EGLE awards LTU’s Centrepolis Accelerator $1.55M to advance cleantech, sustainability

SOUTHFIELD—The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University has been granted $1.55 million in seed funding from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for Centrepolis’ C3 Accelerator program, which supports the development and scaling of cleantech, climatech and circular-economy technologies in Michigan.

The C3 Accelerator searches for proven technologies around the world, and connects them to Michigan partners that can benefit by deploying innovations and supporting the scaling of businesses in Michigan. The C3 Accelerator funds the commercialization of renewable energy, energy efficiency, emission reduction, clean air and water, and recycling and upcycling technologies.

LTU’s accelerator program helps the state meet its goals of fostering a more energy efficient and sustainable circular economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving industry toward a low-carbon future under the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which is a roadmap to achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.

Services at the Accelerator at Lawrence Tech include product design, engineering, prototyping, testing and validation, along with pilot and demonstration project cost sharing; assistance from experts-in-residence; design-for-manufacturability assessments; supply chain development support; and go-to-market support services. The program offers equity-free, zero-interest $50,000 investments to support commercialization efforts.

“EGLE is supporting the C3 Accelerator with a substantial seed fund as it supports our mission on a number of fronts,” said Robert Jackson, assistant division director and energy ombudsman in EGLE’s Materials Management Division. “One, the C3 Accelerator nurtures new cleantech product launches and manufacturing companies here in the Michigan. Second, it drives the demonstration and adoption of cleantech and circular economy products that provide impact to our state’s improved energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives. This is of critical importance to our goals of reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent below 1999 levels by 2025 as well as tripling our recycling rate to 45 percent.”

Added Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator: “The C3 Accelerator is focused on identifying the best-in-class cleantech, climatech and circular economy technologies, no matter where they reside in the world, and finding pathways for these promising innovations into Michigan to support our state’s goals of reducing emissions, and improving energy efficiency and recycling rates. We want these companies to come here to Michigan to manufacture their products, as well as demonstrate and scale their technologies with local partners. We are grateful to have the support of EGLE, Wells Fargo, New Economy Initiative and others to support this important program, including the commitment to support cleantech ventures led by women, people of color, veterans and other underrepresented entrepreneurs.”

The Centrepolis Accelerator was recently named an Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize winner by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Under this initiative, Centrepolis is partnering with Clean Energy Trust, a Chicago-based cleantech investment fund; mHub, a Chicago-based manufacturing business incubator; TN Spark, a business accelerator of the University of Tennessee; the Oakridge National Laboratory; the Argonne National Laboratory;  the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and others, to advance cleantech hardware technology.

Officials at the Centrepolis Accelerator said they wished thank all of the partners on this program, including the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE), the New Economy Initiative (NEI), Wells Fargo NREL Innovation Incubator (IN2), DOE EPIC Prize, the city of Southfield,  Lawernce Technological University, Advancing Women in Energy, Bunker Labs, Clean Energy Trust, Michigan Women Forward, Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, Women in Cleantech & Sustainability, the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA), Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC), Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), Start-Up Nation Central, and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

Interested entrepreneurs and other members of the cleantech business ecosystem can register to attend the C3 Accelerator Showcase, from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 26 on LTU’s campus in Southfield, to learn more about the companies C3 Accelerator is investing in, along with details on the changing landscape of cleantech innovation and funding opportunities. Registration is available at this link.

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers nearly 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than and NAIA varsity sports.

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