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Ask us What’s Next

By Posted on November 15, 2017

Jean Redfield
President & CEO


It’s our tag line. It’s our story so far. Since our inception in 2002, we have been at the forefront of identifying and then putting together the programs and support to accelerate next generation energy technologies for cars, buildings and the grid. Our core mission has been to support job creation and investment in advanced energy technologies through venture support and industry pilot and demonstration programs, but our focus areas have evolved.

From the early days of fuel cell and battery technology research to predicting the statewide impacts of renewable energy, we’ve been successful in identifying “what’s next?” More recently, we identified the integration of these new technologies into cars, buildings or the grid system as the “what’s next” in terms of key technology and business model challenges. As we worked system and business model challenges, we found ways to fill the gaps to support young, growing tech based companies:

  • We added an accelerator program, I-Corps Energy and Transportation, geared to energy and transportation start-ups.
  • We created the NextChallenge program to crowd source great technology solutions for unmet needs, while providing start-ups and small firms the chance to get their products demonstrated in the real world.
  • We ran shared mobility demos so companies could test their technologies, but also experiment with business models by watching how real customers engaged with their product offering.

Since 2012, we have worked with 110 small companies that created 2,725 jobs, filed 726 patents, trademarks or copyrights, and secured and generated nearly $700 million in new investment and revenue.

So What’s Next? NextEnergy is moving forward as an innovation center for mobility and the built environment, exploring new partners and programs – under new leadership.

As of March 2, Jim Saber will take over as NextEnergy’s CEO. He will be joined by Angella Durkin as Chief Operating Officer.

Jim joined NextEnergy in 2004 to lead the organization’s business development and technology commercialization efforts and Angella joined in 2015 as Vice President of Finance and Administration. They have both worked with me to achieve NextEnergy’s goals to establish a national reputation as an innovation center for energy technologies; to build scalable capacity to create, measure and communicate our impact; and to position NextEnergy for a sustainable future by attracting and building leadership.

I am pleased to say, especially after achieving our goals, that Jim and Angella are the perfect match to lead the NextEnergy team into “what’s next” in its mission to transform how we use energy to live and move.

As far as “what’s next” for me: I will resume a more active role at Fordsell Machine Products, the precision machining manufacturing firm I co-own with my husband David Redfield, and I’ll continue to work in the entrepreneurial ecosystem serving as faculty for the national labs’ innovation training courses.

I am thankful for the many contributions of the NextEnergy team, including all the NextEnergy “alumni” as well as the support and opportunities our partners, clients, funders and collaborators have provided and I hope I have the pleasure to work with many of you in the future.


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