Mayor Nutter Announces Grants To Cutting-Edge Clean Tech Businesses

Article available on Politics PA.

Awards will assist Philadelphia companies in bringing products to market.

Philadelphia, October 28, 2010 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the City would offer grants to three local businesses developing cutting edge green technologies.  This effort, titled the Greenworks Pilot Energy Technology Program (G-PET), will help the companies conduct real-world pilots of their products, a crucial step toward bringing their products successfully to market.  The businesses receiving grants are: BuLogics, a building energy management systems firm, NovaThermal, a maker of innovative heat pumps, and Niche Waste, a manufacturer of sophisticated food waste management systems.

“Turning ideas into products, companies and jobs is one of the most important things we can do to harness the power of the growing clean tech economy,” said Mayor Nutter.  “That’s what this is all about – helping Philadelphia businesses bring their concepts to life.  Thoughtful investment strategies are why the region is increasingly seen as a center for the clean tech economy.  It’s why the Department of Energy and other federal agencies are investing nearly $130 million to build the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC), and why cutting edge international firms like the Mark Group are basing their operations in Philadelphia.”

The goal of this innovation program, the only one of its kind in the United States, was to find companies whose products had sound technical footing and strong business plans but were still relatively untested.  Demonstrating “real world” success by finding a “first user” can be a major barrier to the success of new projects. Therefore, G-PET helped companies find that “first user” by absorbing the cost and risk of adopting the product.

For several of the awards, the “first user” will actually be a public facility, meaning that the City will benefit not only indirectly, from the growth of the companies being supported, but directly, in the form of savings on energy costs on its own bills.

“We are truly thankful to be a recipient of the Greenworks Pilot Energy Technology Program grant, a wonderful initiative sponsored by the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners,” said Mirka Walczak, chief executive officer of BuLogics, Inc.  “Our company mission is to help others save energy through our inventions, while maintaining a socially and environmentally responsible attitude in all that we do.  And the G-Pet grant allows us to do just that.”

“We may never have been able to pave the way for such exciting energy conservation projects without the G-PET grant.  Evolve Guest Controls, and its Philadelphia-based technology affiliate BuLogics, will bring innovation and energy savings to the Inn at Penn that we feel will make a significant impact on our use of energy resources.  We look forward to our installation of this state-of-the-art guest room energy management system, “Greg Stafford, General Manager, Inn at Penn.

Awards from the program are as follows:

Awardee Amount of Award Project

BuLogics $175,000 New energy control systems at the Navy Yard and the Inn at Penn

Nova Thermal $150,000 New heat pump for building heat and energy extraction from effluent stream at Philadelphia Water Department Facility

Niche Waste $18,500 Composting dumpster for bio-waste at Navy Yard

G-PET was developed by the City of Philadelphia and implemented in partnership with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  Applicants applied online over the summer, and their applications were reviewed by a panel of independent scientists and investors to select those that have the best chance of moving successfully into the market, creating jobs, and advancing the region as a center for the clean tech economy.

“G-PET is unique. Its goal is to fund pilot testing of new energy-related products being developed by innovative, regional enterprises. That work will help accelerate the introduction of new products into the marketplace,” said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA.

Given the success of the first round of G-PET, a second round of funding is being made available immediately.  Applicants can apply online at http://www.sep.benfranklin.org/programs-services/industries-sectors/energy/g-pet/.

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