MassCEC Joins the Offshore Wind Challenge as Enabling Partner, Will Provide Support to Startup Participants

Accelerator program announces application deadline extension to June 15

SOMERVILLE, Mass., June 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Greentown Labs Offshore Wind Challenge, in partnership with Vineyard Wind, today announced the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has signed on as its newest program partner. MassCEC will serve as an Enabling Partner throughout the Challenge and provide grant funding and in-kind support for startup pilot projects in Vineyard Wind's lease areas in Massachusetts' waters. Together, Vineyard Wind, MassCEC, and Greentown Labs are working to foster the offshore wind innovation ecosystem in the Commonwealth.

(PRNewsfoto/Greentown Labs)

The Offshore Wind Challenge is a six-month accelerator program supporting innovations in responsible development of offshore wind energy. The program is focused on fast-tracking entrepreneurs with the mentors and business and technical resources they need to bring marine mammal monitoring technologies to a state of practice with direct support from Vineyard Wind and MassCEC. Staff from MassCEC's Offshore Wind Program will provide expertise and guidance, help select startups for the Challenge, and support startups throughout the piloting process. Selected participants will also receive guidance from the experts at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New England Aquarium.

"MassCEC is pleased to join the Offshore Wind Challenge as an enabling partner, as the Offshore Wind Challenge complements the Baker-Polito Administration's efforts to promote sustainable offshore wind development that protects fisheries and marine wildlife, including MassCEC's long-term study of marine mammal activity and investments in innovation and technology development," said Stephen Pike, CEO of MassCEC. "This initiative provides MassCEC the opportunity to work with industry leaders like Greentown Labs, Vineyard Wind, the Woods hole Oceanographic Institute and the New England Aquarium to advance real-time detection of endangered whales during construction and operation of offshore wind projects."

Since 2009, MassCEC has been leading Massachusetts' offshore wind initiatives and technical analyses in close collaboration with policymakers, regulators, developers, industry and stakeholders. These initiatives are designed to establish baseline environmental data to support the permitting process, reduce development and deployment risks, advance innovation, and increase jobs and economic activity in the offshore wind sector.

"Vineyard Wind's top priority as we work to develop the US's first large scale offshore wind power installation is to make sure we do so while establishing the best possible industry standards," said Lars Thaaning Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind. "Getting MassCEC's involvement in this startup accelerator will help advance the goal of harnessing new technologies to minimize the disruption to marine mammals and other wildlife. We want to thank Greentown Labs for their continued partnership and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for their investment in an up-and-coming industry."

The Offshore Wind Challenge is seeking submissions from startups that are innovating in marine mammal monitoring, either surrounding data collection and real-time transmission or data analysis. The deadline to apply has been extended to June 15.

Startups selected to participate in the program will benefit from mentorship, networking opportunities, educational workshops, and partnership-focused programming through Greentown Launch, a six-month partnership acceleration program for startups provided by Greentown Labs. Within this framework, the Offshore Wind Challenge will help startups explore potential proof of concept or technical validation studies with Vineyard Wind, developer of the first utility-scale offshore wind project which will eliminate 1.68 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

"MassCEC has pioneered Massachusetts' offshore wind industry over the past decade, pushing forward supply chain and infrastructure development, informing the development of ambitious policy frameworks, and bolstering job opportunities and technology advancement," said Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. "MassCEC is a long-time partner and champion of Greentown Labs and we're proud to have them join the Offshore Wind Challenge—we know the selected participants will benefit greatly from their expertise and support."

Applications for the Offshore Wind Challenge are due by June 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Interested innovators and entrepreneurs can learn more about the call for applications by visiting the website. Applicants are encouraged to attend the virtual program kickoff event on July 22.

Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating solutions for today's biggest climate and environmental challenges. Located in Somerville, MA, and founded in 2011, Greentown Labs is the largest cleantech incubator in North America, operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus comprised of prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, electronics lab, and a curated suite of programs and resources. Greentown Labs is home to more than 100 startups and has supported more than 250 startups since its inception. These startups have collectively created more than 6,500 direct jobs and have raised more than $750 million in funding. The incubator's mission is to provide entrepreneurs with the community, resources, and space they need to thrive. For more information, please visit www.greentownlabs.com or on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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SOURCE Greentown Labs