December 5, 2013 – I feel as if I am sitting down to write an annual holiday newsletter. You know the type, where you hear about all the AMAZING things the family has been up to this past year, with the photo of beautiful, shining faces in some exotic locale….Little Johnny won the Nobel Peace Prize for solving world hunger….
I promise it won’t be that kind of newsletter, but I do have to admit that NextEnergy has had a great year. We met with over 400 companies, hosted 25 events, and had over 3,000 visitors to our Center. But we know it’s not just about activities, it’s about impact since our job is to drive investment and support advanced energy job creation and retention in Michigan.
To fully understand our impact, we surveyed our clients this year and are proud to announce that of the forty-four “client” companies that responded, they collectively:
- Secured $115 million in new investment
- Secured $169 million in new business
- Invested $89 million in plant or capital expansions
- Filed 443 patents, copyrights or trademarks
- Entered into 91 licensing agreements
- Commercialized 67 new products
- Created or retained 383 jobs
Of course, this impact is not all because of NextEnergy. It takes a whole innovation ecosystem, and the talent and hard work of the companies themselves for this kind of result. If you’re interested, click here to download the full NextEnergy client survey infographic.
So that’s the impact story, but since this is a year in review newsletter, I thought I’d also include a smattering of our activities:
January: New start-up TM3 Systems forms from power controls technology incubated here at NextEnergy Center. TM3 provides a proof point of successful technology incubation, and contributes to NextEnergy’s company formation and job creation mission.
February: NextEnergy joins Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Chu to announce DOE Workplace Charging Challenge. The Challenge includes 13 partner companies, including Chrysler, Ford and GM, and NextEnergy is named an Ambassador.
March: NextEnergy hosts over 60 companies, national labs and universities for the first US Competitiveness: Wide Band Gap Power Electronics Industry workshop. Our power electronics team generates a workshop proceedings report as input to federal RD&D funding priorities. On May 9, 2013 the DOE releases a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for a Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
April: NextEnergy joins the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness partnership, a joint effort of the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) office and Council on Competitiveness to identify high impact public-private partnerships to stimulate US competiveness in energy manufacturing, and increase energy productivity in manufacturing. NextEnergy is profiled in The Power of Partnerships report.
May: NextEnergy staff is featured as speakers at both the DTE Engineering Society of Detroit Energy Conference and the regional meeting of State Energy Offices on the same day. Good thing we have bench strength!
June: NextEnergy makes a Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative event in Chicago. Our commitment is to create a demonstration facility called “NextEnergy’s smart home” to showcase energy efficiency, connectivity and off-grid and grid-connected applications. NextEnergy hosts both the Sustainable Mobility Forum and Workplace Charging Workshop. Clearly, NextEnergy is stepping out in a transportation technologies leadership role.
July: General Dynamics Land Systems, TM3 Systems and NextEnergy demonstrate “Vehicle as Power Supply” at the Camp Grayling 100th anniversary celebration, proving the ability to export power from an electrified Stryker vehicle that is clean enough to power a command station.
August: NextEnergy surveys client companies to better understand our impact.
September: NextEnergy partners with Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) at The Battery Show and provides speakers, supports the booth, and conducts matchmaking meetings between international firms and domestic suppliers (many Michigan-based).
October: NextEnergy is featured as a speaker at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress in Tokyo. NextEnergy’s smart home, a direct current (DC) powered house, arrives to our campus.
November: NextEnergy is a sponsor for Accelerate Michigan Business Competition. Eleven NextEnergy “clients” compete, and three win top awards: Covaron takes second overall ($100K), REL Inc. takes third overall ($50K), and Inmatech takes top Alternative Energy Prize ($25K). Additionally, NextEnergy is featured as speakers at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Michigan conference, EVS27 (Electric Vehicle Symposium) in Spain and Global Cleantech Cluster Association in Finland.
December: NextEnergy organizes the Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, drawing hundreds of advanced lighting manufacturers, contractors and customers.
Overall, it’s been a productive year with many successes for our clients. Here’s to another great year of activities that deliver economic impact!
President & CEO, NextEnergy