RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Cleantech business development in North Carolina is getting a $748,244 boost from the federal government.

The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, an organization of businesses and individuals seeking to advance the cleantech industry, and the Joules Accelerator were awarded the grant jointly by the US Department of Commerce through its Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge.

The funding is to help create a “cleantech commercialization corridor” (C3) in the Charlotte and Triangle regions with the government, education and private sector working in collaboration to create business and develop jobs.

The grant covers three years.

Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster working to bring a new wave of job growth to our region

“We’re excited to unite the innovation economies of Charlotte and the Triangle. Bringing one of the country’s largest electric utilities and the largest cluster of smart grid companies together to focus on the development and deployment of clean technologies will have tremendous economic benefits for North Carolina. This model will bring municipalities – both small and large – to the same table, to benefit from the same access to advanced technologies, in a way that hasn’t existed before,” said Bob Irvin, Executive Director of Joules Accelerator, in a statement.

According to the RTCC and Joules, the “corridor will leverage the complementary assets of both regions to advance clean energy, sustainability, and resiliency solutions for communities across North Carolina.”

“Triangle communities are leading the way in cleantech implementation – from testing technologies in innovation districts to setting long-term goals for clean energy usage,” said Susan Sanford, Executive Director of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster.

“They know the impact technology can have on sustainability. Winning this grant allows us to bring key community partners to the table to address concerns about our shared future – while also strengthening our ecosystem of cleantech startups and bringing tangible economic benefits to the region.”

The Joules Accelerator, which launched in 2013, works to develop relationships between startups and existing businesses.