Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster Announces 2021 Cleantech Innovation Award Nominees

Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster to recognize significant contributions from the companies, organizations, government entities, and individuals that have advanced cleantech solutions and deployments across North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. (November 15, 2021) – Nominees for the Third 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 of the regional and 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 reception on Wednesday, December 8h from 4pm to 6:30pm at Market Hall in Raleigh. Registration is now open for the event.

The Cleantech Innovation Awards are an opportunity for RTCC to celebrate our members and others in North Carolina who are addressing the challenges of sustainability, clean energy, and climate change through their innovative technologies and initiatives,” said Deb Wojcik, Executive Director of RTCC. This year’s nominees have made impactful contributions across a wide range of projects, from clean energy, water, transportation, local government, economic development, research innovation, entrepreneurship, talent development, equity, and diversity.”

The nominees for each category are listed below:

Cleantech Research Innovation Award – Recognizes an individual or group 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.

2021 Nominees:

  • Marc A. Deshusses, 374 Water
  • Matt Carver,, Inc.
  • Gerald Meyer, CHASE
  • Srdjan Lukic, FREEDM Systems Center at NC State University
  • Internet of Water, Duke University Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions/Energy Initiative
  • Sue Mecham, NALA Systems
  • NSF AERPAW Platform, NC State University
  • Chris Vermillion, NC State University, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • Vestaron Operations, Vestaron Corporation

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.

2021 Nominees:

  • Carteret Craven Electric Cooperative Customer-Owned Generation
  • City of Charlotte Sustainable Facilities Policy
  • Duke Energy Deploys Decarbonization As-A-Service With The Town of Cary
  • Eagle Solar & Light (ESL) - Benevolence Farm Solar Installation
  • ndustrial - Lineage Logistic Energy Savings Initiatives
  • New River Light & Power Green Power Program
  • PowerSecure’s Rich Square Market Microgrid

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

2021 Nominees:

  • 374Water
  • NALA Systems Reverse Osmosis Membranes
  • Town of Cary’s Stormwater Project

 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.

2021 Nominees:

  • City of Raleigh’s Flood Early Warning System
  • City of Sanford Smart City Pilot
  • Town of Morrisville’s Smart Parks Project

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.

2021 Nominees:

  • Smart Wires

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 EV charging deployments, micro-transit initiatives, or efforts to improve mass transit systems.

2021 Nominees:

  • City of Raleigh Titanium Enhanced Pavements Pilot Project
  • Hitachi Energy Grid eMotion – Fleet Electrification
  • PlaneView – An employee air travel emissions awareness dashboard
  • TransLoc’s OnDemand

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.

2021 Nominees:                             

  • City of Asheville’s Climate Justice Initiative
  • City of Raleigh Community Climate Action Plan
  • Charlotte Area Transit System Electric Bus Program
  • The Climate Service
  • Oak City Baptist Church Solar Installation

Diversity in Cleantech Award – Recognizes an organization or initiative that has made significant contributions to ensuring the cleantech workforce reflects the people it serves. 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.

2021 Nominees:

  • EPA-RTP’s Community Engagement & STEM Education Program
  • Center for Energy Education (C4EE)
  • Women in Climate Tech (WiCT)

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.

2021 Nominees:

  • Duke University Energy Initiative and the James E. Rogers Energy Access Project
  • IE Cleantech Corner – UNC Institute for the Environment
  • Partnership Raleigh Community Climate Intern Program
  • Power+ Graduate Rotational Program & Power+ Internship Program

The following two individual awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on December 8th:

Cleantech Champion of the Year – Recognizes an individual who exemplifies a deep commitment to advancing the cleantech industry in the region or state. Achievements may include demonstrated dedication to sustainability, 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.

There are opportunities for companies to partner with RTCC as a sponsor for the awards event, and registration is currently open to join the celebration on Wednesday, December 8th from 4:00pm to 6:30pm at Market Hall in Raleigh.

About Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC)

The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) is an initiative of business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders working to accelerate the region’s cleantech economy through collaboration and partnerships that promote innovation and sector growth. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Deb Wojcik
Executive Director
Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster
[email protected]

Media contact:
Chris Burke
BtB Marketing Communications
[email protected]

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