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Lexington’s 1366 Technologies raises $2.4 Million in a Series B round January 17, 2011

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Lexington’s 1366 Technologies, a developer of solar power technology, raises $2.4 Million in a Series B round of equity funding led by a group of investors including North Bridge Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Hanwha Chemical, and Ventizz Capital Fund IV.

Attleboro’s Mechanology, cleantech product manufacturer, raises $5.8 Million from a group of undisclosed investors October 6, 2010

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Attleboro’s Mechanology, cleantech product manufacturer, raises $5.8 Million from a group of undisclosed investors.

Burlington’s Viridity software raises $8 Million in a Series B round of equity financing from Battery Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners August 23, 2010

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Burlington’s Viridity software, a provider of data center energy resource management technology,  raises $8 Million in a Series B round of equity financing from Battery Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Wilbraham, Massachusetts based FloDesign, wind turbine manufacturer, announces their Series B round of $35 Million in equity funding June 28, 2010

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Wilbraham, Massachusetts based FloDesign, a maker of wind turbines that resemble jet engines, announces their Series B round of $35 Million in equity funding led by a group of investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Technology Partners, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and Goldman Sachs.

Westborough’s Boston Power Inc., a developer of lithium ion batteries, raises $60 MM June 28, 2010

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Westborough’s Boston Power Inc., a developer of lithium ion batteries, raises $60 Million in a Series E round of equity funding led by Foundation Asset Management, Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, and Gabriel Venture Partners.

Newton’s Powerhouse Dynamics, Inc., a developer of home energy management technologies, raises $350k from CommonAngels June 27, 2010

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Newton’s Powerhouse Dynamics, Inc., a developer of home energy management technologies, raises $350,000 from Boston Angel Investing Group CommonAngels.

MIT team develops first solar power cells printed on paper May 31, 2010

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What if you could simply staple solar panels to your house rather than hiring a professional installation team? That’s not as far-fetched as it sounds — MIT researchers have figured out a way to print thin film solar cells on paper using a process that resembles a standard inkjet printer. If they’re able to gear efficiencies up to scale, the development could revolutionize the production and installation of solar panels.

MIT solar cells printed on paper for the first time

Photo by Martin LaMonica at CNET

MIT’s new semiconductor-coated paper features carbon-based dyes that give the cells an efficiency of 1.5 to 2 percent. That’s not incredibly efficient, but the convenience factor makes up for it. And in the future, researchers hope that the same process used in the paper solar cells could be used to print cells on metal foil or even plastic.

Of course, paper solar cells are a long way from commercialization. MIT researchers say that the technology is still in the research phase and it could take years before being commercialized. And once it is? There’s no telling how it could revolutionize the home solar industry, which currently relies on pricey professional installers to set up panels.

MIT Team designs an airplane that uses 70% less fuel than conventional aircraft May 31, 2010

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Today a team of researchers at MIT unveiled their latest feat of engineering — an airplane that uses 70% less fuel than conventional aircraft. The MIT team was one of six groups — and the only university led team — across the US chosen by NASA to help redesign current aircraft to increase fuel efficiency, lower emissions and allow planes to take off on shorter runways. The team accomplished all of NASA’s set goals with their innovative D-series plane, lovingly referred to as the “double bubble”.

MIT Double Bubble Fuel Efficient Aircraft Design

MIT Double Bubble Fuel Efficient Aircraft Design

NASA is calling this government-funded initiative the “N+3″, signifying that the planes are meant to revolutionize the aircraft industry in three generations. MIT, Boeing, GE Aviation and Northrop Grumman were given the task of rethinking the subsonic commercial aircraft market while teams from Boeing and Lockheed-Martin were entrusted with creating supersonic commercial aircraft — passenger planes traveling faster than the speed of sound! NASA’s goals were to reduce fuel consumption while taking into account that in 3 decades air traffic is set to double. Now that the designs have been revealed the teams are awaiting news in the next few months of which designs will receive funding to go on to the second phase of the program.

MIT designed their D-series as a 180 passenger aircraft meant to replace the domestic 737 market. Conventional airplanes utilize a single fuselage design, while the D-series uses two partial tubular shapes placed beside each other — which accounts for the bubble nickname. The plane utilizes a host of technological advances to decrease its fuel consumption. It has thinner longer wings and a smaller tail and engine placement at the rear of the plane instead of on the wings. All of these features account for part of the reduction in fuel usage. The MIT team also unveiled their H-series — a “hybrid wing body” plane that seats 350 passengers and could replace the 777 overseas market. NASA expects designs from this program to take flight in 2035.

MIT also unveiled its 'hybrid wing body' H-series, which is intended to replace 777 class aircraft

MIT also unveiled its 'hybrid wing body' H-series, which is intended to replace 777 class aircraft

Cambridge’s Joule Unlimited raises $30 Million in Series B equity funding from Flagship Ventures May 6, 2010

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Cambridge’s Joule Unlimited, a maker of technology that mimics photosynthesis by turning carbon dioxide into ethanol, raises $30 Million in Series B equity funding from Flagship Ventures.

Lebanon, New Hampshire’s Mascoma, advanced technology ethanol producer, raises $3.4 Million April 26, 2010

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Lebanon, New Hampshire’s Mascoma, a developer of advanced methods for making ethanol from wood fiber and other non-edible plant matter, raises $3.4 Million from a group of undisclosed investors.

Cambridge-based MIT spinoff Metabolix (MBLX) pioneers biodegradeable plastics made from plant matter: Bioplastic April 23, 2010

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The publicly traded company has seen its stock nearly double over the past year. The company has genetically engineered a microbe that eats sugar from corn and generates a plastic-like molecule called PHA. After a few months, the bioplastic will decompose in water or soil and is so pure that waste containers made with the material are safe for use in backyard composting heaps. Metabolix also claims its bioplastic is carbon neutral.


The company has entered into a joint venture with the Archer Daniels Midland company (ADM) which is called Telles. The venture will begin shipping their “Mirel” bioplastic pellets from a new plant in Clinton, Iowa. Newell Rubbermaid’s Paper Mate division is one of the first customers, using the Mirel bioplastic pellets in a resin form for their new $1.25 biodegradeable Paper Mate pens.


Metabolix charges around $2.50 a pound for its green bioplastic, about twice the price of traditional plastics. But increased customer demand for “Green” products and biodegradeable items is so strong in many cases that lower margins can be made up for by increased unit sales.


Metabolix creates products that are genetically modified – a taboo in many environmentalist circles. And, as the demand for bioplastics increases, many worry that the demand for corn, already being used increasingly for ethanol production, will rise even more dramatically, driving up food prices.


Metabolix is working to address these concerns by researching next generation plastics made from nonfood material such as prairie switchgrass.


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Arlington’s Windpole Ventures, a US wind conditions data aggregation service, raises $1 Million April 6, 2010

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Arlington’s Windpole Ventures, which collects and distributes data on US wind conditions, raises $1 Million in new equity financing from Mr. Jim Lang and a group of undisclosed angel investors.

MIT Researchers discover new electricity production method utilizing carbon nanotubes March 8, 2010

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MIT Researchers discover new electricity production method utilizing carbon nanotubes. The team of researchers at MIT have announced that they have made a new breakthrough for producing electricity with carbon nanotubes, and the discovery may one day lead to a myriad of new devices such as sensors the size of dust that can be dispersed in air to monitor the environment or perhaps the technology might lead to implantable devices that produce their own power. The researchers discovered a phenomenon that was previously unknown that produces powerful waved of energy that shoots though carbon nanotubes, producing electricity.

The team of researchers called the phenomenon “thermopower waves.” MIT’s Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Professor of Chemical Engineering, and senior author of the paper reporting the findings said, “[Thermopower waves] opens up a new area of energy research, which is rare.”

The thermal wave is a moving pulse of heat that travels along the microscopic carbon nanotubes and drives electrons along with it creating an electrical current. The team coated carbon nanotubes with a highly reactive fuel that produces heat as it decomposes. The fuel was ignited at one end of the nanotube with a laser beam or high-voltage spark.

The resulting ignition created a fast moving thermal wave that travels about 10,000 times faster than the normal speed of the reaction according to the team. The temperature of the ring of heat reaches about 3,000 kelvins, pushing electrons along the tube creating a substantial electrical current. Strano says that the combustion waves have been mathematically studied for more than a hundred years, but he claims to be the first to predict that the combustion waves could be guided by a nanotube or nanowire and push an electrical current along the wire.

Since the discovery is so new, it is hard to predict how it could be used in practical application. The team plans to conduct more research using different kinds of reactive materials for the fuel coating and the team suspects that by using other materials for the coating the front of the wave could oscillate to produce an alternating current. The team points out that most of the power generated with the new method is given off as light and heat and work is ongoing to make the process more efficient.

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Lowell’s Konarka Technologies, a Solar Power Technology Company, raises $20 Million March 8, 2010

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Lowell’s Konarka Technologies, a Solar Power Technology Company, raises $20 Million from Konica Minolta Holdings Inc.

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Cambridge’s SunBorne Energy Holdings LLC raises $5.2 Million from General Catalyst Partners December 24, 2009

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Cambridge, Massachusetts (and Haryana, India) -based SunBorne Energy Holdings LLC, a Solar project developer, raises $5.2 Million from General Catalyst Partners.

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Cambridge’s Sun Catalytix, developer of distributed energy storage technology, raises $1 Million December 1, 2009

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Cambridge’s Sun Catalytix, a developer of distributed energy storage technology, has raised $1 Million from Waltham’s Polaris Venture Partners.

Billerica, MA based Nexx Systems, silicon wafer equipment maker, raises $4 Million in a Series D equity round November 30, 2009

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Billerica, Massachusetts -based Nexx Systems, a maker of equipment used in the metallization and packaging of silicon wafers used in both electronics and photovoltaic (solar) applications, has raised $4 Million in a Series D equity round involving Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and Sigma Partners.

Wilbraham MA based FloDesign Wind Turbines prototypes are 3 times more efficient than 3 bladed windmills October 30, 2009

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Using design features borrowed from jet engine design, Wilbraham, MA -based FloDesign Wind Turbine has produced prototypes capable of producing electricity three times more efficiently than conventional, three-bladed wind mill designs.

In FloDesign’s prototype, two concentric hoops channel air into patterns that create spinning vortexes – like minature tornadoes – as the exiting air passes the turbine blades, dramatically boosting air flow.

Wilbraham, MA's Flodesign Wind Turbines

Wilbraham, MA's Flodesign Wind Turbines



Unlike conventional windwills, FloDesign’s model can be transported on one truck, compared with three trucks for conventional wind mills. The new design can produce electricity at lower wind speeds and in the midst of more volatile wind gusts, making it a shoo-in for spots – like beaches and cities – that have until now been inhospitable for wind power generation.

Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers committed $6 million to the company in 2008. The company also has raised funds from the U.S. Department of energy and hopes to raise an additional $25 million later this year.

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