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Experts Gather at New York Academy of Sciences to Strategize Clean-Tech Business Development

A new Advisory Board will guide NYSERDA’s proof-of-concept centers in helping scientists and inventors to create successful New York State-based businesses around clean energy.

Published June 18, 2014

NEW YORK, June 18, 2014—Today, renowned experts in energy, innovation, and entrepreneurship will convene at the New York Academy of Sciences to discuss strategic direction for New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) three clean energy proof-of-concept centers (POCCs). Announced in January 2013, the POCCs, which were each awarded $5 million, are located at Columbia University and the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering (which have collaborated to form PowerBridgeNY), and High Tech Rochester. Each center is dedicated to helping inventors and scientists turn their high-tech, clean energy ideas into successful businesses. 

To further this goal, the Academy, which serves in an advisory capacity for the POCCs, in concert with NYSERDA, formed an Advisory Board of experts to provide strategic advice the POCCs. The Board was selected for their collective, extensive experience working across sectors, including academia, the private sector, government, and non-profits, in the areas of energy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

The Advisory Board is comprised of:

  • Richard Adams, Manager, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • William Aulet, Senior Lecturer; Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • David Audretsch, PhD, Distinguished Professor; Director, Institute for Development Strategies; and Ameritech Chair of Economic Development, Indiana University
  • Abigail Barrow,PhD, Founding Director, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center
  • Bill Bonvillian, Director, MIT Washington Office, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • C. Michael Cassidy, President and CEO, Georgia Research Alliance
  • Jerry Engel, Senior Fellow and Founding Executive Director Emeritus, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, Berkeley-Haas School of Business
  • Jerry McGuire, Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Willem Rensink, PhD, GameChanger, Shell International Exploration & Production
  • Dawn Tew, Program Director, Global University Program, IBM
  • Robert Strom, PhD, Director of Research and Policy, The Kauffman Foundation


"Tomorrow's clean energy challenges demand breakthrough solutions. The POCCs will combine our best academic science and engineering with our finest entrepreneurial methods," says Jerry Engel, Senior Fellow and Founding Executive Director Emeritus, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, Berkeley-Haas School of Business. "I am excited to have the opportunity to help make them a great success!"

Advisory Board members will brainstorm with the Centers on ways to improve their technology processes in order to best help budding entrepreneurs translate their technology from the research lab into the marketplace. The discussion will also focus on how the Centers' efforts can help contribute to the broader innovation and clean technology ecosystem in New York State. 

Following the event, the Academy will host a Cleantech Startup Showcase where over 40 of the most innovative clean-technology companies will showcase their groundbreaking, carbon-reducing technologies to a group of 250 distinguished guests. This event is part of New York Energy Week, which was launched in 2013 by EnerKnol to fuel collaboration and investment among the energy industry by convening a week of events representing renewables, fossil fuels, utilities, regulators, finance, government, academia, law, media, and more.

"The Academy is proud to play a role in these exciting initiatives, as we recognize that the development of innovative clean energy businesses is an essential goal, not only for the economic and environmental benefit of New York State, but for the entire scientific community," says Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO, the New York Academy of Sciences.

For more information or press requests related to the POCC Advisory Board or the Cleantech Startup Showcase, please contact Diana Friedman (; 212-298-8645).

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The New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With 22,000 members around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at