RIT-Led Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance Is Expected To Spur Innovation and Create Clean, High-Tech Jobs -- Project Aims to Deliver 50% Increase in US Manufacturing Sales & Spur Next Generation of Manufacturing Workforce 

Schumer Previously Made Call Directly to Energy Secretary -- Sec Moniz Said RIT’s Bid For DOE Grant Looked Promising & Schumer Pushed Hard to Make it a Reality

Schumer, Gillibrand: RIT Will Lead Critical Project and Help Revolutionize The US Manufacturing Industry

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to lead a national consortium of universities and businesses aimed at revolutionizing the US manufacturing industry as its new Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CEMII) site. Schumer previously called Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz directly to advocate for Rochester, citing that RIT was uniquely suited to serve as the new home of the CEMII and the Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in Materials Manufacturing center. The remade project will now provide the RIT-led consortium with $70 million in federal funding over five years, which will be matched 1:1. Schumer and Gillibrand said that the combined $140 million investment will allow RIT to help pioneer the kinds of solutions that can improve the U.S. manufacturing industry by reducing net-energy costs, waste materials and emissions, as well as help grow new, clean tech and clean energy jobs.

“RIT has been leading the way in revolutionizing our manufacturing sector for years and there is no one better suited to host this new remade site,” said Senator Schumer. “I spoke directly to Secretary Moniz a few weeks ago and urged him to select RIT. This prestigious designation will bring a critical $70 million in funding to RIT so it can get to work creating jobs and developing new and innovative manufacturing technologies. This project has the power to bring a wealth of resources to the region and help get American manufacturing moving again. It will be a win-win-win for Rochester, for New York, and for middle-class families across the country."

“This funding is outstanding news for the Rochester Institute of Technology and the high-tech manufacturing industry in New York State,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Rochester Institute of Technology is already at the cutting edge of our nation’s clean energy research and is also a major source of talent for jobs in our state, and these funds will help ensure that the university stays in this strong position for years to come. I was proud to fight for this funding, and I will continue to push for more resources to help our clean-energy, high-tech economy thrive.”

The RIT-led consortium – the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance (SMIA) – consists of more than one hundred research universities, national laboratories, and industrial partners. The project aims to increase sales for the U.S. manufacturing industry by 50 percent, to $21.5 billion, while also creating a next-generation recycling and manufacturing workforce in New York and across the country. Schumer and Gillibrand said bringing this hub of clean energy manufacturing innovation to New York State will allow the consortium to leverage existing capabilities in New York and across the nation to create new clean tech opportunities to help U.S. manufacturers expand and compete. 

The award will enable RIT to create a new national headquarters in Rochester along with new test bed facilities to move innovations from the lab to the real world.  The award is expected to enable RIT to add approximately more than 50 technical staff jobs to support the new headquarters and test facilities.   

Schumer and Gillibrand pointed to RIT’s Golisano Institute of Sustainability (GIS) as evidence of its long track record of transferring new innovations from the laboratory into the marketplace, where they are now being applied to manufacturing and efficiency challenges across the country. He said that RIT is particularly well positioned to deploy critical new technologies due to its large network of industrial partners. These manufacturers will dramatically reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions as a result of the new institute’s work on reusing, recycling, and remanufacturing industrial materials. Schumer and Gillibrand said these advances will address a major national challenge in combating greenhouse gas emissions while boosting American manufacturers’ competitiveness on a global scale.

In December, Schumer called Secretary Moniz directly in his final push to bring this site to Rochester. In October, Schumer and Gillibrand wrote to Secretary Moniz and urged him to award this $70 million to RIT. In 2014, Schumer and Gillibrand sponsored the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act. This legislation established the National Network of Manufacturing and Innovation, publicly known as Manufacturing USA. This network joins public and private funding to accelerate manufacturing innovation and revitalize critical industrial centers, including those across Upstate New York. The network has established or announced nine manufacturing innovation institutes and plans to establish six additional institutes by 2017.   Prior to this, Schumer was integral in securing funding for the Department of Defense to build a state-of-the-art research lab at RIT to work on defense modernization and sustainment initiatives. RIT developed cost-effective ways to rehab and upgrade military equipment to ensure the equipment could last longer. Collectively, these initiatives represented a major investment by the defense community in Rochester and helped create the foundation for the groundbreaking remanufacturing and sustainability work that was a key component in RIT now winning this Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CEMII).

A copy of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand’s initial letter to Secretary Moniz appears below:

Dear Secretary Moniz,

We are pleased to write in support of the application submitted by a Rochester Institute of Technology-led (RIT) national consortium, the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance, to establish the U.S. Department of Energy’s next national manufacturing institute: the Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CEMII) for Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in Materials Manufacturing.  RIT has long been a recognized global leader for its work in fostering and developing new manufacturing methods and practices that help industry make products more efficiently and more sustainably while using less energy.

As global competition and resource scarcity increases, U.S. manufacturers will look for new solutions to help them reduce the cost of raw materials, energy, water, and more by becoming more efficient and sustainable.  The mission of the REMADE institute is to not only pioneer these solutions to make U.S. manufacturing better by reducing net-energy costs and reducing costly manufacturing waste materials and emissions, but to also grow new clean tech and clean energy industry and jobs.   

RIT is uniquely suited to lead this institute and achieve its mission. RIT has a strong demonstrated track record of working with industry, military, government, and others to deliver results and savings by innovating new sustainable manufacturing methods.  Spearheaded through its Golisano Institute of Sustainability (GIS), RIT has shown it can transfer research out of its labs and classrooms and apply it in real-life industrial manufacturing plants, many of which are producing more sustainable products today thanks to RIT’s work.

RIT, together with the more than one hundred research universities, national labs, and industrial partners like Xerox and Caterpillar that make up the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance (SMIA) are positioned to develop new technologies that when employed by Institute members during its first five years of operations can achieve new manufacturing efficiencies by reducing manufacturing material waste, increasing remanufacturing applications, and boosting material recycling.  The aim will be a 50% increase in sales for the U.S. manufacturing industry to $21.5 billion and the creation of a next-generation recycling and manufacturing workforce.

Based in New York State, the Institute HUB led by RIT through the SMIA can best leverage existing capabilities in New York and across the nation to create new clean energy and clean tech opportunities to help our U.S. manufacturers expand and compete.

Again, we strongly support this application and appreciate your consideration.  Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and we thank you in advance for your work and leadership to help it grow.


Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator


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