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MassCEC Catalyst Program Awards

Grants to Massachusetts Researchers and Students at Nonprofit Research
Institutions and Early-Stage Clean Energy Companies for Feasibility Studies

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/08/19 4:00 PM EST


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Grants of up to $65,000 to Massachusetts researchers and students at nonprofit research institutions and early-stage clean energy companies for feasibility studies. Funding is available to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of clean energy and water technologies developed in the State to attract industry and investor interest.

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.

Additionally, under the Catalyst Water Challenge, MassCEC will provide funding and technical support for projects at the water-energy nexus that deploy water innovation technologies or innovative combinations of existing technologies. Applications for water technologies must also show energy savings.

All proposed technologies must demonstrate a strong potential for climate impact and commercialization. Applicants to the Water Challenge will follow the same process and timeline as Clean Tech applicants but will modify the application as outlined in the application template. Water Challenge applicants will be evaluated as a stand-alone group, separate from the Clean Tech applicants.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169484

Number of Grants:

Up to 5 awards will be granted. Up to two additional awards will be given for promising clean water projects.

Estimated Size of Grant:

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

Term of Contract:

Projects that take longer than a year will not be funded.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must be either a:
- Principal Investigator (“PI”) at a Massachusetts-based nonprofit research institution;
- Massachusetts-based early-stage clean energy company with no more than One Million dollars ($1,000,000) in combined financing, grant funding, and revenues within the past five (5) years and have four or fewer full-time equivalent employees; or
- Student (or group of students) with a faculty member or researcher who will act as the PI and will be responsible for the management of the grant and institution’s reporting requirements.

Additional eligibility information for researchers:

Any researcher or faculty member at a Massachusetts-based nonprofit research organization is eligible to apply. This includes universities, hospitals, research institutes, and federal research labs. If from a research organization, the applicant must have PI status in his or her home institution and the submission of a proposal under this RFP must be disclosed to said institution. PIs must discuss applications with a member of the relevant grants and contracts office prior to submitting the application, as any funding will flow through that office.

Additional eligibility information for early-stage companies:

The company may not have more than four (4) employees. It is acceptable for companies to have received funding from other sources, including other government agency grant funding, foundation grants, business plan competitions or other private sources so long as total equity
and grant funding does not exceed One Million Dollars ($1,000,000). The majority of the company must be located in Massachusetts. Specifically, a majority of the following: primary manufacturing operations, company headquarters, primary sales and marketing, primary research and development operations.

Companies can be student-led; however, if Intellectual Property (IP) has been licensed or is to be licensed from a university, then verification of the license or option to license must be provided. Non-incorporated entities may submit an application, but incorporation will be necessary to receive the award.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due on October 8th, 2019 at 4:00 PM EST.

- August 19, 2019: Application Period Opens
- September 9, 2019: Deadline to submit questions
- September 12, 2019: MassCEC to post responses to questions
- October 8, 2019: Proposals Due
- November 11, 2019: Applicants Notified of Finalist Status
- December 10, 2019: Finalists’ Presentations for Clean Tech Applicants
- December 12, 2019: Finalists’ Presentations for Water Applicants
- January 2020: Finalists Notified of Awardee Status

Applicants may not submit Program applications for the same idea or concept more than three (3) times, unless there has been a substantial change in the technology or market which advances the case for an award.

Webinar slides:

Webinar Recording:

Contact Information:

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

Please submit application to:
MassCEC Catalyst Program Awards
Mass Clean Energy Center, and Mass Technology Transfer Center

Phone: 617-287-4096

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts