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UNH, State Partner to Bring Green Technologies to Market, Create Jobs

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
February 3, 2010

Mike Ross/Manager Photographic Services
Gov. John Lynch remarks at a kickoff event for the University of New Hampshire's Green Launching Pad, a program administered by the university in partnership with the state that will bring sustainable technologies and green collar jobs to the marketplace. Seated (from left) are President Mark Huddleston and Richard Ober, vice president of civic leadership and communications at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

UNH and the State of New Hampshire have partnered to create the Green Launching Pad, an initiative that will bring new green technologies to the marketplace, help innovative clean technology companies succeed, and support the creation of “green” economy jobs in New Hampshire.

Through the Green Launching Pad, companies, both established and start-ups, will receive extensive financial, operational, technical, and managerial support to launch and commercialize green energy products and services. This will include products and services to enhance energy efficiency and renewable energy. By accelerating these products and services to market, the program will help reduce energy use and carbon emissions while creating new jobs and economic opportunities in New Hampshire.  

The program, which starts immediately, will draw on the engineering, energy, environmental, and business research at UNH. It also will connect green entrepreneurs with angel investors and business mentors, giving these business ventures intensive support to launch or expand and to create new jobs.

"We are focused on helping New Hampshire businesses get back to work today and ensuring that we are growing the jobs of the future right here in New Hampshire. This exciting partnership between the state and the University of New Hampshire will allow us to continue to grow new businesses and new jobs,” Gov. John Lynch said. “This will make it possible for even more companies to create the technologies that will reduce pollution, reduce energy costs and provide new sources of energy. Through the Green Launching Pad, we can and we will help these companies grow and create jobs right here in New Hampshire."

The Green Launching Pad is the vision of Ross Gittell, the James R. Carter Professor and professor of management, Jesse Devitte, the founder and CEO of Borealis Ventures and Richard Ober, vice president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. They were joined in developing the vision and developing the program by George Hurtt, associate professor of natural resources and the environment and director of the UNH Complex Systems Research Center; A.R. (Venky) Venkatachalam, chair of the Department of Decision Sciences and professor of information systems; Kevin Gardner, associate professor of environmental engineering and director of the UNH Environmental Research Group; and John Orcutt, professor of law and associate dean of Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Each year, the Green Launching Pad will solicit submissions from New Hampshire entrepreneurs, businesses, students, and researchers – anyone who has an idea or a product and needs support to bring it to fruition and take it to market. An advisory board will select at least three business teams that will be supported during an intensive summer business accelerator program based in the Seacoast and aligned with UNH.

These projects will receive up to $90,000 each in funding and accelerated business development support, including mentorship and coaching from technology, engineering and services industry professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs as well as professional, legal and management advice, networking with funders and supporting businesses, access to office and meeting spaces, and critical operating support from the university.

The first business launch teams will participate in the summer business accelerator program in summer 2010. For more information, visit http://www.greenlaunchingpad.org/.

The $750,000 program is funded through the NH State Office of Energy with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for two years. After two years, the program is intended to become self-sustaining through industry, private foundations, and funds that revolve back into the program from successful ventures.

“New Hampshire has a long tradition of conservation – of being green. We also have a high concentration of technology businesses and a citizenship with great entrepreneurial spirit. This program will draw on all of those. To prosper in a world of change is to be nimble, imaginative, and responsive to our world; in short, to embrace a spirit of enterprise in all we do. We know the ideas are out there to leverage the emerging green economy to New Hampshire advantage. This program will help find and fund those ideas, creating opportunities for new jobs and economic growth,” President Mark Huddleston said.

UNH is a leader in conserving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and integrating sustainability throughout its curricula, operations, research, and engagement efforts. UNH has earned many accolades for its sustainability initiatives, including awards and recognition from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Sustainable Endowments Institute, Sierra Club, Princeton Review, and Business NH Magazine.

Highlights of its sustainability commitment include EcoLine™, an innovative landfill gas-to-energy project that will provide up to 85 percent of the university’s energy needs; Green Launching Pad, partnership with the State of New Hampshire to bring green technologies to the marketplace; having the largest transit system in the state; being the first in the nation to receive an EPA Energy Star building rating for residence halls; a new EcoGastronomy dual major; a graduate certificate in sustainability politics and policy; and innovative research and engagement efforts like Carbon Solutions New England and the NH Farm to School program.


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