Rutgers University | NJAES | SEBS     New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station


Our Mission

The mission of NJCERN is to attract and retain renewable energy and energy efficiency firms, create green jobs, assist the State in meeting its renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals, and cultivate an atmosphere of innovation among New Jersey based businesses and universities.

Our Team

Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, Ph.D.

Margaret is Executive Director for Economic Development and Innovation and Associate Director, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. She is responsible for the development and implementation of new economic growth initiatives. Margaret also is responsible for administrative oversight for several Rutgers centers, including the Rutgers EcoComplex. She has played a key role in the center’s development, organization, and strategic direction. Her accomplishments in the energy arena include: project director for an assessment of the biomass energy potential for New Jersey, the results of which informed the bioenergy component of the 2011 New Jersey State Energy Master Plan; led the development of the New Jersey Clean Energy Resource Network; and led the establishment of the New Jersey Clean Energy Innovation Council. She is an economist with expertise in economic development strategies, energy economics and policy, and industry cluster development.

Serpil Guran, Director – Rutgers EcoComplex

Dr. Serpil Guran is the Director of the Rutgers EcoComplex. Her responsibilities include management of the EcoComplex operations, programs, business incubator and facilities, as well as providing vision and leadership in establishing the EcoComplex as a nationally recognized center for the commercialization of environmental and alternative energy technologies.

Dr. Guran is trained on thermochemical conversion (pyrolysis and gasification) of sustainable biomass and waste materials for production of fuels and chemicals and she specializes in research, development and assessment of sustainable biofuels, innovative waste recycling technologies, and life cycle analysis of clean energy, alternative fuel production and sustainable food systems. Currently, she is working on Circular Carbon Systems, Food-Energy-Water Nexus and Waste synergy by promoting integration of organic and plastic waste into development of circular carbon economy with the goal of mitigating climate change and economic sustainability and social justice.

David Specca, Asstistant Director – EcoComplex

Sustainable Agriculture and Clean Energy Technology Demonstrations. His expertise includes identifying and demonstrating technologies and practices that will help the agricultural industry become more sustainable, especially hydroponic and aquaponic applications for rural and urban agriculture, also identifying and quantifying waste-based clean energy feedstocks and technologies. His experience, from a production agriculture perspective, gives him a unique background for assisting the many startup businesses that come to the EcoComplex. He was also part of the NJAES team that produced the “Assessment of Biomass Energy Potential in NJ”. Dave earned a BS in Horticulture and an MS in Plant Science from Rutgers University.

Our Partners

DEP_sizeable The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) assist clean energy companies with technical assistance activities related to verification of technology performance, demonstration of regulatory compliance, and identification and acquisition of the appropriate permits for the preconstruction and operation of energy projects in the State. Through a collaborative arrangement with the respective NJDEP regulatory programs, the Bureau of Energy and Sustainability (BES) provides companies with the necessary guidance to demonstrate (through relevant performance data and independently verified performance claims) regulatory compliance, and the Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review (OPCER) helps companies navigate the permitting process to acquire the necessary permits for conducting business in New Jersey.
homepage2_03-02 New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program is a statewide program that offers financial incentives, programs and services for New Jersey residents, business owners and local governments to help them save energy, money and the environment.
homepage2_05 The New Jersey Department of Agriculture encourages the incorporation of clean energy into farming and food operations throughout the state. With help in crafting regulations from the Department and the State Agriculture Development Committee, farmers on both preserved and non-preserved farms have been encouraged to include solar, wind and biomass energy generation into their businesses. Additionally, the Department took the lead in securing a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to rebuild an anaerobic digester at the Landis Sewerage Authority in Vineland to accept manure from nearby dairy farms and waste from local food processors to create energy that runs the sewerage operation.
partners-logos_12 EDA’s clean energy programs assist clean technology companies with funding support to develop their businesses and support the manufacture of energy efficient and renewable energy products serving Class I renewable energy technologies. Program benefits include encouraging the expansion and development of clean technology products and increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency manufacturing jobs in New Jersey.
Rutgers NJAES Ecocomplex The Rutgers EcoComplex “Clean Energy Innovation Center” serves as the University’s hub for multidisciplinary activities related to clean energy research, education, and business development. With a focus on clean energy innovations from the university and industry, we are here to test, verify, demonstrate and deploy new technologies and to educate the public about the environmental benefits and economic opportunities of clean energy development.