The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently awarded three separate $5 million grants to educational institutions in New York State to create clean energy proof-of-concept centers (POCCs). PowerBridgeNY is the result of the collaboration of two of the awardee teams. One POCC led by Columbia University includes Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, and Cornell NYC Tech, and the other POCC led by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering includes City University of New York. These two POCCs have decided to work together to create PowerBridgeNY. As a joint center, PowerBridgeNY is better positioned to provide more support for all aspects of technical validation and company formation for early-stage clean energy technologies. In addition, the Center will be able to foster a more robust ecosystem around the clean energy sector in downstate New York.

The goal of PowerBridgeNY is to leverage clean energy innovations emerging from institutional research labs to create more and stronger energy businesses in New York State. PowerBridgeNY will identify promising early stage technologies and invest in translational work to advance these technologies towards technical validation. The Program will provide support to selected project teams for all aspects of company formation. This includes active mentoring and project management to aid in assessing the competitive landscape, developing a business plan, team building, and securing investors as well as financial investments from PowerBridgeNY to translational projects for prototyping and in-field testing studies.  To further aid these emergent companies, PowerBridgeNY seeks to enhance the cleantech ecosystem in downstate New York by hosting a number of networking and educational events throughout the year.


Learn about PowerBridgeNY and our Judges.


  • Andrew Reid
    Senior Scientist
  • Ben Sampson

    GE Ventures
  • Blake Stevens
    Vice President
    Harris & Harris Group
  • Christopher Cavanagh
    National Grid
  • David Cruikshank
    Arch Ventures
  • Edward Greer
    DOW Chemical Company
  • John Lee
    Osage Ventures
  • Josh Gould
    Utility of the Future
    Con Edison
  • Margarett Jolly
    Director of Research and Development
  • Mark Johnson
    Smart Cities Chief
    Schneider Electric
  • Nena Golubovic
    Director, Physical Sciences
    IP Group
  • Parker White
    Sustainability Director
    Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital
  • Praveen Sahay
    Managing Director
    WAVE Equity Partners
  • Shirley Speakman

    Cycle Capital
  • Steve Kloos
    True North Ventures


PowerBridgeNY's Judges


i2e = invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is NYU Tandon School of Engineering's fundamentally new way of approaching academics and research by arming faculty and students with the tools, resources, and inspiration to turn their research into applications, products, and services that take flight as faculty- and student-owned companies.

NYU Tandon School of Engineering started its first business incubator, at its downtown Brooklyn campus in 2004. In 2009 we partnered with New York City to open a second incubator, Varick Street, in Manhattan as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan. In 2009, NYU Tandon School of Engineering also began the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE), an incubator focused on supporting the efforts of clean-technology-oriented companies.

NYC ACRE helps clean technology and renewable energy companies in New York City grow, advancing the City as a role model for environmental sustainability and smart growth. NYC ACRE is seeded by a four year, $1.5M grant from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to NYU Tandon School of Engineering aimed at growing an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, international companies, and innovative local businesses that are providing solutions to climate and energy issues while growing the cleantech/renewable energy sector and creating jobs in NYC.

NYU ranks first among U.S. research universities in overall license income over the past five years and significantly above the national average in most measures of technology transfer activity per research dollar expended: double the number of patents, 23 percent above the national average in new licenses signed, and 40 percent above the national average in startups created.

The NYU Office of Industrial Liaison (OIL) makes these achievements possible. Its mission is to promote the commercial development of technologies discovered at NYU and NYU Tandon into products to benefit society through traditional licensing or creation of startup companies in which the university holds equity. The OIL also facilitates research collaborations between NYU researchers and industry on projects of mutual interest.

The OIL pioneered a “gap fund” to support “pre-commercialization” research that may be necessary to determine the best path to marketplace, and which can no longer be supported by federal, peer-reviewed funding. This Applied Research Support Fund (which to date has only been available to projects from NYU’s Medical School) has invested a total of $1.6 million to date in such projects, and projects that have received this support have gone on to generate more than $25 million in returns from either licensing revenue or realization of value in a startup.

OIL has helped create 67 startup companies based on NYU technologies both in the biosciences and the physical sciences and from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Many of these startups have remained local to New York City.

CUNY has significantly increased its focus on clean energy technology over the last five years. In 2008, CUNY founded the Energy Institute, which is active in three areas of research: nuclear engineering, oil and gas extraction, and energy storage. The energy storage program has raised over $9 million in federal, state, and utility grants and has developed several technologies that are now ready for commercialization. CUNY has supported the Energy Institute with significant cost share and is committed to duplicating its success in other cleantech initiatives by providing resources and acting as a testbed when appropriate.

At CUNY, the Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) transfers CUNY innovations to the commercial marketplace by nurturing collaboration between academia and industry, by championing sponsored research at various facilities within the university, by licensing CUNY intellectual property to sponsors and other industry partners, and by supporting the formation of new startup companies. Although patentable inventions constitute the majority of TCO’s licensing activities, it also handles matters involving copyright (software), trademark licensing, and tangible research material transfers.

The New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) invests in the Proof-of-Concept Centers (POCCs), which work with academic, industry, and investor partners to move promising clean energy inventions out of the lab and into the market. NYSERDA’s POCC locations include NEXUS-NY (administered by High Tech Rochester, Inc.) as well as Columbia University in the City of New York, and NYU Tandon School of Engineering, which are collaborating as PowerBridge NY.

Brookhaven National Laboratory is the only multidisciplinary national laboratory in the northeast United States. It is home to a vibrant research community exploring a wide spectrum of research which includes: fundamental studies of matter at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), basic studies of the role of electron correlations in complex materials and their applications for energy security through advanced materials such as high temperature superconductors, studies of advanced materials for sustainable chemical conversions, basic and applied research exploring the unique properties of nanoscale materials, research into solutions for energy challenges in the electric grid, and more, covering basic and applied research in physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine.

Brookhaven National Laboratory also operates major user research facilities that have particular importance for materials science and its applications including the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN). The National Synchrotron Light Source II is currently under construction and will soon be the world’s most advanced synchrotron light facility. These facilities provide advanced characterization capabilities allowing both hard and soft materials to be probed with high spatial resolution and high energy resolution, utilizing photon-based probes over a broad spectral range and electron-based probes, including aberration corrected instruments. Brookhaven has also invested in instrumentation and equipment to provide in-situ and environmental capabilities for its photon-based and electron-based analytical and characterization tools, providing enormous support to advance the development and commercialization of a broad spectrum of materials for a variety of applications.

Columbia University is considered to have one of the most experienced and successful technology transfer offices in the world. Since it was founded nearly 30 years ago, Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) has managed more than 4,000 inventions and 1,800 patents and executed more than 500 licenses. These activities are supported by CTV’s 45+ staff members, $10M+ in annual investment in patent prosecution, three full-time, in-house patent attorneys and more than a dozen active outside patent counsel.

Each year, CTV manages, on average, approximately 300 new inventions from Columbia inventors; files over 250 patent applications; executes 50 to 70 license agreements, launches 15 new companies, and generates in excess of $135 million in gross licensing revenues. Columbia’s licensing revenues have consistently placed CTV among the top three technology transfer offices in the country for the past decade.

Columbia Technology Ventures has also been strongly committed to forming spin-offs based on Columbia technology. Since the formation of a dedicated venture lab in 1994, CTV has been involved in the launch of 135 companies, 85 of which are still active, a third of which received venture capital financing and roughly one in six of which experienced a successful exit (for example, IPO or acquisition). This rate of startup creation compares favorably with many of our peer schools around the country; we are very proud of these startups and the many jobs they have created in New York City and across the country.
Cornell has been chosen to build a new tech campus on Roosevelt Island called CornellNYC Tech. The intent of CornellNYC Tech is to directly connect academia and industry in a way that catalyzes growth. CornellNYC Tech will help make New York City a magnet for worldclass researchers, young entrepreneurs, and venture investors while retaining talent prepared to promote change. The curriculum is being designed to bring leading tech talent to key New York industries including media, health care, and construction.

As CornellNYC Tech is still being established, applicants from Cornell University's main Ithaca campus will also be invited to participate in all PowerBridgeNY activities.

The leading technology transfer campus of the State University of New York, Stony Brook co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) with Battelle Memorial Institute on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy and, in its Research and Development Park, is home to the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC). AERTC is the only New York State Center of Excellence with a broad multidisciplinary mission across the energy landscape, and an onsite and affiliated facilities including a DOE EFRC, Smart Grid cybersecurity and energy modeling and forecasting facilities, and energy harvesting and energy storage labs as well as energy enterprise incubation programs and facilities. The NYSERDA-supported Clean Energy Business Incubation Program and New York State Energy Policy Institute, located in the AERTC, are important state resources in the energy space. Stony Brook’s “Cradle to Fortune 500” suite of economic development programs can provide assistance to companies of any size at any stage of development and has a strong track record of helping dozens of companies start up and grow, based upon technologies invented at Stony Brook and elsewhere. In the last three years alone, nearly 700 projects have been performed with more than 1,000 companies and entrepreneurs, helping them to obtain more than $160M in revenues and $87M in federal contracts, while creating or retaining a projected total of almost 2,000 jobs.


The various institutions that are affiliated with PowerBridgeNY.