Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster Announces 2023 Cleantech Innovation Award Nominees

Companies, organizations, government agencies, and individuals that have advanced cleantech solutions across North Carolina to be recognized for their outstanding contributions by the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster awards program. 

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 4, 2023) – Nominees for the Fourth Annual Cleantech Innovation Awards have been announced by the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC), an initiative of business, government, academic, and nonprofit leaders focused on accelerating the growth and leadership of the statewide cleantech economy. The awards are judged by leaders and executives from the cleantech industry and public sectors.  

The winners in each category will be announced at an awards ceremony and networking event on Thursday, November 16th from 4:30pm to 8:00pm at the SAS Institute in Cary. Registration is now open for the event. 

“RTCC’s annual Cleantech Innovation Awards bring the North Carolina cleantech community together to celebrate innovative technologies, organizations, teams, and individuals advancing our cleantech ecosystem in North Carolina and beyond,” said Dr. Deb Wojcik, Executive Director of RTCC. “This year’s nominees have made significant contributions across a wide range of projects, ranging from clean energy, water, transportation, local government, economic development, research innovation, entrepreneurship, talent development, equity, and diversity. We are excited to share these nominees with you and celebrate all of them—including our winners—at what will be an outstanding event on November 16th.” 

The nominees for each category are listed below: 

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. 
2023 Nominees: 

  • Circular Design Consulting and Real Estate Experts – Array 
  • 8 Rivers – 8RH2 Low Carbon Hydrogen Generation Technology 
  • Duke Energy – Hotsprings Microgrid (Madison County) 
  • Ndustrial – Real-time Energy Optimize Module 
  • N-Smart – Smart Grid Resiliency 
  • SAS Institute – Real-Time Machine Learning Modeling for Renewable Energy Systems 

Cleantech Impact: Local Government – Recognizes a local government or governments that have 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, collaborative solar projects, or cross-departmental teams addressing climate change or cleantech adoption or deployment. 
2023 Nominees: 

  • City of Durham – Bull E-Bike Pilot 
  • Town of Cary – Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation (CASSI) program 
  • Town of Cary Utilities – Energy & Greenhouse Gas Inventory Audit 
  • Central Pines Regional Council – Solarize the Triangle 
  • Wake Tech – Scott Northern Wake Campus, Building R Hendrick Automotive Center for Excellence 

Cleantech Impact: Transportation – Recognizes a transportation or mobility project that uses innovative cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include successful fleet electrification projects, EV charging deployments, microtransit initiatives, or efforts to enhance the energy efficiency of mass transit systems. 

2023 Nominees: 

  • Atom Power Solid State Circuit Breaker 
  • City of Durham – Bull E-Bike Pilot 
  • Hollar & Greene Produce / Surrey Yadkin EMC – Electric Transport Refrigeration Unit Pilot 
  • Southeast Electric Transportation Regional Initiative (SETRI) – Southeast Portal for Electric Transportation Opportunities 
  • Town of Cary – Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation (CASSI) program 

Cleantech Impact: Water – Recognizes a water, wastewater, or stormwater project that applies cleantech solutions to create positive impacts for the environment, economy, and residents. Examples may include deployment of smart metering solutions at scale, application of data to identify opportunities for water conservation, or innovative technology deployments that improve water quality and the environment. 

2023 Nominees: 

  • City of Raleigh – Raleigh Water Sewer Main Failure Prediction Analysis 
  • Reynolds American – Reynolds WaterHub 
  • Wake County – One Water Plan 

Cleantech Research Innovation Award – Recognizes an individual or team from industry or within an institution of higher learning that is 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. 

2023 Nominees: 

  • Dr. Aram Amassian, NC State University – RoboMapper 
  • Dr. Leila Hajibabi, NC State University – Game-Theoretic Scheduling for Charging Facilities 
  • Dr. James Martin, NC State University – Water Chemistry 
  • Dr. Mie Muglia, NC Renewable Ocean Energy Program – Marine Energy 
  • Perotech – Perovskite Solar Cell Technology 
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Undergraduate Capstone Project Teams 
  • Dr. Wensong Yu, NC State University – NC Solar Inverters (NCSI) 

Cleantech Talent Development Award – 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 K-12 curriculum or outreach program. 

2023 Nominees: 

  • Appalachian Energy Center Workshop Series 
  • Coastal Studies Institute Public Engagement & Outreach 
  • Hitachi Energy Power + Program 
  • North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center Clean Energy Training Program 
  • EPA-RTP Community Engagement & STEM Education (CE-STEM) Program’s Summer Science Institute 

Equity in Cleantech Award – Recognizes an organization or initiative that has demonstrated a strong commitment to equity in the implementation of a cleantech project. Examples may include deployments that focus specifically on the equitable availability of cleantech solutions, initiatives that address existing inequalities through new cleantech investments, and stakeholder engagement processes specifically designed to promote inclusion in planning or implementation processes.  
2023 Nominees:  

  • City of Durham – Bull E-Bike Pilot 
  • HBCU Clean Energy Initiative 

Diversity in Cleantech Award – Recognizes an organization or initiative that has made significant contributions to ensuring the cleantech workforce reflects the people it serves, pursues organizational approaches that are inclusive of a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, or actively supports employees’ sense of belonging within the organization. Examples may include targeted efforts to help underrepresented groups explore cleantech career opportunities, corporate programs designed to recruit and support underrepresented employees, or inclusion-focused mentoring or networking initiatives.  
2023 Nominees:  

  • City of Raleigh – Partnership Raleigh Community Climate Intern program and Conservation Intern Program 
  • Hitachi Energy North American Empower Network for Employee Resource Groups 
  • NC Clean Energy Technology Center – NIST-RACER: Building Pandemic Resilience in Native American Communities 

The following awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on November 16th:  

Cleantech Champion of the Year – 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 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. 

RTCC also recognizes the contributions of the 2023 Cleantech Innovation Awards’ sponsors, including the Platinum Sponsor, Power Secure, and Host Sponsor, SAS Institute. Additional sponsorships are available. Organizations interested in sponsoring this event can contact  

Registration is currently open to join the celebration on Thursday, November 16th from 4:30pm to 8:00pm at the SAS Institute in Cary, NC. 

About Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC)
The mission of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) is to accelerate growth and leadership of the cleantech economy, leveraging the unique concentration of industry, academic, and government leaders in the Research Triangle to create benefits through innovation, deployment, and talent in the region, North Carolina, and beyond.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Deb Wojcik
Executive Director
Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

Media contact:
Chris Burke
BtB Marketing Communications

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