Led by mHub, the Clean Tech Economy Coalition obtains $ 500,000 from the regional Build Back Better challenge


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The Clean Tech Economy Coalition 2025 has been selected from among 529 national applicants to develop an Illinois regional growth pole around the commercialization of clean energy technologies and to foster a resilient and equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic .

The Clean Tech Economic Coalition (CTEC) 2025, led by mHUB, a Chicago-based technology and manufacturing innovation center, has been recognized by the US Economic Development Administration for its potential to accelerate the region’s economic transformation into developing clean energy technologies.

CETC is made up of 19 partner organizations – including the University of Chicago – which are united around six major initiatives related to manufacturing and supply chain, workforce development, applied research , entrepreneurship and marketing, and infrastructure in Illinois.

CETC was selected as one of 60 finalists in the Regional Build Back Better Challenge, from a pool of 529 applicants, to receive a grant of approximately $ 500,000 to further develop the projects proposed for potential Phase 2 funding. up to $ 100 million and is the only finalist from Illinois. .

“Illinois is poised to be the cleantech hub for the Midwest. It is the first major coal-producing state in the country as well as the first state in the Midwest to commit to a carbon-free future by 2045, ”said Haven Allen, CEO and co-founder of mHUB. “CTEC will align the state’s clean technology ecosystem to meet the demands of the national clean energy economy by expanding new and existing businesses, accelerating job creation, and dramatically reducing environmental impact.” of major industries in Illinois. “

The Clean Tech Economy Coalition 2025 is the result of a statewide planning effort and open tender by mHUB and the University of Chicago in coordination with the State of Illinois , City of Chicago, Cook County Government, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, World Affairs Chicago, and P33. He identified clean energy technology as a priority for the region because it can draw on significant assets that have supported the expansion of renewables in Illinois and created hundreds of thousands of related jobs. to clean energy.

“In the emerging cleantech industry, innovators face challenges obtaining the capital and resources they need to commercialize cutting-edge research that will meet our climate goals and create jobs,” said Juan de Pablo, executive vice president for science, innovation, national laboratories and global initiatives, University of Chicago. “CTEC will focus its efforts on targeted investments to accelerate commercialization and adoption with impact at the community level. “

Coalition projects and participating member organizations have been selected to unite the public, private and civic sectors around resource alignment and a coordinated approach to revive the clean technology economy.

The approach, which intentionally brings together large institutions and community organizations, creates an inclusive and equity-focused mechanism for economic growth while strengthening the region’s existing industrial base.

“I am delighted to see that EDA has recognized Illinois’ own mHUB as a viable investment as part of the regional Build Back Better challenge. Illinois is poised to be a leader in clean energy, and with this funding, our state can boost our economic recovery from a pandemic and drive innovation towards a greener and more sustainable technological economy, ” said US Senator Dick Durbin.

The national clean energy economy grew faster than the U.S. economy as a whole between 2011 and 2018, while Chicago’s clean energy economy grew faster than the regional economy during the same period. CETC members started meeting as early as 2017, supporting entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in the creation of clean technology products and services. Now these entities will be more connected under CETC to align with Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act and Illinois Climate and Fair Employment Act. (CEJA) adopted more recently, which will switch the state to 100% clean energy by 2050.

“Everyone – including those most affected by climate change and environmental injustice – should have the opportunity to participate and benefit from the growth of the clean energy economy,” said Senator American Tammy Duckworth. “That’s why I’m proud that Illinois’ own mHUB has been selected from over 500 applicants to participate in the regional Build Back Better Challenge that will help strengthen economies and communities in Chicago and across Illinois,” to create well-paying jobs and to improve the situation of our country. global competitiveness. I wish them well as they move on to the next step in this important competition.

Under CETC, regional production of technologies for local applications and commerce, rapid deployment of critical infrastructure and a coordinated workforce development effort will support an end-to-end regional supply chain. while transforming existing economies into a strong and sustainable future.

Priority technological areas will be the development of fuel cells for power generation, grid modernization for more efficient and reliable power transmission, carbon capture, battery and energy storage for vehicles. electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure for EVs.

“From Glasgow to DC, my administration has made it clear to the world that Illinois will be a pioneer in the clean energy revolution, including through leaders on the ground like mHUB and UChicago who are at the forefront. of this work. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said. “When I enacted the Climate and Jobs Equity Act, it was the most important step Illinois has taken in a generation towards a reliable, renewable, affordable energy future. and clean. The Clean Tech Economy Coalition enables key state stakeholders to accelerate this transformation at the same time, creating jobs and a cleaner economy for all.

Clean tech offers opportunities for inclusion given higher than average salaries, good career paths, and the emerging nature of many clean energy clusters. Currently, only 25% of clean energy jobs are held by women, 8% by black workers, and 17% by Latinx.

CTEC will engage in workforce awareness and training opportunities to recruit women and BIPOC to engage in clean tech jobs, creating career paths alongside project expansion of electricity network and electric vehicle infrastructure in disinvested communities.

“Chicago is a leading global destination and a growing hub for innovation and technology,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. The Clean Tech Economy Coalition, with leadership from mHUB, will further stimulate equitable growth in this sector and provide new jobs, clean technology, a stronger workforce, and Chicago-based projects that incorporate inclusiveness and working with our underserved communities.

“There is a lot to be done at the policy and implementation level to ensure that the Chicago climate action plan includes environmental justice initiatives so that our most vulnerable communities benefit from professional training. , wealth opportunities and healthy environments, ”added Toni Preckwinkle, Chairman of the Cook County Council of Commissioners. “The Clean Tech Economy Coalition will provide the funding and execution needed to make an impact at the community level, and we are particularly eager to support the establishment of sustainable manufacturing practices and spur investment in electric vehicle infrastructure. “

CTEC’s application for Phase 1 was supported by West Monroe Partners, Civic Consulting Alliance and RW Ventures and was underwritten by mHUB, the Cook County Government and the Pritzker Traubert Foundation. He will submit another proposal for Phase 2 of the Build Back Better regional challenge, requesting $ 99.3 million to implement six strategic projects. If awarded, coalition members and local governments are expected to provide $ 101.6 million in matching funds for a total project cost of over $ 200 million.

The Clean Tech Economy Coalition includes mHUB, University of Chicago, City of Chicago, World Business Chicago, Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative, Evergreen Climate Innovations (formerly Clean Energy Trust), Elevate Energy, Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce, Cook County Government, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Climate Vault, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Richard J. Daley College, College of Lake County, Bright Star Community Outreach, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Argonne National Laboratory, and Northwestern University.