12.09.21

SCHUMER URGES SECRETARY OF COMMERCE RAIMONDO TO SELECT THE SOUTHERN TIER’S NEW ENERGY NY PROJECT AS ONE OF NATION’S FIRST BUILD BACK BETTER REGIONAL CHALLENGE AWARDEES; PROJECT WOULD ACCELERATE BUDDING BATTERY MANUFACTURING ECOSYSTEM IN SOUTHERN TIER, CREATE THOUSANDS OF GOOD PAYING JOBS, COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE, & EXPAND CRITICAL EMERGING INDUSTRY IN U.S. DOMESTIC SUPPLY CHAIN

New BBB Regional Challenge Funding Would Open Up Southern Tier Opportunity For Revitalizing the Region’s Economy By Promoting Emerging Industries, Innovation, & Workforce Development

Project Brings Together Major Regional Stakeholders: Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY-BEST, And More To Turn Upstate New York Into A Battery Manufacturing Powerhouse

Schumer to EDA: Southern Tier’s New Energy New York Project Is A Win-Win-Win To Supercharge Battery Manufacturing, Create Thousands Of Jobs, And Boost R&D To Combat Climate Change

A longtime advocate of innovation and promoting tech manufacturing in Upstate New York, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is urging the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to select the Southern Tier’s New Energy New York battery manufacturing project for investment through the American Rescue Plan’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Schumer explained that the project expands on existing research, development, testing, and workforce assets to meet the demand of the emerging battery manufacturing industry. If fully funded, the project estimates that in 10 years as many as 8,000 jobs would be created or supported as a result of this program.

“The Southern Tier has long been a home to innovation, as the birthplace of IBM, flight simulation and virtual reality, and it continues to do groundbreaking research through world-renowned institutions like Binghamton University. That is why I am fighting for the New Energy New York project, to help make the Southern Tier and Upstate New York a major hub of battery manufacturing that is central to our transition to a clean economy,” said Senator Schumer. “Federal investment through the Build Back Better Challenge would help establish the Greater Binghamton area as a national center for battery manufacturing, create thousands of jobs, fuel the innovation necessary to combat climate change, and importantly strengthen a critical area of the U.S. domestic manufacturing supply chain. I will continue to fight tooth and nail to supercharge this growing area of the Upstate New York economy.”

“There is a critical mass of interest at Binghamton University where we have great folks doing this work in partnership with researchers and academics from across New York state. We possess both the battery skills and the fundamental ideas and we partner directly with major industries that need these storage solutions and who will help us make the Southern Tier and New York state the nation’s — if not the world’s — premier hub for lithium-ion battery production,” said M. Stanley Whittingham, distinguished professor and researcher at Binghamton University and recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. "This is not just about jobs and economic development, it is about national security, self-reliance and energy security."

President Harvey Stenger, Binghamton University, "We have the know-how and the technology to bridge the gap between small-scale research and large-scale manufacturing as well as the ability to support product development and help companies bring their innovations in energy storage to market. We must be able to bring the innovation and manufacturing processes back home to the United States and Binghamton University together with our partners believe that can happen right here in the Southern Tier and across New York. Other states are competing for this hub but as our leading battery researcher, Nobel Prize winner Stan Whittingham, has stated, Binghamton and New York state are in the pole position to make this happen sooner and more successfully." 

"C4V’s path to commercialization, which has taken around 11 years, should have been shorter, and would have been with the kind of federal programs being discussed and promoted by Senator Schumer. I want to thank him for his advocacy and support," said Shailesh Upreti, iM3NY in Endicott, NY’s Chair and Founder. “These great ideas, the intellectual property and patents, are coming out of the United States but we are exporting the knowledge and importing the product. It’s a double loss — it has to change and I am hopeful it will.” 

Schumer explained that specifically funding through the EDA would be used in planning for a battery technology and manufacturing center hosted by Binghamton University further supporting economic resurgence in an underdeveloped area of the Southern Tier. In addition, the proposal would also build on regional programs to help spur entrepreneurship, climate justice, and workforce training through higher education partnerships. Project collaborators include a wide swath of  the region’s universities, including Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, SUNY Corning Community College,  Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as NY-BEST and other key stakeholders like IncubatorWorks, Clean Fight NY as well as County and state government entities. 

The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, funded by the American Rescue Plan, is designed to assist communities nationwide, with accelerating economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and building local economies that will be resilient to economic disruptions. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is being implemented as a two phase program. In Phase 1, the EDA will provide ~$500,000 technical assistance grants. Those selected as Phase 1 awardees will be considered “finalists” and the grants will be used by the finalists to prepare more detailed applications for Phase 2 transformational projects that benefit their respective geographic regions and are aligned around a holistic approach to building and scaling a strategic industries. In Phase 2, the EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25 million to $75 million, and up to $100 million, for selected projects to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter of support for the New Energy New York proposal appears below:

Dear Secretary Raimondo,

I write in strong support of the joint “New Energy New York” proposal submitted by Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, Rochester Institute of Technology, and New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) to the U.S. Economic Development Administration Build Back Better Regional Challenge. This project is critical to the ongoing manufacturing and development of lithium-based batteries in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions of Upstate New York.

Following the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical, now more than ever, that we continue our investment in strengthening the U.S.’s domestic energy supply chain. The proposed initiative seeks to facilitate this goal by expanding existing research, development, testing, and workforce assets to meet the increasing demand in the electric vehicle, battery, and stationary grid storage markets. The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes are home to a growing lithium ion manufacturing industry, with a gigafactory set to open in 2022 in Endicott, NY.

Specifically, funding through the EDA would help take essential steps in the planning for a battery technology and manufacturing center hosted by Binghamton University further supporting economic resurgence in an underdeveloped area of the Southern Tier. In addition, the proposal would also build on regional programs to help spur entrepreneurship, climate justice, and workforce training programs through higher education partners. The vast coalition assembled for this project speaks to the tremendous value and unwavering commitment of the community to bolstering this emerging manufacturing in Upstate NY.

I applaud Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY-BEST, and their regional partners for the ongoing role they continue to play in the economic development of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,

 

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