News

March 18, 2010

NYSERDA Announces $1.5 million Award To Establish Clean Energy Business Incubator Program

By: by Jeffrey Gordon, NYSERDA and Steve Janack, UAlbany CNSE

Source:

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is providing $1.5 million to establish a clean energy incubator program at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany that will help growing companies develop and commercialize clean energy technologies and create jobs in the Tech Valley, it was announced today at the UAlbany NanoCollege. 

The announcement was made by NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, and CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros.

The NYSERDA funding will establish the Incubators for Collaborating and Leveraging Energy and Nanotechnology (iCLEAN), spearheaded by CNSE's Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC).

CNSE has attracted an additional $1.5 million in private investment to support the activities of iCLEAN, as well as the program's first corporate partner. Magnolia Solar Corporation, a leading developer of nanostructure-based thin film solar cells, is partnering with CNSE's E2TAC on advanced research to enable the development of high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells.  

Over the next four years, iCLEAN expects to incubate 25 successful companies, with the potential for creating 125 new jobs and investing nearly $125 million into the regional economy.

"With its wealth of talent and clean energy expertise, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany is an ideal location for a new business incubator that will help early-stage businesses grow, create jobs in Tech Valley, and compete in the national economy," said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA.  "The funding we announce today represents Governor David Paterson's commitment to invest in the infrastructure that will help innovators develop their products, take their ideas to the market, and expand New York's clean energy industries."

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher praised NYSERDA, CNSE and Magnolia Solar Corporation for their collaboration on iCLEAN saying, "This partnership leverages our collective strengths in developing the economy while focusing on sustainable, low-cost energy.  It is fitting that we are spending the day at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering as we begin to finalize our strategic plan - which is all about the revitalization of New York's economy and the quality of life of our citizens."

 

 "The world-class educational and research portfolios at UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering will be further enhanced through this vital funding from NYSERDA," said University at Albany President George M. Philip. "The creation of this innovative clean energy incubator also illustrates the NanoCollege's unique ability to drive economic investment and growth, particularly in the most critical sectors of our economy, including alternative energy technologies."

"This critical investment in the iCLEAN initiative further demonstrates NYSERDA's recognized leadership in building a robust and vibrant clean energy sector in New York State," said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and CEO of CNSE. "This funding will enable advanced research at the UAlbany NanoCollege that is essential for the commercialization of innovative green energy technologies, and also provide opportunities to attract alternative and renewable energy companies and green collar jobs to New York."

iCLEAN partners will have access to CNSE's state-of-the-art laboratories and cleanroom facilities, gain valuable networking opportunities through regional and national partnerships to raise funding through venture capital, and receive comprehensive and professional services.   In addition, the iCLEAN program will host an Entrepreneurial Development Series on clean energy to train and transition corporate executives into the growing clean energy industry. 

"With vital support from NYSERDA, the iCLEAN program will allow CNSE's E2TAC to help accelerate the development of clean energy technologies that are important for New York's environmental and economic future," said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, Director of CNSE's E2TAC. "We are particularly pleased to support the growth of emerging alternative energy companies, as evidenced by our partnership with Magnolia Solar, and look forward to working with our partners at the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation to enable additional collaborations in the future."

"We are delighted to enter into this partnership with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, through which we gain access to world-class intellectual and technological capabilities that are unmatched in the world," said Dr. Ashok K. Sood, President and CEO of Magnolia Solar Corporation [Stock Symbol: MGLT]. "We are excited to begin working with CNSE and NYSERDA to bring our technology for low cost, high efficiency thin-film based solar panels to the marketplace more quickly. Accelerating time to market with CNSE and NYSERDA support is necessary for our future success. We look forward to being a part of New York's fast-growing clean energy sector."

The iCLEAN program is a partnership between CNSE's E2TAC and the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation (HVCFI) in Kingston.  The partnership in this NYSERDA-funded initiative will seek to expand existing incubator programs at these facilities and create a new, larger incubation center at the NYSERDA-owned Saratoga Technology + Energy Park® (STEP®) in Malta. 

The iCLEAN is the sixth clean energy business incubator created by NYSERDA over the past year, and the third to be located on a SUNY campus.  The other incubators funded last year are located at the University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, The Tech Garden in Syracuse, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn.  Last month, NYSERDA announced an incubator program located on the Stony Brook University campus. 

Tech Valley is a 19-county region that encompasses the Capital Region, parts of the North Country, Hudson Valley, and Mohawk Valley.

The following statements were provided in support of today's announcement:

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This announcement is yet another indication that New York State is the premier location for high tech and clean energy. The partnership between NYSERDA and the University at Albany is a testament to the ingenuity and leadership of Chancellor Zimpher and Professor Kaloyeros. NYSERDA funds will leverage assets that already exist at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and allow emerging companies to grow, flourish and create new clean jobs right here in the Capital Region."

Congressman Paul Tonko said, "Congratulations to the State University of New York, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and NYSERDA for bringing this forward thinking project to reality.  This incubator will help bring cutting edge, innovative ideas and technologies from the drawing board to the marketplace, and create the thriving businesses of tomorrow. This is great news for our region, which is rapidly positioning itself to be one of the leaders in our emerging innovation economy."

Assembly Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari said, "This multi-million dollar green initiative is the direct result of the innovative and collaborative spirit between NYSERDA and SUNY's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. It's yet another example of the exciting, cutting edge technology that is simultaneously transforming our environment and our economy. Chancellor Zimpher, Dr. Kaloyeros, Mr. Murray and all involved are to be commended for their continued leadership and vision."

Assemblyman Tim Gordon (I)-Bethlehem said, "We know that New York State is moving towards greater reliance on renewable sources of energy and green technology.  The question is; will we be buying the new energy systems from overseas, or manufacturing the systems for export here in New York?  The initiative between NYSERDA and Albany Nanotech is exactly what we need to be doing, if New York is to remain the Empire State."      

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin said, "Today's announcement highlights another of the many opportunities that exist in our region for economic growth. The incubator program is an exciting, cutting-edge melding of economic development, clean energy and nanotechnology, which will help innovative companies to grow and create jobs for the entire region."