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The Clean Fight Selected To Manage $10M Empire Technology Prize To Advance Building Decarbonization In New York

New Program Will Be Essential In Meeting New York State’s Goal of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 85 Percent by 2050

The Clean Fight, New Energy Nexus and RMI logos

New York, October 4, 2022 The Clean Fight today announced that it has been named the program administrator of the $10 million Empire Technology Prize (ETP) program by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Clean Fight will lead the management and co-creation of the Empire Technology Prize, a challenge focused on advancing the decarbonization of tall buildings across New York State, working in partnership with RMI, an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming global energy systems through market-driven solutions. The team will select a flagship partner to co-fund and co-present the prize, and with NYSERDA collectively create a blueprint for decarbonizing cold-climate buildings around the world.

Focusing on New York’s buildings, which are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State and are responsible for one third of annual emissions statewide, the program will identify, support, and scale the best high-growth solutions to help achieve carbon-neutrality in existing multifamily buildings at least seven stories high or commercial buildings at least 15 stories high. The prize will be a combination of business acceleration support and $10 million in monetary awards to advance low carbon retrofit approaches that will help rapidly achieve New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda.

“At NYSERDA, we are dedicated to working with global innovators to advance Governor Hochul’s ambitious building decarbonization goals in alignment with New York’s Climate Act,” said John Lochner, Vice President of Innovation at NYSERDA. “We look forward to collaborating with The Clean Fight as we launch the Empire Technology Prize, a program we’re confident will accelerate innovation and give entrepreneurs yet another reason to grow and scale their ventures in New York State.”

“Buildings are responsible for approximately a third of global greenhouse house gas emissions. If we don’t decarbonize buildings, we don’t solve the climate crisis. And where better to start than in New York,” said The Clean Fight Managing Director Kate Frucher. “We are proud to serve as the program administrator and partner with RMI on this necessarily bold and ambitious initiative from NYSERDA that has the potential to radically and equitably enhance the sustainability and resilience of New York’s real estate infrastructure, at speed.”

Critical to the success of the program is ensuring the prize is focused on solutions that meet gaps in the market with the greatest demand and emissions impact. The program will build on the market insight from the successful Empire Building Challenge, a public-private partnership designed to accelerate economic growth through the resource efficient decarbonization of tall buildings. The team will also be soliciting insight from the real estate and investment community to identify the most impactful areas of focus. To share your opinion, please visit

“Achieving New York’s ambitious energy and climate goals requires massive decarbonization of tall and complex buildings that are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. NYSERDA’s Empire Technology Prize will jumpstart the market for Resource Efficient Decarbonization solutions and help rapidly and equitably scale integrative energy-saving technologies and services, drawing from both global state-of-the-art innovations and from homegrown entrepreneurship. RMI is thrilled to support NYSERDA and The Clean Fight in writing the next chapter of our combined history of innovative programs, prizes and accelerators and solve one of the most important climate challenges of our time.” said Stephanie Greene, Managing Director of Carbon-Free Buildings, RMI

The Clean Fight was selected through a competitive application request. Proposals were evaluated on the basis of the applicant's past track record of creating successful corporate challenges with activities including global recruitment, industry-focused convening, business acceleration support, strategic partnership facilitation, and leveraging private dollars.

The Empire Technology Prize program is supported through NYSERDA's Innovation program which helps early-stage companies with technical assistance and business development resources through entrepreneurial support, and manufacturing scale-up. Applications to participate in the prize program will open in 2023.

Learn more about Empire Technology Prize at, or contact Molly Dee-Ramasamy, technical consultant for the Empire Technology Prize program, at

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a flagship partner or partnership opportunities, contact Sagal Abshir:

About The Clean Fight

The Clean Fight is a not-for-profit climate tech organization, powered by New Energy Nexus, designed to help the world’s best growth-stage startups significantly scale their business in New York State, while boosting economic opportunity and job creation for all. The core accelerator program is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and an EPIC award grant from the Department of Energy. The Clean Fight is also a member of the winning coalition New Energy New York, who were awarded $113M as part of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

About New Energy Nexus

New Energy Nexus is a non-profit international organization that strives towards an abundant world with a 100% clean energy economy for 100% of the population in the shortest time possible. To achieve this goal, New Energy Nexus supports diverse clean energy entrepreneurs with funds, accelerators, and networks. Founded in California in 2004, New Energy Nexus now operates programs in China, India, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the US.

About RMI

RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

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