Seeking innovations for the adoption of hydrogen infrastructure and supply chain technologies

Northeast innovation ecosystem leaders Fraunhofer TechBridge, Urban Future Lab and Greentown Labs launch the H2 Refuel Accelerator, sponsored by Shell and Toyota

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BOSTON, Jan. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Fraunhofer TechBridge is now accepting applications for the H2 Refuel Accelerator, in partnership with two of the country's leading cleantech startup incubators, Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon in Brooklyn, NY and Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA. The H2 Refuel Accelerator, sponsored by Shell, Toyota and NYSERDA, is seeking innovations for the adoption of hydrogen infrastructure and supply chain technologies through cost reduction, reliability and new capabilities.

Solutions of interest to both Shell and Toyota include, among others:

  • Startup technologies that promote reduction of capital costs, operating costs or streamlining of infrastructure construction
  • Startup technologies that increase the reliability of hydrogen infrastructure and capabilities on a global scale
  • New capabilities in the full range of the hydrogen value chain and infrastructure

Applicants will be evaluated based on the potential impact of their solution to enhance current and future markets using hydrogen as an energy source for mobility. This program offers unparalleled collaboration opportunities for startups that want to bring their technology from concept to market with the support of Shell and Toyota. The selected awardee(s) are eligible for one or more of the following:

  • Up to $50,000 in startup technology validation, demonstration and piloting services from Fraunhofer USA Centers or Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institutes
  • Desk space at one or both of the partnered incubators
  • 80+ hours of training and mentorship from the region's top business and industry experts
  • Access to mentors and connections from Shell and Toyota's networks as well as the combined networks of the Urban Future Lab and Greentown Labs

Moreover, this opportunity provides the context and framework to build close relationships with Shell and Toyota which may, upon program conclusion, potentially result in an investment, joint development agreement, technical project, pilot and/or additional partnership format(s).

Through the synergistic capabilities of Urban Future Lab, Greentown Labs and the Fraunhofer TechBridge Program, innovative energy-related startups and larger corporate partners are able to mitigate the 'industry-readiness barrier' and form lasting and meaningful partnerships. Urban Future Lab, Greentown Labs and Fraunhofer TechBridge lead the Northeast community in their capacity to build, test and launch successful game-changing energy technologies into the marketplace. The combination of incubation space, services and technical capacity provided by Urban Future Lab, Greentown Labs and Fraunhofer TechBridge offer one of the most successful technology acceleration models in the country.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is supporting the H2 Refuel Accelerator through its ACRE incubator at the Urban Future Lab. This funding will be used to accelerate the commercialization of promising clean energy technology in New York State through collaboration with industry leading corporations and partners.  Additionally, this program provides an opportunity to attract fuel cell companies to and showcase fuel cell companies from New York State helping to grow New York State's cleantech economy.

Proposals are due by March 13, 2019 at: Applicant and awardees' intellectual property is fully protected throughout the review process and the accelerator program.

About the Accelerator Partners

Urban Future Lab 
Urban Future Lab
 provides unmatched access to strategic advisement, introductions to industry stakeholders, marketing and branding support, investor networks, and access to a community of like-minded founders. UFL is leading the way to a more sustainable world by connecting people, capital, and purpose to advance market-ready solutions to address climate change. Our flagship program is ACRE, New York City's premier business incubator for cleantech and smart city startups and is funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. It has been supporting market ready solutions to climate change since 2009, boasting a 90% survival rate of incubated startups which have now raised more than $380M from the private markets and employ more than 340 people. The UFL is part of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and is located in the Downtown Brooklyn. For more information, please visit or find us on Twitter.

Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs
 is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating game-changing energy technologies that transform the way we live, work, and play. Located in Somerville, Mass., and founded in 2011, the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation is the largest cleantech incubator in the United States, operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus comprised of prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, electronics lab, and a curated suite of programs and resources. Greentown Labs is home to more than 90 startups that collectively employ more than 1,000 people and have raised more than $350 million in funding. The incubators' mission is to provide startups with the community, resources, and space they need to solve today's biggest energy and environmental challenges. For more information, please visit or

Fraunhofer CSE and the TechBridge Program 
The TechBridge Program 
is organized by the Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE in the United States. The core offering of TechBridge is applied, industry-focused R&D projects performed for entrepreneurs by Fraunhofer with the goal of de-risking novel technologies for the private sector. Projects may take the form of developing and testing prototypes, deploying field demonstrations, performing third-party validation, generating test data, or manufacturability studies. These projects bring promising technologies closer to market and make them more attractive for private sector investment, industry adoption, and scale-up funding, ultimately leading to the accelerated success of entrepreneurs and businesses. For more information on Fraunhofer TechBridge, please visit or follow us on Twitter.

About the Sponsors

Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 17,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future.

Toyota (NYSE: TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 36 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 47,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018 – and about 87 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today. 

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society's most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

Fraunhofer TechBridge Contact
Nick Rancis
Fraunhofer TechBridge Program Lead