new to the crew

Greentown Labs names GE affiliate as latest top-level partner

GE Verona joins Greentown Labs as a top-tier partner. Photo via gevernova.com

Greentown Labs, dually located in Houston and Somerville, Massachusetts, has announced its latest Terawatt Partner, which is the climatetech incubator's highest-level partnership.

Greentown Labs announced this week thatGE Vernova, a global energy company that focusing on moving the energy transition through "continuing to electrify the world," has joined its top tier of partners. Greentown has over 20 of these Terawatt Partners, and GE Verona joins the ranks of Chevron, Amazon, Aramco, Microsoft, Shell, and more.

“GE Vernova embodies what we’re looking for in a partner: energy transition expertise with a deep commitment and passion for innovation, collaboration, and decarbonization,” Greentown Labs CEO and President Kevin Knobloch says in a statement. “Equally important, the team at GE Vernova has a real sense of urgency to accelerate global decarbonization and is eager to engage with our community of climatetech startups—I can’t wait to see all that we’ll accomplish together.”

GE Vernova specializes in power, wind, and electrification while keeping decarbonization at the forefront of its business. The company opened itsglobal headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts just down the street from where Greentown got its start in 2011 and only a few miles from the incubator today.

“I am thrilled to join as a new partner with Greentown Labs and look to support the climatetech ecosystem in many different ways,” GE Vernova CEO Scott Strazik says in the news release. “Whether it’s innovating new technologies, the industrialization of products, or leveraging our relationships globally, we are eager to collaborate with this unique and important group of entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders.”

With the arrangement,Limor Spector, president of Ventures and Incubation at GE Vernova, will serve on the Industry Leadership Council.

Founded in 2022, GE Verona is expected to spin off from GE in the second quarter of next year.

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A View From HETI

The work is "poised to revolutionize our understanding of fundamental physics," according to Rice University. Photo via Rice.edu

A team of Rice University physicists has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Physics for their work in high-energy nuclear physics and research into a new state of matter.

The five-year $15.5 million grant will go towards Rice physics and astronomy professor Wei Li's discoveries focused on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), a large, general-purpose particle physics detector built on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, a European organization for nuclear research in France and Switzerland. The work is "poised to revolutionize our understanding of fundamental physics," according to a statement from Rice.

Li's team will work to develop an ultra-fast silicon timing detector, known as the endcap timing layer (ETL), that will provide upgrades to the CMS detector. The ETl is expected to have a time resolution of 30 picoseconds per particle, which will allow for more precise time-of-flight particle identification.

This will also help boost the performance of the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC), which is scheduled to launch at CERN in 2029, allowing it to operate at about 10 times the luminosity than originally planned. The ETL also has applications for other colliders apart from the LHC, including the DOE’s electron-ion collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, New York.

“The ETL will enable breakthrough science in the area of heavy ion collisions, allowing us to delve into the properties of a remarkable new state of matter called the quark-gluon plasma,” Li explained in a statement. “This, in turn, offers invaluable insights into the strong nuclear force that binds particles at the core of matter.”

The ETL is also expected to aid in other areas of physics, including the search for the Higgs particle and understanding the makeup of dark matter.

Li is joined on this work by co-principal investigator Frank Geurts and researchers Nicole Lewis and Mike Matveev from Rice. The team is collaborating with others from MIT, Oak Ridge National Lab, the University of Illinois Chicago and University of Kansas.

Last year, fellow Rice physicist Qimiao Si, a theoretical quantum physicist, earned the prestigious Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship grant. The five-year fellowship, with up to $3 million in funding, will go towards his work to establish an unconventional approach to create and control topological states of matter, which plays an important role in materials research and quantum computing.

Meanwhile, the DOE recently tapped three Houston universities to compete in its annual startup competition focused on "high-potential energy technologies,” including one team from Rice.

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