Clean energy technology companies that have promising products that could help the state meet its decarbonization goals but might not have the capital to make their ideas a reality have a new potential source of funding.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center on Wednesday launched the 2030 Fund, a new $50 million investment vehicle.
The fund will provide companies with an average of $500,000 (and up to $1.5 million) in early-stage financing in hopes of attracting additional private capital that will allow the companies to scale up their solutions. MassCEC said the fund's investment of $5 million annually "will support momentum of early-stage companies by providing cash runway to help achieve key milestones."
The fund's launch "signals to the market that Massachusetts is increasing its committment [sic] to the commercialization of climate technologies," MassCEC said. Massachusetts-based startups whose products or services are in line with the definitions of "clean energy" or "clean energy research" are eligible, and MassCEC said that applicants must have three of four business functions (headquarters, primary research and development, primary sales and marketing, and primary manufacturing) located in Massachusetts.
"MassCEC invests impactfully and countercyclically in Massachusetts' brightest climate technology innovators. Our investments support climatetech companies as they de-risk their technology, reach early commercial milestones, and attract growth funding," the center said. It added, "MassCEC's strategy is to attract and leverage significant private capital alongside all our investments."
Gov. Charlie Baker has long argued that stimulating the state's innovators to work on advancements to clean energy technology will be key to accelerating the state's transition to having net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Last year, he proposed using $750 million in federal stimulus funds to establish a clean energy investment fund at MassCEC to, among other things, provide support for the advancement of promising technology. Lawmakers rejected Baker's idea when they passed a climate law in late July.
"We sit here in Massachusetts at the heart of some of the most important developments in life sciences that have taken place in the past kind of 15 years. And I think it's fair to say that what innovation brought to dealing with COVID, in particular, went way beyond people's wildest expectations," Baker said in May. The governor added, "There's a lot we can do in environmental policy and net-zero with policies and that's a good thing. Innovation is going to be a big part ... it's actually going to get us all the way there faster." - Colin A. Young/SHNS | 12/7/22 3:36 PM