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MassCEC Catalyst Program Awards

Grants to Massachusetts Companies and Researchers Affiliated
with Qualified Institutions for Renewable Energy Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and MassVentures

Deadline Date:

10/19/20 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of up to $65,000 to Massachusetts companies and researchers and students affiliated with qualified nonprofit research institutions for projects related to renewable energy. Funding is intended for projects with potential for climate impact, emissions reduction, and commercialization.

The Catalyst Program is jointly administered by MassCEC and MassVentures with the primary intent of stimulating the commercialization of clean energy technologies developed in the Commonwealth. Awarded funds are used to demonstrate the feasibility of technologies in specific industry applications in order to obtain increased industry and investor interest. Recipients must use funding for projects that move their technologies towards commercialization.  This includes gathering initial data to demonstrate proof of concept, how the technology compares to existing technologies and competitive advantages of the technology, or to develop a prototype for the technology. Particular emphasis will be placed on selecting technologies that can be a foundation for new companies and technologies that can support market entry and/or improve the competitiveness of existing Massachusetts companies.

All proposed technologies must demonstrate a strong potential for climate impact and commercialization. While Catalyst funding may be used to support prototype development of any technology or proposed business model that meets MassCEC’s definition of “Clean Energy Technologies” (as defined in Section V below), particular emphasis will be placed on identifying projects in one or more the following four (4) areas:

  1. High-performance buildings: Impactful, resilient, and cost-effective electrification technologies and approaches to decarbonizing the building sector
  2. Clean transportation: Cutting-edge, clean transportation technologies that address the market barriers to electric vehicle deployment
  3. Offshore wind: Project risk reduction, market confidence enhancement, and economic development that advance this new industry
  4. Net-zero grid: Technologies that enable a transition to a modernized and smarter grid, such as microgrids and energy storage 

Typical uses of Catalyst Program Award funding include:

  • Conducting further defined research on an invention that will lead to proof of concept or prototypes;
  • Undertaking testing of a technology or material to obtain initial data on performance;
  • Performing initial user testing, validation, and interface or design refinement;
  • Funding independent third-party testing under industrial conditions;
  • Hiring outside expert consultants to validate technology; and 
  • Purchase of project-specific equipment and supplies. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169484

Number of Grants:

MassCEC seeks to award up to seven (7) qualifying cleantech projects.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum size of a grant is $65,000.

Term of Contract:

Catalyst projects are up to 1 year in length.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An eligible applicant must be one of the following:
• A Principal Investigator (“PI”) at a Massachusetts-based nonprofit research institution;
• A Massachusetts-based early-stage clean energy company that (i) has not received in excess of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) in combined debt or equity financing, grant funding, and revenues over the past five (5) years, and (ii) has four (4) or fewer full-time equivalent employees; or
• Student (or group of students) led by a faculty member or researcher who will act as the PI and will be responsible for managing the grant and reporting requirements.

For additional eligibility information for researchers and early-stage companies, see

Please note that funds may not be used for the following:
• Basic or fundamental research;
• Publicity expenses (e.g., the development of marketing materials);
• Legal and other expenses of business formation and operation;
• Attendance at scientific conferences; and
• Purchase of computer or other unrelated equipment.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Program staff will host an informational webinar on Catalyst on Tuesday, September 29 from 1:30-2:30 pm EST.
To register:

Pre-Application Information:

- Deadline to Submit Questions: September 30, 2020
- MassCEC to Post Responses to Questions: October 2, 2020
- Proposals Due: October 19, 2020, by 11:59 PM EST
- Applicants Notified of Finalist Status: November 20, 2020
- Finalists' Presentations: Week of December 14, 2020
- Finalists Notified of Award Status: January 2021

This RFP invites participation in a two-part application process:
1. Applicants must first submit an application that consists of a completed proposal (the “Proposal”) that meets the criteria.
2. In the event the Proposal is selected, the applicant will be invited to pitch their proposal to a panel of Program judges.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit questions and proposals to:

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-315-9300 | Fax: 617-315-9356

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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