Press Release:
Leading Colleges and Universities to Help Accelerate Clean Technology Deployment

BOSTON, Mass. and CHICAGO, Illinois- (June 2, 2016) Second Nature, Clean Energy Trust and twelve higher education institutions in the Climate Leadership Network announced Campus Cleantech Pilots, a new partnership accelerating clean energy technology commercialization by using universities as testing and demonstration platforms for startup companies.

Through this partnership, facilitated in part by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, colleges and universities across the country will develop and implement a strategy for using existing campus infrastructure to test emerging energy-related technologies. Jointly announced today at the Clean Energy Ministerial, this strategic partnership is a continued response to the Administration’s call to action for a clean energy economy, and a result of the Climate Leadership Network’s ongoing national work with higher education on bold climate action.

Over the coming year, these institutions, Second Nature, and CET will evaluate how to best leverage existing campus infrastructure to lower the critical “first demonstration” barrier that cleantech startups face in bringing new solutions to market. Campus Cleantech Pilots will allow universities to get a first look at innovative technologies they can deploy across their campus, providing them an opportunity for innovative classroom and research integration, and help them meet energy-related goals driven by their Climate Leadership Commitment, all while supporting emerging, leading-edge companies.

Through a national network of partners, CET will identify startups, validate and verify their technological and business development, and select a group of finalists that best align with the identified technology areas and the universities’ key capabilities.

“One of the key barriers cleantech startups face is deploying their technology for the first time. Customers want to see proof that the technology works before it’s installed. Leveraging the existing infrastructure at universities gives these startups exactly the opportunity they need to demonstrate their product,” said Ben Gaddy, Director of Technology Development at Clean Energy Trust.

The campus advisors are all signatories in Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network and include:

  • Agnes Scott College, President Elizabeth Kiss
  • Ball State University, Interim President Terry King
  • California State University-Northridge, President Dianne Harrison
  • Central Community College, President Greg Smith
  • George Washington University, President Steven Knapp
  • Huston-Tillotson University, President Collette Pierce
  • New York University, President Andrew Hamilton
  • Portland State University, President Wim Wiewel
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, President William Destler
  • Spelman College, President Mary Campbell
  • University of Minnesota-Morris, Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson
  • Western Michigan University, President John Dunn


The full press release can be viewed and downloaded here.

By Emily Achler | June 2, 2016