About the Awards

The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster created the annual Cleantech Innovation Awards to recognize cleantech initiatives, projects, and innovations from companies, organizations, and government agencies that have contributed to the growing cleantech ecosystem in North Carolina. 

The awards celebrate a range of creative solutions from water technologies to renewables and new transportation models, among others.

The 2022 Award Ceremony took place on November 9, 2022 at SAS Institute in Cary, N.C.

Award Categories

Cleantech Champion

Recognizes an individual who exemplifies a deep commitment to advancing the cleantech industry in their local community, the Research Triangle region, or statewide. Achievements may include demonstrated dedication to cleantech innovation or adoption, business expansion or relocation, development of high-impact technology, or spearheading regional/cross-sectoral collaboration to drive innovation.

Cleantech Entrepreneur Award

Recognizes an individual who has demonstrated innovation through the development of new technology or advancing existing technology that has the potential to disrupt traditional industries, create a cleaner planet, and improve the quality of life for people here in North Carolina or around the world.

Cleantech Research Innovation

Recognizes an individual or team pursuing a research-based solution to a pressing cleantech challenge, working toward commercialization of a research-based cleantech innovation, or spearheading a new collaboration between research and industry.

Cleantech Talent Development

Recognizes an organization or initiative that has made a significant contribution to developing talent, providing professional development, or fostering employment opportunities that support the cleantech industry in the region or state. Examples may include a corporate apprenticeship or internship program, a community college or university certificate in clean technologies, or a K-12 curriculum or outreach program.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Cleantech

Recognizes an organization or initiative that has demonstrated a strong commitment to building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive cleantech economy. Examples may include deployments that focus specifically on the equitable availability of cleantech solutions, initiatives that address existing inequalities through new cleantech investments, targeted efforts to help underrepresented groups explore cleantech career opportunities, or inclusion-focused mentoring or networking initiatives.

Cleantech Impact: Energy

Recognizes an energy project that applies cleantech to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include innovations to existing grid infrastructure to enhance resiliency, renewable energy installations, microgrid deployments, or innovative energy efficiency programs.

Cleantech Impact: Transportation

Recognizes a transportation or mobility project that uses innovative cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents.

Cleantech Impact: Water

Recognizes a water, wastewater, or stormwater project that applies cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents.

Cleantech Impact: Local Government

Recognizes a local government that has effectively leveraged resources and partnerships to complete an innovative project or initiative deploying cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include smart city technology deployments, collaborative stormwater management agreements, or cross-departmental teams addressing climate change or cleantech adoption or deployment.

Cleantech Impact: Economic Development

Recognizes a cleantech organization that has accelerated economic growth in the region or state. Examples may include a cleantech business that has relocated to the region or state, an organization that has made a significant impact through the application of clean technologies, or an organization that has enabled cleantech economic growth. *NOTE: Awarded at RTCC discretion and is not part of the public nomination and judging process.

Meet Our Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Host Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Finalists are listed in green

Cleantech Research Innovation

Judy Riffle & Sue Mecham

Chris Vermillion

Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Research Team


Cotton Incorporated

Windlift, Inc

Perotech Inc

WATER BROS Desalination, LLC

Calcite by 8 Rivers

Cleantech Talent Development

Successful Training and Effective Industry Partnerships for Growing Regional Opportunities in Workforce To Harness (STEPs4GROWTH)

Cleantech Talent Development through STEM Education in the Energy and Transportation Sectors

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Cleantech


Partnership Raleigh Intern Programs

Women in Clean Energy

Cleantech Impact: Energy

North Carolina Electric Cooperative Deployment

Statesville Blast Freezing Optimization

Grid Guardian AI

Publicly Disclosed Building Energy Benchmarking Report

SCWRF Solar Facility Acquisition

Behind the Meter Peaking Project


Cleantech Impact: Transportation

Native Electric

GoGreen with Cleantech

Town of Cary Fleet Vehicles

Innovative solid-state circuit breaker for more sustainable transportation

Cleantech Impact: Water

Chatham Park Water Recovery Center

Internet of Water

North Cary Water Reclamation Facility

Large-Scale HVAC AHU Condensate Capture to Reduce Stormwater and Use of Drinking Water

Cleantech Impact: Local Government

Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract

Solarize the Triangle

Scott Northern Wake Campus – Building R Hendrick Automotive Center for Excellence

Leading the Charge Decal Design Competition

LoRa Network