Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster welcomes four new members

Research Triangle Region, N.C. – A federal agency and three new companies have joined the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) as members.

“Each of these organizations offers innovative technologies and expertise that enhance our region’s cleantech ecosystem,” said Lee Anne Nance, RTCC managing director and executive vice president of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, which formed and manages the RTCC. “We are delighted they are stepping forward to invest in a community that is creating economic opportunity for our region and sustainable solutions for our world.”

The four new members are:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which operates its largest research and development facility in Research Triangle Park.
  • Hoffman Building Technologies, a division of Hoffman & Hoffman Inc., a Greensboro-based provider of integration, energy management, building automation, mechanical, ventilation and filtration systems that operates an office in Raleigh.
  • Mobix Inc., an affiliate of Spartanburg, S.C.-based Gibbs International Inc., that provides smart meter communication solutions for electric, gas and water providers.
  • KoolBridge Solar Inc., a Wrightsville Beach startup developing smart products for solar systems.

EPA’s RTP campus houses approximately 2,000 federal employees and contract staff. Its scientists study risk and exposure to contaminants and environmental stressors and their effects on human health and the environment.

“What we do at EPA goes hand in hand with growing the economy,” said Chris Robbins, deputy director of EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Lab. “We have internationally renowned scientists and researchers who work to protect human health and the environment. We see growth opportunities with the cleantech cluster and are bringing EPA resources to the table to help the cluster achieve its goals.”

The three new company members each bring new technologies to the cluster as well as an interest in partnering with others who can help them grow their businesses.

Hoffman Building Technologies, for instance, offers building automation and control solutions that provide a graphic representation of energy use in a building so customers can make decisions in real time as well as demand response systems that manage energy more efficiently, said Steve Carter, director of sales.

“We’re eager to connect with developers, utilities, engineers and others working in sustainability in this region to show them what we can do,” Carter said. “So often, these solutions are an after-thought. We want to move them to the forefront of the design process, integrating tools into the building design so customers can proactively manage their environments.”

Mobix, RTCC’s first small industry member, seeks to collaborate on cleantech innovations with others in the region. The company’s patented solution offers a reliable, secure and cost-efficient network to connect electric, water and gas utilities with their customers and grid assets using a simultaneous dual hybrid radio frequency (RF) and power line communication (PLC) infrastructure.

“We are excited to be part of the cleantech cluster and look forward to exploring how we can make a contribution as we introduce Mobix technology in the United States,” said Steve Trakas, senior operating officer.

KoolBridge Solar, meanwhile, seeks strategic partners for its novel smart solar technology.  The company holds two patents and has three others pending that aim to reduce the cost of solar power and improve performance by bridging residential and commercial solar systems with the electric power grid.

“We’d like to help make North Carolina a powerhouse cleantech cluster,” said Stephen Burnett, co-founder, chairman and CEO. “It’s already being done through the efforts of some really brilliant people in the region. We’re honored to be a part of that group and would like to make a contribution.”

About the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

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. The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) formed and manages the RTCC with funding from industry board members ABB Inc., Cisco Systems, Duke Energy, Field2Base Inc., Itron Inc., Piedmont Natural Gas, Power Analytics Corp., PowerSecure International, RTI International, SAS, Schneider Electric, Sensus and Siemens and its members. RTRP leads economic development for the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina.

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