Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Announces Syracuse Center of Excellence to Start First Stage of NYE-RIC Project

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council today announced that the Syracuse University has signed an incentive proposal and is officially moving forward with the first stages of the transformational New York Energy Regional Innovation Cluster project on the strength of a $3 million grant awarded as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. This funding will be used to fit-out available space at the Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) for new research and development labs specifically focused on New York Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (NYE-RIC) opportunities, and the total project cost is $8.7 million. The full NYE-RIC project has the potential to create tens of thousands of good, green/clean-economy jobs across the state and a total project cost of nearly $225 million.

“The NYE-RIC project is the direct result of Gov. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative and is the perfect example of what regional, community-based collaboration can accomplish,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. “This environmentally conscience investment by the state will help lay the groundwork for a brighter future for the next generation of New Yorkers. Central New York’s innovative clean economy cluster has become a national leader and we need to continue to encourage investment and industry synergy to generate economic activity and spur job growth.”

“This award underlines the pivotal economic development role that NYE-RIC can play not only for Central New York, but statewide,” said Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University Chancellor & President, and co-chair of the CNY Regional Council. “New York State’s $3 million investment is leveraging the SyracuseCoE’s proven track record of successfully connecting cross-sector partners to generate world-class innovation, and spur job creation. Crucially, SyracuseCoE’s international renown will give NYE-RIC’s corporate partners a leg up in gaining access to global markets and restoring prosperity to New York State.”

“These new labs are an essential step in the development of the New York Energy Regional Innovation Cluster, a priority project that meets the goals of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO and co-chair of the CNY Regional Council. “More than just labs, NYE-RIC represents a transformational initiative that will capitalize on our region’s extensive R&D assets and leverage downstate partnerships to connect to global markets for innovations in clean technologies to produce long term outcomes for our region.”

As leader of the Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) consortium, Syracuse University signed its Incentive Proposal today, agreeing to terms for the $3 million in state resources it was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application process (CFA) after Central New York was named as one of the best strategic plans during last year’s round of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. SyracuseCoE is now ready to begin the first stage of NYE-RIC, which will focus on building new laboratories to conduct research and development for NYE-RIC opportunities, including fuel-cells, combined heat and power systems, smart grid applications, photovoltaic and wind power generation, and battery and energy power storage. Additionally, this stage will include construction of a multimodal transportation facility (bus, bike, pedestrian, and car) at the site. This phase of NYE-RIC will leverage an additional $5.7 million in federal and private funds.

The new labs will support research and development in collaboration with local manufacturing firm NuClimate Air Quality Systems, as well as two other local companies that were supported by the Regional Council Initiative – Fulton Companies and Ephesus Technologies. The labs will be lit by LED lights manufactured by Ephesus, a global leader in LED light technology.

Ed Bogucz, Executive Director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence said, “The Central New York region has a terrific cluster of firms and institutions that are developing innovations to improve energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality in buildings. Our new facilities are focused on opportunities to create jobs by helping local companies develop new products for buildings across the state and around the world.”

Regional Council Capital Funds are available for capital-based economic development initiatives that will create or retain jobs; prevent, reduce or eliminate unemployment and underemployment; and/or increase business activity in a community or region. Awards are based on achievement of objectives, which can include job creation or retention, investment, or other measurements demonstrating increased economic activity. Generally, funds are disbursed as reimbursement after project completion, approval by the ESD Directors, a public hearing and Public Authorities Control Board approval, and contract execution.

Senator David J. Valesky said, “This project exemplifies the strengths of our region, by combining green energy, research, technology and education, and will play a significant role in growing our economy. I applaud the CNY Regional Economic Development Council for choosing NYE-RIC as part of its plan, and Governor Cuomo and ESD CEO Adams for their continuing and strong support for our economic development efforts in Central New York.”

Senator John A. DeFrancisco said, “”The additional funding for the Syracuse Center of Excellence is a much-needed investment for Central New York to realize the goal of creating high-paying technology jobs in our community.”

Assemblymember Bill Magnarelli said, “This grant continues our emphasis in promoting industry and university cooperation with the assistance of New York State. The Center of Excellence is the anchor of our clean/green industries in Central New York, and its collaboration with these companies will create new jobs for our region.”

Assemblymember Sam Roberts said, “It’s vital that we continue to invest locally to create jobs in Central New York so our hardworking families and businesses have the opportunity to thrive. Syracuse University’s decision to move forward with this project not only has the advantage of being able to utilize a diverse workforce unique to our region, but also will retain and create new good-paying jobs our Central New York families rely on.”

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.nyworks.ny.gov.