SyracuseCoE Selected as EnergyTech University Prize Regional Convening Partner, in collaboration with NYSERDA and CenterState CEO’s Clean Tech Center

Register your team and submit your idea by the Jan. 31, 2022, deadline!

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) recently launched the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), an engaging competition that challenges post-secondary students to develop and present a business plan that leverages lab-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. EnergyTech UP awards more than $250,000 in cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization.

The competition gives students the opportunity to learn, lead, and grow, offering cash prizes to winners based on the strength of their proposal, not the strength of their background.

Interested in competing?

  1. Explore possible technology opportunities on the Lab Partnering Service, read more about prizes and the official rules
  2. Register a team and/or submit an idea is Jan. 31, 2022.
  3. Compete on in the virtual regional competition, hosted by NYSERDA, SyracuseCoE and the CleanTech Center on February 18th from 3 to 5pm to qualify for the national competition. More information will be announced.
Register Your Team Now!

The OTT has named NYSERDA, in collaboration with SyracuseCoE and CenterStateCEO’s Clean Tech Center, as one of fifteen Regional Convener partners of the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP). In this role, these organizations will host the competition’s Explore Event, virtually, on February 18th from 3:00 to 5:00pm for students in the surrounding geographic locations.

During the first phase of EnergyTech UP, students explore business and energy technology opportunities and present their findings at the regional Explore Event, virtually, on February 18th from 3:00 to 5:00pm. At the end of the event, judges will identify the top team selected to move on to the national competition in March.

In addition to winning cash prizes, students competing in EnergyTech UP will:

  • Receive tailored mentorship and Energy I-Corp materials
  • Develop business plans specifically for the energy industry
  • Work directly with the U.S. Department of Energy and national laboratories
  • Network with industry professionals at Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Week.

This challenge is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable, allowing students with- or without a background in energy or business to successfully compete.

To hear more about EnergyTech Up, follow SyracuseCoE on social media (links below) and DOE / OTT on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About the EnergyTech University Prize
Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages DOE national 4 | EnergyTech University Prize Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. EnergyTech UP awards cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization. Learn more.


Forum: EPIC Buildings: Exploring New Funding Opportunities for Small Businesses from the U.S. Department of Energy


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued its Round 2 SBIR/STTR Phase 1 Topics of Interest notice on Monday, Nov 8th, with letters of intent due on Jan 3rd. These programs provide research & development funding for small businesses to support technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

This webinar, held on Friday, Nov 12th explored the topics of interest targeted by the DOE in this funding opportunity. Learn about the application process and hear from those who have navigated the process successfully, winning Phase I awards of $50,000 – $250,000 and follow-on Phase II awards of $1,600,000.

SBIR = Small Business Innovation Research
STTR = Small Business Technology Transfer

Learn more about SBIR and STTR

What is the opportunity?

The SBIR and STTR programs are competitive programs designed to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in research/research and development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. These initiatives enable small companies (500 or fewer employees) to explore their technological potential and grow their commercialization success. In FY 2020, participating federal agencies awarded small businesses over $3 billion to develop and commercialize new technologies.

What is the EPIC Buildings program?

SyracuseCoE’s EPIC Buildings program was created to accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for energy hardware innovations in the upstate New York region that enhance Grid-Interactive & Energy-Efficient Buildings (GEBs).

Podcast: EPIC Buildings – Project Kickoff Webinar

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Buildings account for more than 70% of U.S. electricity consumption and power sector CO2 emissions. By combining energy efficiency and demand flexibility, grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) can remake buildings into a clean and flexible resource, saving billions in power system costs, reducing carbon emissions and relieving stress on the nation’s grid. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) work to remake buildings into a clean and flexible energy resource by combining energy efficiency and demand flexibility with smart technologies and communications to deliver affordable, comfortable, productive, and high performing homes and buildings.

SyracuseCoE held a kickoff webinar showcasing the new EPIC Buildings program based on a $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for energy hardware innovations, in the upstate New York region, designed to enhance ‘Grid-Interactive’ & Energy-Efficient Buildings.

The panel included Monica Neukomm, Technology Manager for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) in the Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), as well as by Ed Bogucz, Bess Krietemeyer, Bing Dong from Syracuse University, and Sarah Hood and Juhanna Rogers from CenterState CEO and Joseph Borowiec from NYSERDA.

For more information about this program, visit the EPIC Buildings Project webpage or contact Tammy Rosanio at

$750,000 DOE Award to Accelerate Innovations for ‘Grid-Interactive’ Efficient Buildings

Syracuse University has received a $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for ‘Grid-Interactive’ & Energy-Efficient Buildings. The project is focused on strengthening the regional innovation cluster in Upstate New York, including resources available through the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) and CenterState CEO. This is one of ten awards made by DOE’s Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) and is the only EPIC project focused on building technologies. 

Visit the EPIC Buildings webpage on the SyracuseCoE website.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated anew, indoor spaces are crucial to the health, comfort and productivity of occupants. At the same time, building operations are responsible for nearly half of the energy used in the US. The DOE’s Building Technology Office envisions that a clean-energy future requires innovations for “grid-interactive buildings & energy-efficient” (GEBs) that integrate energy generation or storage capabilities and management systems that interact with the regional electrical grid. 

Participating companies will receive assistance to develop and commercialize energy hardware innovations for buildings, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, building envelope systems, building-integrated energy generation and harvesting technologies, and building-integrated battery and thermal energy storage systems. Beyond the innovation cluster, the goals of the project are to promote equity & public health in this sector and further the nation’s transition to net-zero carbon emissions. 

“This award gives us the opportunity to strengthen and grow the regional cluster of businesses that are developing building technology innovations and products,” said Eric Schiff, interim executive director of SyracuseCoE. “This project supports SyracuseCoE’s mission to catalyze these innovations in New York State.” 

The project will sponsor a series of events and resources for networking, technical, marketing and equity issues, as well as provide access to funding opportunities and national lab resources. Startup companies can join the Clean Tech Center in Syracuse which offers a suite of services with additional financial support from NYSERDA. All companies can propose collaborative projects involving intellectual property, prototypes, and proof-of-concept for their potential products for buildings.

“The ‘smart’ and high-performance building technologies regional innovation cluster is critical to Central New York’s economy. We are excited to partner with the SyracuseCoE on this project as it will leverage and build on that existing regional expertise, and strengthen strategies to improve public health, particularly in disadvantaged communities, ” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Ensuring that we can help companies and innovators advance these systems to drive more equitable health outcomes is central to our vision of creating a place where business thrives and all people prosper.”

KICKOFF EVENT  A kickoff webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at 4 p.m. The event will give a brief introduction to the program, including the opportunities available for CNY companies. Event panelists will discuss the needs and opportunities for energy hardware innovations for “smart buildings,” including products that promote equity and health in addition to grid interactivity and energy efficiency. Monica Neukomm, Technology Manager for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB), with the DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) will join the panel. The event will also be joined by Eric Schiff, Ed Bogucz, Bing Dong, and Bess Krietemeyer from Syracuse University, and Sarah Hood and Juhanna Rogers from CenterState CEO, and Joseph Borowiec from NYSERDA. 

For more information about the program, contact Tammy Rosanio at

76 West Clean Energy Competition: Information Session

Lunch Provided

Join 76West Director Brian Bauer and competition manager, Rena Scroggins, to learn more about the upcoming round of NYSERDA’s 76West Clean Energy Competition in the Southern Tier.

Learn more about NYSERDA’s competition with a $1 million top prize and $2.5 million in total prize money for six clean energy startups. The past winners are building the clean energy ecosystem and using their prizes to expand through R&D and manufacturing partnerships.

76West is focused on early stage companies with innovations in energy efficiency, renewables, or greenhouse gas reduction.

Winners are not required to relocate to the Southern Tier to take home the prize money, yet some past winners now call the highly-ranked region home for all or portions of their business.

76West is open for applications on December 3, 2018.

NYSERDA Free Electric Car Ride & Drive

Join us on Thursday June 21 for the unveiling of a new public access electric vehicle charging station and a FREE electric car Ride & Drive sponsored by NYSERDA!  Check out the latest models and learn and experience the many benefits of driving environmentally friendly vehicles from experts at Standard Hydrogen Corporation, Spark Charge, and others.  Food trucks will be available.

*Drivers license required to participate in the test drives.

Vehicles Include:

BMW X5 E (Plug in SUV)

★ Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Volt

★ Chrysler Pacifica PHEV

Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

Mitsubishi Outlander (Plug-In)

Nissan Leaf (BEV)

Smart 2-4 EV (U)

Toyota Prius Prime

Learn about available state and federal tax credits and rebates!

Save money at the pump. Never go to a gas station again! Average savings of $700-$1,000 per year.

Reduce your environmental impact. Reduce your carbon emissions by 60%. Learn more.

Thanks to NYSERDA, Charge NY, and SyracuseCoE for making this event possible!

Reports and Resources:

Rev Up Evs: Multi-State Study of the Electric Vehicle Shopping Experience, Sierra Club

Global EV Outlook 2016, International Energy Agency

EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, Department of Energy

NYSERDA’s RFP Networking Session

On Monday, February 26, SyracuseCoE will be hosting the NYSERDA’s RetrofitNY RFP Networking Session for professionals involved with or interested in learning about retrofit solutions for affordable housing units.

RetrofitNY’s Request for Proposal (RFP) began on February 6, 2018, working to renovate multifamily buildings to reach or approach net-zero energy performance, and revolutionizing the industry in New York.  They are currently seeking building owners and qualified teams to respond to the RFP.

At the event, the RetrofitNY Team will discuss their application process and answer questions, while allowing other industry professionals to network with solution providers and building owners.  Building owners, public housing authorities, architects, energy engineers, builders, manufacturers, high-performance (or passive house) building experts, solar PV providers, and affordable housing developers are all encouraged to attend.

To register, email with your organization name and the number of attendees.  Registration ends Thursday, February 22.

SyracuseCoE Opens One-of-a-Kind BEST Lab

Two of Syracuse’s signature strengths—robust, four-season weather and expertise in green building technologies—have attracted an international team to conduct a project that will help improve energy efficiency in buildings through weatherization technologies.

Project partners include the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the US Department of Energy (USDOE), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Syracuse University, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE). The partners have committed more than $2 million to undertake the three-year project.

The project is being conducted at the new Building Envelope Systems Test (BEST) Laboratory—opened in April 2009—a unique SyracuseCoE research and development facility located on SyracuseCoE Platinum Partner Syracuse University’s South Campus. The project focuses on the performance of air barriers—systems that control unintended air movement between outdoors and indoors, which can have major impacts on a building’s energy use and indoor air quality. In heating climates, up to 40% of the energy use in a building can be attributed to air leakage.

The BEST Laboratory resembles a small, two-story house. In place of windows, the laboratory has 34 openings for test panels, each of which is four feet wide and nine feet high. ABAA has installed panels that represent various materials and air barriers, which are then subjected to identical outdoor and indoor conditions. Inside, ORNL will install instruments to measure temperature, moisture and air movement. ORNL will analyze the results.

The location of the BEST Laboratory in Syracuse recognizes the expertise and resources available through SyracuseCoE, such as Jianshun Zhang, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at SU, who is director of the world-renowned Building Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES) Laboratory in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. Zhang, along with other SU faculty and students, will help manage the BEST Laboratory.

See a list of Professor Jianshun Zhang’s published research.

SyracuseCoE Team to Design High-Performance Homes

Thanks to $550,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded in February, a collaborative SyracuseCoE team will design and build up to six new energy-efficient “green” homes in Syracuse. CDH Energy leads the Home Performance Improvement Challenge (HomePIC). Additional members include the Building Performance Contractors Association, Camroden Associates, Northeast Green Building Consulting, and Syracuse University.

The HomePIC project team completed a similar NYSERDA sponsored project in 2007. The High Environmental Performance (HEP) house project developed a design for a new energy-efficient home built in Fayetteville, NY. The HomePIC project will extend the skills and experience deployed in the HEP house into the mainstream housing market. The goal of the HomePIC project is to work with builders that construct affordable homes of between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet and that are interested in achieving better energy performance from existing designs.

The NYSERDA grant will pay builders a $10,000 incentive to construct the first demonstration home of each design developed by the HomePIC team. In addition, SyracuseCoE has committed to provide up to $100,000 in incentives to build up to 10 new design homes in the Near West Side neighborhood. Design, construction, and performance data of completed homes will be available to builders and home buyers on the NYSERDA website.