Where headquartered: East Hartford, Conn.
Industry focused on: Hydrogen fuel-cell energy
Funding received from the SBA: $1.2 million between 2010 and 2011; $385,000 in 2012, with an option for another four years of funding beyond that
Cluster description: Hydrogen fuel cells produce hydrogen, store it and then convert it into electricity. As an eco-friendly, reliable source of energy independent of the electric grid, they are popular backup options for schools, shelters, hospitals, sewage treatment plants and other mission-critical facilities. The majority of the nascent fuel-cell industry is rooted in the Northeast and the sprawling cluster includes members across Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. With approximately 1,200 entities, ranging from large companies that develop finished products for sale to academic research institutions, the vast majority of the members of the cluster are small businesses that make pieces of a final product. The cluster works to increase the awareness and adoption of fuel-cell technology and provides its members one-to-one business development advising and services.
Results: Total revenue of cluster members grew to $1.2 billion in 2011, up 17 percent from the previous year. The cluster’s businesses also employed 5,770 people in 2011, up 6.1 percent from the previous year. The cluster helped member businesses at least 310 separate times in the last three years.
Read more: The Northeast Powers Up Clean-Energy Entrepreneurs