NREL Sponsorship of Cleantech Fellows Designed to Transfer Lab-Developed Clean Energy Technologies to Market

Partnership designed to facilitate the creation of venture-backed

DENVER – (June 25, 2012) – The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association has entered into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to form the Cleantech Fellows Institute. This exclusive program is designed to facilitate the creation of venture-backed clean technology companies in Colorado, across the nation, and even internationally.

To help the Institute achieve its primary goal of educating a select set of proven executives as they make the transition to the cleantech industry, NREL will provide Fellows with access to some of the most widely recognized cleantech researchers, engineers, and business specialists during the course of each session.

“This institute gives us a chance to get our technologies out there,” said Bill Farris, NREL’s Vice President of Commercialization & Technology Transfer. “We’re always looking for seasoned managers and serial entrepreneurs who want to build businesses around the work we do.”

NREL’s sponsorship, which is primarily funded through its licensing revenues, will extend beyond researcher access. The Cleantech Fellows Institute will work directly with the NREL-supported Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED). Because CREED’s primary focus is to catalyze cleantech economic development in Colorado, its stakeholders will be able to share extensive investor and industry access, as well as the kind of guidance that cleantech entrepreneurs need to develop the next round of businesses centered on clean energy and energy efficiency.

"We are thrilled that NREL, a leader in renewable energy research in the U.S., has signed on to support the Cleantech Fellows Institute,” said Graham Richards, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy of which CCIA is a state chapter.  “Their commitment to the program underscores their belief in the ability of the Institute to bring vetted, experienced CEOs into the advanced energy marketplace. It’s the perfect partnership between technology development and the C-level leaders that can bring those technologies to market.”  

The Cleantech Fellows Institute’s tuition-based, 17-week intensive program will focus on cleantech industry-specific issues, technologies, research, investment sources and opportunities, support ecosystems, and regulations. The Institute will culminate in a capstone project from each Fellow that is designed to generate a venture-backable start-up.

In addition, attendees will automatically be registered for NREL’s Industry Growth Forum, the premiere event for clean energy startups to meet with receptive venture capitalists, corporate investors, and strategic partners.

“NREL is an amazing resource for our Institute. Access to the lab will be a priceless benefit to the Fellows looking for top-notch technology around which they can build a company,” says Wayne Greenberg, director of the Cleantech Fellows Institute.  “NREL’s partnership really positions the Cleantech Fellows Institute for success in an exciting, and challenging, technology market.”

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About Cleantech Fellows Institute
The Cleantech Fellows Institute (CFI) is an exclusive program designed to facilitate the creation of venture-backed clean technology companies. The CFI will educate a highly select set of proven executives from across the country, and from a wide variety of industry sectors, that are interested in making the transition to cleantech.  For more information, visit

About Colorado Cleantech Industry Association
The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) represents the interests of the state’s cleantech industry. Its mission is to further establish Colorado as a world leader in clean technology by providing representation and advocacy, a unified voice, relevant programming and capacity development. For more information, visit