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Senator Says Fed Investment Into FuzeHub-Led Collaboration Would Help Supercharge Upstate New York As A Trailblazer In Advanced Materials, Boosting Startups, Sparking Innovation, Creating Good-Paying Jobs, All While Making Manufacturing More Sustainable And Supply Chains Stronger

Project Brings Together Advanced Materials R&D At Leading Universities Across Upstate NY Including RPI, Clarkson, Cornell, Alfred University, Binghamton, University at Buffalo, And RIT 

Schumer: FuzeHub Project One Step Closer To Major Fed $$$ In NSF Engines Competition To Make Upstate NY A Leader In Manufacturing Sustainability

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today revealed that the FuzeHub-led collaborative to boost environmental sustainability through innovation in manufacturing has advanced to the next round of consideration for up to $160 million in the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines Competition (NSF Engines), which was created by his CHIPS & Science Bill. Schumer is pushing to secure this award for the FuzeHub-led team and has written to NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan to select the project for major federal funding to help solve the environmental challenges of manufacturers across Upstate New York, strengthening domestic supply chains and better ensuring the success of New York manufacturers. Schumer said with further federal investment, FuzeHub’s collaborative initiative can help lead the way to transform Upstate New York’s economy into a renowned materials innovation ecosystem – taking advantage of the region’s premier research universities, world-class workforce, unique resources, and industrial legacy – to lead the global shift to manufacturing sustainability and help make Upstate New York’s manufacturers more competitive and successful.

“I created the NSF Regional Innovation Engines program in my CHIPS & Science Bill with Upstate New York’s booming manufacturing sector in mind, and with the FuzeHub-led collaborative now in the final running for the NSF Engines competition, they could win up to $160 million to help establish Upstate New York as a global leader in manufacturing sustainability,” said Senator Schumer. “This major federal funding would help transform Upstate New York into a renowned materials innovation ecosystem, taking advantage of our incredible research centers from, from RIT to RPI, Clarkson University to Cornell, and Buffalo to Binghamton, creating countless good-paying jobs across the state and leading the charge to build a more sustainable future for all that makes American manufacturers more competitive.” 

Schumer added, “Solving the environmental challenges of manufacturers is becoming increasingly more important as major companies start to bring their business back to America, which is why I personally wrote the NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan that FuzeHub and its diverse range of partners are ready to lead the charge in making domestic supply chains more resilient, fueling innovation to combat climate change, and becoming a global leader in the emerging issue of manufacturing sustainability.”

"FuzeHub is honored to represent New York State as a semifinalist in the first-ever NSF Engines competition. The strength of our Upstate Makes initiative in advanced materials is a testament to the power of collaboration with the state's research universities and their partners,” said Elena Garuc, Executive Director of Fuzehub. “Our NSF Engines proposal will strengthen manufacturing across the state and nation by developing environmentally sustainable materials that make Made in USA manufacturers more competitive than ever. We’re grateful to Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for their leadership and commitment as we work to bolster and deploy New York’s advanced materials capabilities to drive economic growth and resilience nationwide." 

FuzeHub’s proposal, officially named “A Materials Innovation Engine for Manufacturing Sustainability,” will work to mitigate the negative impacts on the environment from manufacturing industries by replacing toxic or scarce components with advanced materials. This project is a partnership between FuzeHub and eight materials-related R&D centers at leading research universities: Clarkson University, Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP); Cornell University, Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR); Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Manufacturing Innovation Center (MIC) and Center for Architecture Science & Ecology (CASE); Alfred University, Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT); Binghamton University, S3IP; University at Buffalo, Department of Materials Design and Innovation (MDI) and Center for Materials Informatics (CMI); Rochester Institute of Technology, Center of Excellence in Advanced & Sustainable Manufacturing (COE-ASM) and Additive Manufacturing & Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center; and the Sustainable Manufacturing Alliance Corp (REMADE).

More specifically, the project will focus on the deployment of new and emerging manufacturing materials and related technologies to create more efficient and sustainable products and processes. In addition to helping solve environmental challenges, the FuzeHub-led project will also help improve America’s manufacturing competitiveness and supply chain resiliency by developing new products and processes, and launching startups across Upstate New York. Schumer said this project will help build on Upstate New York’s industrial legacy, boosting ongoing manufacturing in the region all while helping make sectors become more sustainable while taking advantage of new opportunities to onshore supply chains from significant federal investment recently passed into law to bring back American manufacturing.

Schumer said that the FuzeHub-led project was selected for a next round site visit by the NSF, out of over 100 projects that initially applied. Schumer created the NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines Program in his CHIPS & Science Bill as a program that falls under the newly created NSF Directorate of Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships.  Schumer proposed the creation of this Directorate originally in his bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, with a focus on delivering investment in research, workforce training, and entrepreneurship in key areas like climate smart research and advanced materials. The NSF Regional Innovation Engines program catalyzes and fosters innovation ecosystems across the United States to advance critical technologies like batteries, semiconductors, artificial intelligence, advanced wireless technology, biotechnology, and more to promote and stimulate economic growth, job creation, and spur regional innovation.

Each NSF Engine can receive up to $160 million over 10 years; actual amounts will be subject to a given NSF Engine's status and overall progress, as assessed annually. NSF anticipates announcing the final list of NSF Engines awards this fall, with each awardee initially receiving about $15 million for the first two years. You can read more about the program here

A copy of Schumer’s letter of support to the Director of the National Science Foundation appears below:

Dear Director Panchanathan:

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by FuzeHub to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines program.

With funding, FuzeHub will work to mitigate the negative impacts on the environment from manufacturing industries by replacing toxic or scarce components with advanced materials. FuzeHub will focus on the deployment of new and emerging manufacturing materials and related technologies for more efficient and sustainable products and process. FuzeHub’s program will also have secondary impacts on improving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and supply chain resiliency through enhanced product design and domestic materials.

I applaud FuzeHub for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration.