The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) opened applications for the $1.5 million Round 2 of its Clean Tech Seed Grant Pilot Program designed to help accelerate development and innovation of clean technologies by furthering research and development (R&D) within the Garden State’s clean technology startup community. CSIT developed the program in coordination with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).
The application for Round 2 of the Clean Tech Seed Grant Pilot Program can be found at: https://www.njeda.com/clean-tech-grant/. Applications will be accepted through March 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
Similar to the inaugural round of the program, Round 2 of the Clean Tech Seed Grant Pilot Program will provide grants of up to $75,000 for R&D activities to very early-stage, New Jersey-based clean technology companies. These grants will help clean technology-focused businesses create proof-of-concepts and prototypes so the companies can more readily attract outside investors and, in some cases, begin to generate revenue. Specifically, the program will fund projects that are developing or testing clean technologies intended to recapture or avoid emissions of greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture. The following technology areas are eligible under the program: Chemicals/Advance Materials, Energy Distribution/Storage, Energy Efficiency, Energy Generation, Green Buildings, Transportation, Waste Processing, and Water and Agriculture.
CSIT will host an informational webinar, including a walk-through of the Clean Tech Seed Grant Program – Round 2 application on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Registration information can be found here. A recorded version of the webinar and copy of materials presented will be made available on the CSIT webpage following the event.
This latest round offers double the amount of funding that was available in the initial round of the Clean Tech Seed Grant Pilot Program. CSIT awarded a total of nearly $750,000 to 10 companies statewide through the program’s first round last year.
All applicants for the Clean Tech Seed Grant Program should be between a minimum technology development level of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2 (applied research) and maximum of TRL 7 (full-scale, similar (prototypical) system demonstrated in relevant environment), based on the Department of Energy definitions. Applicants should use the tool included in the Technical Proposal attachment on the application portal to determine TRL score.
Additional eligibility criteria require that applicants:
- Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in New Jersey as evidenced by a New Jersey current New Jersey tax clearance certificate;
- Have a minimum of one full-time equivalent employee (working 35 hrs. per week) including founders, with at least one employee working 50% of their time on the project being proposed;
- Have 50 percent or more of the work of its employees, including founders and contractors conducted in NJ (calculated on a full-time equivalent basis – 35 hours per week);
- Have 50 percent or more of employees including founders/contractors live or pay withholding taxes in NJ;
- Have less than two million dollars ($2,000,000) in prior third-party funding over its lifetime (excluding government grants);
- Have less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in previous calendar year sales revenue.
Applications from businesses located in an Opportunity Zone-eligible census tract, minority- or woman-owned businesses or businesses with technology coming out of New Jersey universities are all eligible for bonus points with respect to the scoring criteria. At least one award will be reserved for an applicant that is a women-owned company as certified by the State of NJ and one award will be reserved for an applicant that is minority-owned as certified by the state of NJ.