What is the TEC Innovates program?
The “TEC Innovates” program is designed to strengthen Central New York companies in its historic “Thermal and Environmental Controls (TEC)” sector by supporting companies that foster innovation in products that monitor and control energy and environmental quality in built environments—homes, schools, offices, factories, and neighborhoods—and in related applications, such as food production, transport, and preservation. The program offers assistance to both start-up ventures and established companies.
Supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce to spur regional entrepreneurial activity, TEC Innovates is one of 27 projects selected nationwide to receive funding under the Economic Development Administration’s 2017 “i6 Challenge.” It is a three-year project led by the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) in partnership with CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO).
TEC Innovates builds on successful outcomes of the 2012 – 2016 initiative in Advanced Manufacturing for Thermal and Environmental Controls (AM-TEC). The AM-TEC project was a collaborative initiative designed to establish and grow a regional cluster of TEC manufacturers in the 12-counties of CenterState New York. More than 60 firms were engaged in AM-TEC activities.
Who’s eligible to participate?
TEC Innovates targets companies in the five counties of Central New York—Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Madison and Oswego—and the seven surrounding counties that are included in the CenterState region: Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Seneca, St. Lawrence and Tompkins.
Key program opportunities include:
Cluster networking opportunities – TEC Innovates promotes collaboration among cluster firms by organizing monthly factory tours, creating networking opportunities to better understand capabilities and potential relationships, inviting suppliers and regional business partners throughout the region. Previous tours have been held at the Carrier Corporation’s Innovation Center, Bitzer Scroll, Intertek, Air Innovations, Healthway Home Products, G.A. Braun, and many more. Upcoming tours include Unimar, Oneida Air, and Inficon. Sign up for invitations to these tours/networking below. You can also nominate a facility that you would like to tour.
Innovation and product development – TEC Innovates engages cluster firms to offer support for the development of new innovations and products.
Product Innovation Awards offer companies assistance with product development ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 for short term projects that develop and/or test proof-of-concepts of new products. These funds may be used to support company testing/validation efforts, engage faculty and/or students in projects such as the Analysis & Design Center (ADC), below, or senior capstone projects, or for other product research and development needs. Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis.
SyracuseCoE Analysis & Design Center (ADC) is available to assist companies innovate, designing products that are ready to market faster and fundamentally better designed, without repeated prototyping. The ADC is supported by graduate students, under the supervision of faculty from Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, and is designed to improve students’ modeling skills with projects in need of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA), as well as provide exposure to real-world company design challenges.
ADC projects are intended to have the following results:
- Reduce the time to market for new products;
- Lower the risk to firms for product development;
- Engage Central New York’s abundance of student talent in support of company-driven product development projects.
Technology research and development (R&D) roadmaps are key indicators of industry and market trends that are relevant to the TEC cluster. Below, you’ll find a collection of technology-based roadmaps developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), International Energy Agency, and more.
More than 50 Central New York firms have been surveyed as part of CenterState CEO’s 2018 Talent Task Force, including TEC Innovates-affiliated companies, to better understand workforce needs, skill gaps, and career pathways throughout the region and to assist industries and regional clusters, such as TEC cluster, address the challenges identified. The task force expects to release an action plan to address these findings in the fall of 2018.
We invite you to join the TEC Innovates cluster of companies in Central New York that is leading the charge toward increased regional innovation and technology development, working together with area universities, economic developers, start-ups and many others to grow this historic economic cluster.
Sign up today!
Testimonials from TEC Innovates companies:
“The quality of what we got was over the top, it was 100%. I can’t say enough about the collaborative relationship with everyone I’ve met through this.”
“The people that we worked with have been absolutely fantastic to work with helpful, accommodating, and genuinely interested in seeing us succeed.”
“Excellent source of diverse resources, very responsive; if they didn’t have what I needed they told me where to find it.”
“They have been absolutely critical to our success as a start-up. To have this type of development hub for assistance is just invaluable to developing new business in the region.”