Press Release

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

TechBridge's Jeff McAulay presents Retroficiency with their U-Launch Award. Image courtesy of Cleantech Open / Lindsay Davis

Over $85,000 in U-Launch Funded Services Awarded to 2012 Cleantech Open Northeast Region Semifinalists

Fraunhofer TechBridge continues its support of innovative cleantech start-ups through in-kind awards of technical development, entrepreneurial advisory and incubation services

Boston, MA – October 12, 2012 – At the Cleantech Open Northeast Regional Finals, two additional U-Launch awards were delivered to NBD Nanotechnologies and Coincident. U-Launch awards are administered by Fraunhofer USA in collaboration with several regional partners under a US Department of Energy-funded grant-based award program that provides funded services to promising clean energy start-ups. NBD and Coincident join 18 other 2012 Cleantech Open semifinalists who have already received support through U-Launch, bringing the total amount of funded services awarded by U-Launch this year to more than $85,000. These awards assist early stage start-ups in validating, developing and deploying innovative cleantech solutions.


NBD Nanotechnologies is developing nano-scale surfaces to enhance water condensation, creating a sustainable, low-energy water source alternative in arid climates. NBD will be receiving $30K in R&D and incubation services. 


Coincident is commercializing a low-cost hardware device and software service that collects energy consumption data from household devices and appliances and makes it available through a central online interface to help consumers optimize energy use. Coincident will be receiving $20K in R&D services.


“Our two-year partnership with Fraunhofer has been highly beneficial for our start-ups, and for Cleantech Open Northeast as an organization. The ACTION incubation services and U-Launch awards are a great compliment to the mentoring and entrepreneurship training that our program provides,” said Alexandra Adler, Cleantech Open Northeast Regional Director.


The U-Launch awards provide services tailored to enhance the future market and funding potential of the individual awardee, and can include technical services, market exploration and incubation.  Two start-ups that received U-Launch service awards at last year’s Cleantech Open Northeast event, Arctic Sand and Ubiquitous Energy, have since gone on to raise nearly $8 million in follow-on funding between them. 


This year, 18 Cleantech Open semifinalists received ACTION incubation support over the course of the Cleantech Open Accelerator. Mike Ryan, ACTION President, elaborated, "We were really pleased with the level of interest from CTO semi-finalists in ACTION incubation awards this year, and in our ability to match so many of the promising companies from across the Northeast region with new and valuable incubation resources. The fact that many of the companies will remain affiliated with the ACTIONetwork beyond the award period speaks to the power and tangible value delivered through and in collaboration with, our members, partners and sponsors."


These awards were made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as part of its Innovation Ecosystem Development Initiative, administered by the Commercialization and Deployment Team. 


About the Cleantech Open

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has enabled hundreds of clean-technology start-ups to bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helped alumni contestants raise over $300M, and created an estimated 2,500 green-collar jobs. Fueled by a global network of more than 1,000 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine.


For more information, visit, or follow Cleantech Open on Twitter and Facebook.


About U-Launch

U-Launch was founded in 2010 with the aim of supporting clean energy technologies in their transition from the laboratory to the market, and is partially funded by a three-year, $1.1M award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Innovation Ecosystem Development Initiative. The program is administered by four leading New England cleantech organizations: the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE), the New England Clean Energy Foundation (NECEF), the Association of CleanTech Incubators of New England (ACTION) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). Each member of the U-Launch team provides critical early-stage resources for start-ups and spinouts. U-Launch grants are awarded to high-potential technologies, many of which are spun out of New England-based research universities. Grants are comprised of funded services tailored to enhance the future market and funding potential of the individual awardee, and can include business model review or development, market analysis, technical feasibility studies, prototype development assistance, technology validation, executive-in-residence guidance, and incubation space.


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