The time is now: Announcing the launch of the Minnesota Cleantech Consortium – a groundbreaking initiative to accelerate the state’s clean technology sector
- More than 15 organizations have committed including the State of Minnesota, 3M and the University of Minnesota
- The launch coincides with the inaugural Minnesota Cleantech Innovation Day on June 7 at 3M’s Innovation Center
MINNEAPOLIS – After a historic 2023 Minnesota legislative session that dedicated $500 million toward energy, environment and climate initiatives, an influential group of state organizations have teamed up to form the Minnesota Cleantech Consortium. The mission of the group is to drive collaboration, innovation, and economic growth in the state’s clean technology sector.
The Consortium will bring together key stakeholders from industry, academia, government, and nonprofit organizations to advance research, cutting-edge technologies, manufacturing, workforce readiness, and the equitable transition of our economy to more sustainable solutions. More than 15 organizations have already committed, including the State of Minnesota, 3M, and the University of Minnesota.
“Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework lays out a positive vision for a clean energy future. Partnerships like the Minnesota Cleantech Consortium will build on investments by Minnesota and the federal government to capitalize on historic opportunities to spur innovation to achieve this vision,” said Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold. “Minnesota will deliver affordable, reliable, safe and clean energy, and our partnership with the Consortium and communities across the state are critical to moving us forward.”
The Consortium will focus on key areas of clean technology, including renewable energy, energy storage, sustainable transportation, water, circular economy solutions and more. It will serve as a catalyst for innovation and economic development at a critical time in the global race to address climate change.
“Clean technology is a priority market for 3M and represents an immense opportunity for all of us to partner, innovate and solve global challenges,” said Mike Kesti, senior vice president of 3M’s corporate research lab. “3M is applying its 120+ years of materials science-based expertise to develop novel solutions and collaborate with entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of new technologies.”
The launch coincides with the inaugural Minnesota Cleantech Innovation Day on June 7, hosted at 3M’s Innovation Center. This flagship event features more than 50 companies and a dozen startups that will showcase the state’s dedication to advancing energy and climate solutions and driving innovation in the clean technology sector. The event is organized by Grid Catalyst, a clean energy accelerator founded in 2021 to accelerate clean energy deployments in northern climates.
“The Minnesota Cleantech Consortium will amplify the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem for our cleantech sectors, a critical component to advance innovation in a region with a strong history of technology discovery and market gamechangers,” says Nina Axelson, president of Grid Catalyst. “Transformative change comes from approaching this work differently, while building from the legacy forged by long-standing Minnesota businesses and institutions. We are going to build a bigger table for collaboration and innovation, and it will benefit our region for decades to come.”
Cleantech Innovation Day will feature a comprehensive program that includes key regional leadership from industry, energy, agriculture, higher education, investors, and nonprofits. Keynote speaker, Taj Ahmad Eldridge, will share his global experience with cleantech investing, including his work as a General Partner with Include Ventures and with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.
About Grid Catalyst
The mission of Grid Catalyst is to create equitable pathways for entrepreneurs and technologies to solve northern climate challenges. This is done collaboratively with partners in local and state government, industry, nonprofit, and community organizations to address gaps in the development of clean energy and climate technology in our region. The program includes connecting entrepreneurs to project demonstration, mentorship and development, and investments to grow their business. The program was founded in 2021 and is coordinated in partnership with Clean Energy Economy Minnesota.