commercialization,” she said.

“This new program is a complement to our existing Clean Technology Seed Grant and Voucher programs, and we are proud to expand the continuum of support we offer clean technology businesses growing in New Jersey.”

Sheft noted that companies do not have to have participated in a previous CSIT program to be considered for this award.

Examples of some prototypes in the clean energy space include energy management solutions, electric storage devices, biomass powered generators, and wind turbine components.

CSIT will host an informational webinar on the Clean Tech Demonstration Program on Nov. 30 (register here).

Funding for the Clean Tech Demonstration Program is being provided by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.