Connecticut Rolls Out New Cleantech Fund

New England will be getting more cash for environmentally friendly technologies under a new program announced today by Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell. A $9 million fund has been launched to make investments in seed and early-stage companies, focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental remediation and clean water.

“We want to position Connecticut as the preferred location to grow cleantech jobs,” said Governor Rell in a statement. Cleantech companies could get up to $1 million from the new Connecticut Clean Tech Fund, which will be managed by Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing in the state. Connecticut Innovations and the Department of Economic and Community Development have each made an initial commitment of $3 million for the new fund. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, also run by Connecticut Innovations, is putting up $3 million for companies that meet its criteria.
The existing Clean Energy Fund has already put cash into two companies — Southbury, Conn.-based GenCell and Enfield, Conn.’s Oxford Performance Materials. GenCell is a manufacturer of fuel cells and integrated fuel cell powered generators, while Oxford Performance Materials makes biomaterials for the medical device and other industries.
Other companies getting funding from Connecticut Innovations include Environmental Energy Services in Sandy Hook, Conn. and Oil Purification Systems in Shelton, Conn. Environmental Energy makes fuel additives for utilities and industry that are designed to help reduce emissions and increase efficiency. Oil Purification makes an oil refining system to remove solid and liquid contaminants from engine oil, which it said can reduce oil consumption and equipment maintenance.
Companies don’t need to be based in Connecticut to get a chance at an investment from the new fund, but they need to have a significant presence in the state. But for Connecticut-based companies, there’s also the chance at additional funding from the Eli Whitney Fund, another Connecticut Innovations fund, this one focused on energy and environmental systems technology, photonics and applied optics, and advanced materials.
Connecticut isn’t the only state putting cash into cleantech. Nearby Pennsylvania also has a history of investments in environmentally friendly technologies. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell signed an energy bill handing out $650 million in loans and tax incentives for renewable energy projects in the state.