Multi-year initiative seeks carbon-to-value startups and welcomes first Carbontech Leadership Council members
New York City, N.Y., and Somerville, Mass., Oct. 22, 2020 — The Urban Future Lab at New York University-Tandon, Greentown Labs, and the Fraunhofer USA TechBridge Program announced two major steps forward in their Carbon to Value Initiative (C2V Initiative): the formation of the Carbontech Leadership Council (CLC) and the opening of applications for their 2021 cohort of startup participants. The C2V Initiative is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Consulate General of Canada in New York.
The C2V Initiative is a unique, multi-year program driving the creation of a thriving innovation ecosystem for the commercialization of carbontech—technologies that capture and convert carbon dioxide (CO₂) into valuable end products or services. The program’s Carbontech Leadership Council (CLC) will be made up of a select group of corporate, academic, NGO, and government leaders who will foster commercialization opportunities and identify avenues for technology validation, testing, and demonstration of carbontech.
Members of the CLC will create a technology roadmap for the future of the carbontech industry and will have opportunities to engage with the highly selective cohorts of startups chosen for the C2V Initiative. Through participation in the CLC, corporations can advance their sustainability goals and lead at the forefront of a new industry as the world seeks to rapidly decarbonize in response to climate change.
The CLC’s corporate leaders will represent diverse industries that have made formal commitments to reducing carbon emissions in their core businesses and beyond. These organizations may be interested in making carbontech a core part of their business strategy, or may be future customers or supporters of carbontech products and services. Today, the partners are thrilled to announce that the first corporate CLC members include: Maurits van Tol, Chief Technology Officer of Johnson Matthey; Daisuke Kanazawa, General Manager of the Circular Economy Department at Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation; Larry Meixner, Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation; Jeanne-Mey Sun, Vice President, Sustainability of NRG; Aurélia Carrère, SVP Group Air & Climate Solutions, CEO Italy, Greece & Slovenia at SUEZ; and Mike McCollam, Sustainability Business Development Leader at W. L. Gore & Associates.
Additionally, the CLC will benefit from the participation and deep carbontech knowledge of: Noah Deich, Executive Director of Carbon180; Nicholas Eisenberger, Co-founder & Operating Partner of the Circular Carbon Network; Khawar Nasim, Acting Consul General of Canada in New York; and Dr. Marcius Extavour, Ph.D., Executive Director at the XPRIZE Foundation. NYSERDA will also provide representatives to the CLC.
The program partners also announce that they have released a request for proposals (RFP) and are now accepting startup applications for the 2021 cohort of the C2V Initiative. The initiative seeks submissions from startups whose technologies are creating value from the capture or conversion of carbon waste, with net-zero or negative emissions.
The Urban Future Lab, Greentown Labs, and Fraunhofer USA will draw on their experience supporting game-changing climate solutions, as well as the experience of the CLC, to provide the C2V Initiative’s participating startups with workshops, mentorship, and incubator resources, alongside exclusive access to industry leaders shaping the carbontech marketplace of tomorrow. On Oct. 13, Frederic Clerc joined Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering as Director of the Carbon to Value Initiative. Frederic is an experienced leader with demonstrated success working on climate change mitigation issues with multinational corporations, government, and startup ventures across various industries, including forest products, agriculture, chemicals, and energy in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, and Europe.
With over a decade of experience supporting cleantech startups, the Urban Future Lab scales market-ready solutions to climate challenges.
“We look forward to seeing many impressive startup applications from all across the world and the value chain,” said Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives at NYU Tandon. “Our unique partnership combines the best incubation services in the U.S. with the corporate industry knowledge and deployment opportunities provided by the Carbontech Leadership Council. The C2V Initiative will be able to meaningfully kickstart a new carbontech industry.”
Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, is dedicated to helping startups and corporate partners work together to bring critical climate solutions to market.
“Greentown Labs is proud to welcome the inaugural members of the Carbontech Leadership Council for the C2V Initiative,” said Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “These partners will provide valuable expertise throughout the initiative that is critical to scaling the solutions needed for the coming energy transition. We’re eager to receive applications from entrepreneurs from around the world and are excited to collaborate with Urban Future Lab, Fraunhofer TechBridge, and the CLC to drive the commercialization of new technologies for the carbontech industry.”
Fraunhofer USA has established itself as a leading industry-driven international laboratory accelerating the adoption of new technologies through scientific research and engineering innovation.
“Mitigating the impacts of climate change is essential,” said Thomas Schuelke, Ph.D., President of Fraunhofer USA. “Fraunhofer USA’s TechBridge program leverages Fraunhofer’s world-class, industry-grade technical expertise and facilities and provides critical resources to entrepreneurs developing and de-risking disruptive early-stage technologies. Fraunhofer USA is excited to continue our longstanding partnership and support for the upcoming Carbon to Value Initiative.”
The C2V Initiative leaders look forward to collaborating with the first CLC members—all of whom bring commitment, expertise, and market reach to the shared goal of supporting and scaling the carbontech ecosystem.
Johnson Matthey (JM), headquartered in the UK, is a global leader in science that enables a cleaner and healthier world. With over 200 years of commitment to innovation and technological breakthroughs, JM applies cutting-edge science to create sustainable technologies for areas such as low-emission transport, pharmaceuticals, chemical processing, and making the most efficient use of the planet’s natural resources. In 2018/19, 86 percent of its sales came from products and services related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and its target is to increase this to 90 percent by 2025.
“I am thrilled that JM has been invited to join the Carbontech Leadership Council,” said Maurits van Tol, CTO of JM. “As a leading process technology and catalyst provider to the burgeoning low-carbon hydrogen industry, we understand the importance of carbon abatement technologies. We have strong interests in the use of CO2 as an emerging feedstock for sustainable fuels and chemicals and are always looking for ways we can do even more. We love to engage in partnerships that want to lead the transition to a net-zero carbon economy and look forward to providing a positive contribution to this group.”
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) is a member of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group (MCHC Group) and advances a mission of creating innovative solutions globally based on core values of sustainability, health, and comfort—striving for the well-being of people, society, and our planet Earth. In 2020, MCC established a new Circular Economy Department with an aim of bolstering its efforts to bring about the circular economy. Global in both perspective and scale, this department operates across all business domains to propose circular economy-related solutions and develop them into businesses.
“Mitsubishi Chemical has long been working on turning carbon dioxide into chemical products, as we believe that CO2 reduction is an area of chemical technology that can contribute to society,” said Daisuke Kanazawa, General Manager of Circular Economy Department at Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. “We look forward to collaborating with the council members and startups.”
NRG Energy, Inc brings the power of energy to people and organizations by putting customers at the center of its business. It generates electricity and provides energy solutions and natural gas to residential, small business, commercial, and industrial customers through a diverse portfolio of retail brands. A Fortune 500 company operating in the United States and Canada, NRG delivers innovative solutions by working toward a sustainable energy future. NRG believes that addressing climate change presents one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of our lifetime, and the company’s sector-leading sustainability commitments aim to reduce GHG emissions 50 percent by 2025 and achieve net-zero by 2050, from a 2014 baseline. In working toward a more sustainable future, NRG improves access to renewable energy, has invested in carbon capture, use, and sequestration through its investment in the Petra Nova facility, and supports innovation in the economic and beneficial use of carbon through the Carbon XPRIZE.
“As a power company, we recognize the critical role we play not only in the lives of our customers, but also in decarbonizing the economy more broadly,” says Jeanne-Mey Sun, Ph.D., Vice President of Sustainability at NRG. “We are proud to stand among like-minded organizations in support of the Carbon to Value Initiative and serve on its Carbontech Leadership Council, where we will work to accelerate progress in capturing, storing, and/or converting carbon into valuable products or services.”
SUEZ, headquartered in France, is a global leader in essential environmental services with water, sanitation, waste collection, and recovery activities. SUEZ draws on the expertise it has been developing since the late 19th century to focus on human health and quality of life, and on a circular and sustainable economy that reduces its customers’ carbon footprints while conserving and restoring the planet’s natural assets. SUEZ’s positive impact on the climate ranges from strengthening resilience in response to the climate crisis (flood prevention, forecasting systems), recycled and green products, green energy and chemicals, ecological landfill sites, and capturing greenhouse gases. SUEZ further sees an urgent need to mobilize against climate change, and as part of its Air & Climate Strategy will both produce and invest in technologies and services that monitor greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants and capture CO2 for sequestration or conversion into valuable end products.
“I am looking forward to participating in Carbontech Leadership Council,” says Aurélia Carrère, SVP Group Air & Climate Solutions at SUEZ. “We are thrilled to have this unique opportunity to interact with disruptive carbontech startups so that together we can build resilient climate impacts through piloting and scaling up innovative solutions around the world. SUEZ is committed to the 1.5° trajectory and I am personally very proud to contribute to the C2V Initiative to see the emergence of new, quick, and affordable carbon capture utilization and sequestration solutions ready for the market.”
W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) is a global material science company dedicated to discovery, innovation, and commercialization of products that improve lives. The company develops innovative technologies that address complex environmental challenges, from air filtration for industrial applications, to fuel cell components, to sealants that reduce emissions, as well as venting products that protect sensitive electronic components in solar energy systems.
”We see great potential for the Carbon to Value Initiative to have a positive impact in a space that is extremely important and much needed in our society,” said Mike McCollam, Sustainability Business Development Leader at Gore. “We are excited about the opportunity to contribute through this program to the development of emerging companies with disruptive ideas on capturing and converting CO2.”
NYSERDA is supporting the C2V Initiative through the ACRE incubator at the Urban Future Lab. Their support will be used to accelerate the commercialization of promising clean energy technologies in New York State through collaboration with industry-leading corporations and Partners.
Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “We look forward to working with the Carbontech Leadership Council on bringing together thought leaders from around the globe to push the boundaries on advancing low carbon and clean energy products in support of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to combat climate change. The roadmap and support of the new cohort will help change the landscape on innovative solutions and build a trajectory for products that help us achieve economy wide carbon neutrality and foster cleaner, healthier communities across New York.”
The Consulate General of Canada in New York is supporting the Initiative and is joining as one of the first members of the CLC.
“As the first member of the Carbontech Leadership Council, we welcome our corporate counterparts whose leadership will play an integral role in accelerating carbontech development and adoption,” said Khawar Nasim, Acting Consul General of Canada in New York. “We hope that this momentum will continue to grow and attract additional support from industries that are difficult to decarbonize. Canada has become a breeding ground for carbontech innovation and we look forward to sharing those solutions with our partners.”
The C2V Initiative continues to invite CLC members. Applications for startups to apply to the first cohort of the C2V Initiative are due by Jan. 27, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Interested innovators and entrepreneurs can learn more about the call for applications by visiting the initiative’s website.
Urban Future Lab
Founded in 2009, the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering is New York City’s longest-running cleantech startup incubator. As an integral part of the NYU Tandon Future Labs network, UFL provides unmatched access to industry stakeholders, strategic advice, marketing and branding support, investor networks, and a community of like-minded founders. Our portfolio of startup companies includes industry-leading startups in the areas of renewable energy, smart buildings, transportation, and resource-efficiency. UFL is leading the way to a more sustainable world by connecting people, capital, and purpose to advance market-ready solutions to address climate change. For more information, please visit ufl.nyc or find us on Twitter. For more information about NYU Tandon please visit engineering.nyu.edu.
As the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing ground-breaking startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, a large network of corporate customers and investors, and more. Greentown Labs’ 100,000-square-foot campus in Somerville, MA is home to about 100 startups and has supported more than 280 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 6,500 direct jobs and have raised more than $1 billion in funding. For more information, please visit www.greentownlabs.com or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Fraunhofer USA and the TechBridge Program
The TechBridge Program is led by Fraunhofer USA, Inc. in the United States. Fraunhofer has established itself as a leading industry-driven international laboratory accelerating the adoption of energy technologies through scientific research and engineering innovation. The core offering of TechBridge is applied, industry-focused projects performed for entrepreneurs by the Fraunhofer Network with the express goal of de-risking novel technologies for the private sector. Projects may take the form of developing and testing prototypes, deploying field demonstrations, performing third-party validation, generating test data in an industry context, or manufacturability studies. These projects bring promising technologies closer to market and make them more attractive for private sector investment, industry adoption, and scale-up funding, ultimately leading to the accelerated success of high-growth entrepreneurs and businesses. For more information on Fraunhofer TechBridge, please visit the TechBridge webpage.
Fraunhofer USA, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of applied research. Fraunhofer USA was founded in 1994 to conduct applied R & D for customers from industry and state government and the federal government in the United States. Partnering with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest application-oriented research and development organization, Fraunhofer USA can offer both domestic and international resources to enhance its portfolio of R&D services. For more information, please visit www.fraunhofer.org.
About the Consulate General of Canada in New York
The Consulate General of Canada in New York represents the Government of Canada in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Bermuda. The Consulate General’s efforts and engagements cover a range of political, commercial, cultural, security, and economic interests to Canada in our region. From providing business clients with practical advice and on-the-ground intelligence, to engaging with local, state, and federal government representatives, to servicing Canadians and visa holders, the Consulate General of Canada in New York is highly engaged with stakeholders across multiple sectors and industries.
About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.
C2V Initiative Media Contact:
Cayman Somerville, Chief of Staff, Greentown Labs