September 22, 2010

CCAT & NENY To Support The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Industry Through A Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster

By: by Elinor Hargreaves & Joel Rinebold, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology


The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT) of East Hartford, CT, today announced the receipt of a grant from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to expand a growing hydrogen and fuel cell regional cluster centered in the northeast United States.  This energy technology cluster is currently driven by a global market and is poised for growth as a US based industry to meet worldwide demand for clean and efficient electric generation. 

"Maximizing a region's economic assets is one of the best ways to create long term job growth, and that's what SBA's new Innovative Economies pilot initiative is doing," Karen G. Mills, Administrator of the SBA, said. "Today we are announcing funding support for 10 regional economic clusters.  SBA's support will help expand the opportunities and the role small businesses play in these regional collaborations, which are enhancing the ability to create jobs locally and compete on a national and global scale.  I'm thrilled to announce the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology's participation.  They're creating jobs in the community and making the region an industry leader."

CCAT will work with its partners in New England and New York to undertake activities and provide services to support job growth and enhance the competitiveness of the region's hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain. The Project Team includes CCAT, the Hydrogen Energy Center, the Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition, Clean Energy States Alliance, and New Energy New York's New York Fuel Cell Network.

"This program will significantly enhance the economic growth and job creation for the region by building on the capacity of the diverse supply chain of over 170 companies and organizations in the New England / New York region that support the hydrogen and fuel cell industry," said Elliot Ginsberg, President and CEO of CCAT.

CCAT and the Project Team will seek to support the collective industry through a public-private partnership for business development, workforce training, establishment of strategic market development activities, and increased deployment of fuel cell generation facilities.  These activities will lead to increased US based market share and productivity, economic development, and job creation. 

"Assistance to expand this technology cluster will lead to lower energy costs, improved environmental performance, and an increase in U.S. based jobs", Joel Rinebold, Director of Energy Programs at CCAT and Chair of the Coalition, said. "This is a great opportunity to invest in an emerging technology made in the region that will serve an expanding global market."

CCAT is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a unique economic development center of excellence for the region, state and nation. CCAT offers a wide range of services to a diverse base of customers that spans manufacturers, high technology firms, small businesses and entrepreneurs, educators and public policy makers. The Energy Program at CCAT administers the Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition, which is comprised of representatives from the fuel cell and hydrogen industry, labor, academia, government, and other stakeholders. The Coalition works to advance the development, manufacture, and deployment of fuel cell and hydrogen technology and associated fueling systems in Connecticut and abroad.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.