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Protecting the climate and helping clean energy grab hold in big ways are among the new goals of New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, which has received an Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) award from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDE).
The EPIC prize seeks to recognize the most innovative and impactful incubators focused on developing strong regional innovation clusters for clean-energy technology and entrepreneurship.
Arrowhead Center will receive $50,000 to create a new accelerator for New Mexico clean-tech businesses. Arrowhead Center’s new effort will be named the Clean Energy Innovation Cluster & Accelerator. It will blend two proven accelerator models – EnergySprint and the Arrowhead Center Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Accelerator – to provide a robust accelerator track for New Mexico businesses working on clean-energy technologies.
Arrowhead will run two cohorts during two years – one in 2021 and one in 2022 – to provide the most impact and contribute to the clean-energy cluster.
“Arrowhead Center will bring together regional resources from expertise to access to capital,” said Arrowhead Center of Strategic Operations Dana Catron. “Together, these elements will form an ‘innovation cluster’ that supports and grows clean-energy technologies as they move toward commercialization. This results in favorable outcomes benefiting the state: reduction in New Mexico’s carbon footprint, new businesses and jobs, new products, increased investment, increased entrepreneurial skills and strategic public-private partnerships.”
Arrowhead programming places particular emphasis on supporting underserved populations, such as women, minorities and rural clients, and has in place a robust suite of resources, expertise and regional connections from which clients can draw.
“Arrowhead Center is also a part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration-funded I-CREW project, which focuses on clean energy as an emerging economic opportunity for New Mexico,” Catron said.
The EPIC prize is the $1 million debut effort in a two-part, $5 million program sponsored by USDE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT).
“The EPIC prize bolsters a critical component of the energy innovation ecosystem, supporting public-private partnerships that help America’s entrepreneurs make those first great steps toward a commercial product or service,” said USDE Sec. Dan Brouillette.
OTT advances the economic, energy and national security interests of the United States by expanding the commercial impact of USDE’s research and development portfolio. OTT streamlines access to the department’s 17 national labs and sites and opens the door to the department’s world-class scientific researchers and facilities, fostering strong internal and external partnerships that guide innovations from the lab to the marketplace.
“Arrowhead’s primary focus is enabling businesses to launch, grow and flourish,” Arrowhead Center Kathryn Hansen said. “We meet entrepreneurs where their venture is, from idea stage to those with an established business, and we tailor services to what they need in each phase of development.”
Businesses interested in the new Clean Energy Accelerator should check in early 2021 for applications. For more information, contact Catron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-469-8411. Visit https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/.
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