CI Works Visited in May by Mass Clean Energy Center CEO – Steve Pike
Clean energy has been a hot topic lately, and we’ve been actively participating in the discussion. Steve Pike joined us in May to both check on his (Mass CEC) investments and discuss opportunities with our ‘clean-tech’ tenant companies. Mass CEC has funded investments in FIVE businesses located here in Amesbury through various programs, representing critically needed capital for each company at crucial stages to continue. CEC has also implemented significant reporting requirements from each recipient company to ensure appropriate and best use of awarded funds for approved uses. Nobody ever said getting money from Mass CEC was easy and not well earned.
Pike was able to validate the current status of each company at CI Works and discuss ways that the CEC might further support their advancement. The reporting requirements provide information on each company’s path forward as well as commercial readiness. All five companies continue to be viable entities on the path to market revenue and job creation. Steve then suggested that the CEC DeployMass program could now be a viable resource for each business. DeployMass funds clean energy projects with Massachusetts based commercially-ready technologies where the benefit would be obtained by the applicable municipality hosting the project. The formula seems to make sense to me – revenue to Massachusetts companies, safe technology investment by CEC, commercially-ready technology, and benefits to the host city.
Now the downside – getting a municipality to embrace some new technology(ies) and a different and easier approach than that required through public procurement regulations, which is what they already know. Has anyone ever heard of ‘the definition of insanity’? This has been a continued source of challenge in advancing the DeployMass methodology, according to Pike. You can’t really have a state that claims to be a ‘leader in innovation’ that is comprised of municipalities that resist change and progress.
So, in summary, a program that could be beneficial to Massachusetts companies looking to achieve job creation in a ‘clean tech / environmentally friendly’ way, represent a second round of investment for an investor – Mass CEC - in a technology that they are pretty familiar with already, has been validated as commercially ready by the state, does not require the extensively obsessive and costly public procurement requirements, and would represent a $$$ savings to the municipality does not make sense to advance. Go figure…