Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster Unveils Finalists for Cleantech Innovation Awards

Winners will be announced Wednesday, December 8th at awards ceremony and networking event in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (December 2, 2021) – Finalists 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 in-person awards ceremony and networking reception on Wednesday, December 8th from 4pm to 6:30pm at Market Hall in Raleigh. Registration is now open for the event.

“Among the many wonderful nominees, the Awards Committee has selected an exceptional group of finalists that we are excited to honor on December 8,” said Deb Wojcik, Executive Director of RTCC. “The Cleantech Innovation Awards recognize and celebrate the innovations, investments, and cleantech project deployments moving the Research Triangle and North Carolina toward a cleaner, healthier future. We congratulate all the nominees and finalists for their contributions to our state’s leadership in clean energy, water, transportation, local government, economic development, research innovation, entrepreneurship, talent development, equity, and diversity.”

The finalists 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.

2021 Finalists:

  • ndustrial - Lineage Logistic Energy Savings Initiatives
  • 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 Finalists:

  • 374Water
  • NALA Systems Reverse Osmosis Membranes 

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 Finalists:

  • City of Raleigh’s Flood Early Warning System
  • 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 Finalist:

  • 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 Finalists:

  • City of Raleigh Titanium Enhanced Pavements Pilot Project
  • Hitachi Energy Grid eMotion – Fleet Electrification

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 Finalists:

  • Srdjan Lukic, FREEDM Systems Center at NC State University
  • Vestaron Operations, Vestaron Corporation

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 Finalists:

  • Charlotte Area Transit System Electric Bus Program
  • 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 Finalists:

  • 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 Finalists:

  • IE Cleantech Corner – UNC Institute for the Environment
  • Partnership Raleigh Community Climate Intern Program

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

Cleantech Champion of the Year – Governor Roy Cooper will be honored as the North Carolina Cleantech Champion for 2021. He plans to accept the award and offer comments at the awards ceremony. The Cleantech Champion Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies a deep commitment to advancing the cleantech industry in the state of North Carolina. Governor Cooper plans to attend the Awards Ceremony and speak about the importance of clean energy and clean technologies for North Carolina’s future prosperity.

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.

  • Winner to be announced at the Awards Ceremony.

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]

Stay up-to-date on the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster's latest news and opportunities.

Upcoming Events

Welcome New Members