Energy Innovation

ISTC identifies gaps and opportunities in the broader technology and innovation landscape. We use our network to catalyze and implement projects, drive outcomes, and support partnerships across technology sectors. In the Illinois energy sector, the ISTC plays an active role in a number of partnerships to support energy innovation.

In 2013, ISTC worked with the state of Illinois and its utilities to launch Energy Foundry and ISEIF—integral components of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011.

Energy Foundry

Powered by a $22.5 million fund, Energy Foundry invests in and supports early-stage energy technology businesses, providing technical and business support, and connecting innovators with market opportunities and capital. ISTC has partnered with Energy Foundry since its inception and provides its portfolio companies with strategic advice, technical and operational support, and market intelligence on the state of the Illinois innovation economy.

Learn more


ISEIF – the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation – addresses the human and community sides of energy and the electric grid. Through the use of data and stories, they learn what it takes to get consumers energized about the smart grid. ISTI continues to serve as the Project Management Organization (PMO) for ISEIF’s 10-year $50 million grant initiative, to support non-profits delivering smart grid consumer education throughout Illinois.

Learn more

Smart Grid Cluster

ISTC is a founding member of the Smart Grid Cluster, a coalition of organizations funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide business, technical, and financing support for energy startup companies in the Midwest. As part of the cluster – which is now in its seventh and final year – ISTC coordinates resources from universities, national labs, and venture capital firms to build energy companies and address industry challenges. SBA has highlighted the Smart Grid Cluster as a national model for cluster development. Since its formation, participating companies in the cluster have closed $85M in contracts and private capital.

Learn more