Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator Launches First Cohort

16 Jan 2020

The Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) is pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of five companies has launched through its new business acceleration program, the Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator (MEIA).

"The Maryland Clean Energy Center has committed financial resources and technical expertise to pull innovative advanced energy technologies out of the lab into the marketplace," said Geoff Oxnam, MCEC Board Chair. "We are wrapping these technological advances with the necessary support to create new companies and job opportunities in Maryland."

MEIA's first cohort includes technologies from a wide range of clean energy industries that demonstrate the diversity of Maryland's clean energy research and development activities. Four of the five technologies relate to work performed at the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute at the University of Maryland. Two technologies from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), and two technologies are from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). The fifth technology was created by University of Maryland alumni and UMD Engineering Hall of Fame member Emilio Fernandez to provide energy savings opportunities to buildings where tenants do not pay individual utility bills.

The technologies include:

  1. Non-flammable Battery that Operates at Extreme Temperatures – A non-flammable, rechargeable Li-ion battery that operates in extreme temperatures (between -80 and 100 degrees Celsius) even after cutting and exposure to air and water. (UMD)
  2.  Membrane and Catalyst Technologies for Methane Upgrading to Mitigate Natural Gas Flaring – A method of converting methane to other valued-added materials, such as C2 hydrocarbons and higher hydrocarbons through a single-step non-oxidative conversion reactor. (UMD)
  3. Self-Powered Sensor for Wind Turbines to Enhance Wind Turbine Performance – A novel piezoelectrically powered sensor for wind turbine blades to decrease operations and maintenance costs for wind energy, making wind projects more affordable. (UMBC)
  4. Tidal Turbine Variable Transmission for Electricity Generation – A novel infinitely variable transmission that converts irregular low speed tidal motion to a constant energy output via an induction generator. (UMBC)
  5. Energy Efficiency for Master-Metered Multifamily Buildings – Programmable thermostats connected via a mesh network enable multifamily buildings with centralized HVAC systems to save energy and money on utility bills.

Meet the Cohort 1 Teams at: https://mdeia.org/meet-cohort-1

"MEIA is the first accelerator that I have seen that focuses on building out the founding team," said Dongxia Liu, Professor of Engineering at UMD College Park, and inventor of one of MEIA's core technologies. "As an inventor who is also a member of the University of Maryland faculty, it is very difficult to find businesspeople who want to collaborate with me on founding a new business. MEIA's accelerator provides a risk-free way for me to work with a team of great business executives to determine how to take my technology forward."

Corporate Sponsors for the Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator include Exelon Corporation, Banner Witcoff, Nelson Mullens, Snyder Cohn, and Paley Rothman. 

"Exelon stands with the overwhelming majority of our customers who want cleaner air and affordable, reliable energy," said Lara Pierpoint, Director of Innovation at Exelon Corporation. "We are very excited to support technology innovation in Maryland, particularly since the Cohort 1 technologies have such great potential to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption in our BGE and Pepco service territories."

"Our first Cohort demonstrates the broad range of technologies being developed in Maryland," said Brian Toll, MEIA Director. "Over the next six months, our teams of inventors and business experts will follow the Lean Startup methodology to determine whether businesses should be created. We hope these teams will go on to found technology businesses in Maryland."

Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator Program | http://www.mdeia.org