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Schumer Championed Binghamton’s Proposal, Helping It To Become 1 Of Only 31 Regions Across Nation To Receive Highly Competitive Tech Hub Designation

After Schumer’s Relentless Advocacy, Binghamton University Secured A Historic $113+M Last Year To Establish A Battery Technology & Manufacturing Hub In The Southern Tier; Now, Because Of Tech Hubs Competition Schumer Created In His CHIPS & Science Bill, Binghamton Has Been Officially Recognized As The Region To Lead the Nation in Battery Innovation

Schumer: With Tech Hub Designation, Binghamton Has Been Officially Recognized As The Core Of Innovation For America’s Battery Belt

After delivering an unprecedented federal investment to jumpstart Binghamton’s growing battery hub last year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced Binghamton University’s New Energy New York (NENY) project has just won the prestigious federal Tech Hub designation, which he created in the CHIPS & Science Act, accelerating the Southern Tier’s emergence as America’s next battery tech hub. Binghamton will now be part of an exclusive group, comprised of only 31 regions in America, with the opportunity to compete for significant federal funding to transform Upstate NY into the core of America’s battery belt.

“For months you could feel the electricity and excitement in Binghamton over the growing battery industry, but today lightning has struck and I am proud to announce the region has officially won the prestigious federal designation as America’s next battery Tech Hub. Binghamton University, its partners, and I have worked hand-in-hand to bring this idea to life, and now the ultimate recognition of the Southern Tier as the home to the future of our nation’s battery innovation has become a reality,” said Senator Schumer. “I created the Tech Hubs program in my CHIPS & Science Bill, always with Upstate NY in mind, because I knew with federal investment we could write a new chapter for Upstate NY. With Tech Hubs we can breathe new life into our cities with the industries of the future. And nowhere is that more true than in Binghamton.”

Schumer added, “Binghamton’s growing battery hub continues to show they can compete with the best of the best in the country and come out on top, and now the federal government has said so officially for the entire world to see, with the Tech Hubs designation highlighting the region as one of only a few in the country primed to be the next Silicon Valley in critical technology. America must lead in developing the future of battery technology, and today the federal government has said Binghamton is how we can get there.” 

“Thank you Senator Schumer for all that you have done to get New Energy New York (NENY) to become America's Battery Tech Hub. We would not be here today without you," said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. "NENY's designation as an EDA Tech Hub is a momentous day in the history of the University, the coalition, as well across the Southern Tier of New York. With his designation, Binghamton and the region will only grow as global leaders in energy storage solutions and will continue to be a driving force working towards a sustainable and secure energy future."

"I am so heartened to see how our University's and region's focus on batteries and energy storage solutions--something I've dedicated my entire professional life to-- has achieved this level of attention and support from our federal government," said Distinguished Professor and Nobel Laureate Stan Whittingham. "Thank you Senator Schumer for your vision and unwavering advocacy. This Tech Hub designation is just what is needed to take our coalition's work to the next level and beyond. I am confident we will become the clean energy hub for the United States.”

Schumer said that following his advocacy efforts to the Commerce Department, Binghamton University beat out hundreds of applications from 48 states and was one of only 31 regions chosen for the Tech Hub designation. Schumer originally proposed the Tech Hubs program years ago as part of his bipartisan Endless Frontier Act with Upstate NY in mind to help bring critical industries back from overseas to communities that have great potential to lead in new technologies and finally was able to create the Regional Tech Hubs competition in his CHIPS & Science Bill. The program, which Schumer designed to strengthen a region’s capacity to commercialize, manufacture, and grow technology in key focus areas like batteries, will now bolster Binghamton’s efforts to spur innovation and bring the manufacturing of batteries back to America, all while supporting the economic resurgence of the Southern Tier.

The NENY proposal will now be able to compete for tens of millions of dollars in federal funding in Phase 2 for an Implementation Grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Schumer secured an initial infusion of $500 million in last year’s spending bill to jumpstart the Tech Hubs competition, from which Phase 2 awards will be made. EDA expects to make at least 5 implementation awards with the remaining available funding to designated Tech Hubs. The CHIPS & Science Bill included a $10 billion authorization for the Tech Hubs program – meaning that designated Tech Hubs will be able to compete for significantly more investment based off future funding levels.

Schumer said this designation will supercharge the Southern Tier’s momentum by boosting NENY’s efforts. "The Tech Hub designation will allow NENY to strengthen its efforts focused on U.S. supply chains, attracting startups and companies to the region, creating good-paying jobs, and expanding workforce training programs. These efforts are made possible with the expansion of the NENY's coalition to a 68-member private-public consortium including Binghamton University, Cornell University, SUNY Broome Community College, Broome County, NY-BEST, iM3NY, The Raymond Corporation, The Agency, The Community Foundation of SCNY and the Southern Tier 8 Regional Board, among other supporting partners and external mission-aligned organizations" says NENY Tech Hub Consortium Lead and Associate Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development Per Stromhaug. According to Binghamton University, the effort is projected to have billions of dollars in regional economic impact and create thousands of good-paying jobs.

Schumer has long been fighting to secure federal investment to boost Binghamton’s battery manufacturing and R&D. One of Schumer’s first major acts as majority leader was leading the American Rescue Plan to passage to both bolster America’s response to the pandemic, and boost the long-term economic recovery of regions that needed it most through programs like the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. As the Regional Challenge program was stood up and Binghamton University developed its battery hub proposal for federal funding, Schumer began personally advocating to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo for the selection of the Southern Tier for major federal investment. In December 2021, following Schumer’s advocacy, Binghamton’s project was selected as a Phase 1 awardee out of over 500 applications from around the country to compete for a final award. In April 2022, Schumer personally visited the Southern Tier to double down on his advocacy, standing with Dr. Whittingham, to reiterate his support and urge federal leaders to select Binghamton as a final Regional Challenge awardee. 

In June 2022, Schumer, Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, and Dr. Whittingham, all joined forces and penned a joint op-ed on the importance of bolstering battery technology for America’s future to again try to elevate the profile of the project. Finally in September 2022, Schumer secured Binghamton’s spot as a final awardee, with a $63.7 million federal investment, one of the largest grants made in the competition, which was matched by $50 million in funding from New York State, to help make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing. Schumer also brought U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Alejandra Castillo, to Binghamton, to show the Biden administration firsthand the potential the Southern Tier has to be a national leader as a hub for battery innovation. Additionally, Schumer brought Dr. Whittingham as his guest to this year’s State of the Union to highlight Binghamton’s national leadership in battery technology.

Most recently, Schumer also revealed that Binghamton University’s NENY project advanced to the next round of consideration for up to a $160 million grant award through in the National Science Foundation’s Regional “Innovation Engines” Competition (NSF Engines), which was created by his CHIPS & Science Bill. Schumer has launched an all-out effort advocating to the NSF that they select NENY for this final investment. The NSF recently conducted a site visit to Binghamton’s campus and awards are expected within the coming months.

A copy of Schumer’s letter of support to the Department of Commerce Secretary Raimondo advocating for their designation as a Tech Hub can be found here.



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