Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Clarkson University Teams Win Awards From EPA for Environmental Innovation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Awards for sustainability to each of two Clarkson University teams that participated in the Sixth Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this past weekend.

Clarkson University is the first school ever to win two awards in one year.  Each team will receive a $75,000 grant from the EPA to further develop their design, implement it in the field, or move it to the marketplace.

The award competition and expo was held at EPA's 40th anniversary celebration of Earth Day, April 23-26. Winners of the P3 awards developed sustainable projects and ideas that protect the environment, encourage economic growth and use natural resources more efficiently.

The first Clarkson team presented a project titled "Farm Waste to Energy: A Sustainable Solution for Small-Scale Farms."  The second team presented "Sustainable Year-Round Food Production in Cold Climates."

"Sustainable innovations like the ones created by our P3 Award winners are the environmental and economic future of our nation. In fields from agriculture to architecture to energy production, sustainability is the true north on the path ahead," said Paul T. Anastas, assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Research and Development.  "Innovations like these keep our country competitive and healthy.
Congratulations to our winners, and to everyone who participated, for their efforts to create scientific and technological innovations that will lead us into a sustainable future."

Each year, the National Sustainable Design Expo showcases innovative, cutting-edge technologies designed by student teams along with sustainable policies and technologies developed and implemented by government and state agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Support for the competition includes more than 40 partners in the federal government, industry, and scientific and professional societies.  This year's expo was co-sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Find more information on the P3 Award competition at

Friday, April 16, 2010

SBA raises SBIR program awards

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently amended the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Policy Directive, increasing the SBIR Program award threshold to $150,000 for Phase I, up from $100,000, and $1 million for Phase II, up from $750,000. The current award threshold has not been adjusted since 1992 when Congress reauthorized the program's legislation.  Good news for early stage developers of emerging technologies ...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SUNY releases new strategic plan for "The Entrepreneurial Century"

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher this week is unveiling SUNY's new strategic plan for its 64 campuses. The Power of SUNY is intended to serve as a guide for development over the next decade.
The plan is available at

"It was an honor to be a part of the strategic planning process," said Raymond Cross, president of Morrisville State College. "I am excited about this plan and the commitment embedded in every paragraph. This is not your traditional academic strategic plan - it is bold, exciting, and real, and certainly demands attention. It calls for action, requires commitment, and will aggressively move SUNY and all of New York forward. Every campus and community should be eager to help make this vision a reality."

The Power of SUNY explores the many issues affecting New York State and the State University community, while identifying six "big ideas":
  • SUNY and the Entrepreneurial Century
  • SUNY and the Seamless Educational Pipeline
  • SUNY and a Healthier New York
  • SUNY and an Energy-Smart New York
  • SUNY and the Vibrant Community
  • SUNY and the World
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 465,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Final five in $200k Emerging Business Plan Competition

The Central Upstate Regional Alliance announced today the five finalists who will compete for the New York’s Creative Core® Emerging Business Competition $200,000 grand prize. The competition is sponsored by M&T Bank and New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), among others. The finalists were chosen from a highly competitive pool of 103 applicants, the largest in the competition’s history. The New York’s Creative Core® Emerging Business Competition is the largest privately-funded competition of its type in the nation.

The five finalists will make their final pitch for the grand prize before a panel of distinguished judges who are nationally-recognized financial experts, venture capitalists, and investors, on Tuesday, April 27. New this year, audience members will be able to weigh in on the finalist presentations and vote for their favorites. Each company will have a five digit code associated with it. Audience members will use that code to send a text from their mobile phones. The audience’ choice will be considered by judges as they make their final selections.

Finalists include:  
  • Brand Yourself, LLC, Syracuse:  Brand‐Yourself is the first web platform that empowers individuals to manage their entire online reputation from one central hub, and establish a remarkable web presence by harnessing the power of social media. The platform makes it easy for customers to control how they are perceived online from their Google results to their social networking profiles, and helps them network by tapping the data of the social web. www.brand‐  
  • Floodwatch, LLC Ithaca:  FloodWatch has developed a patent pending cost‐effective optical based water sensor. Typically mounted on the ceiling, this technology is able to detect very small quantities of water (and other fluids) in a safe and reliable manner, while supporting a wide range of applications. The water sensor detects the presence of moisture, leaks, or flooding without touching the surface that it monitors. It is placed upwards of 14 feet from the floor and has a detection circle of 40 inches in diameter. The FloodWatch solution will notify building owners on a local or remote basis, including through security monitoring systems, building management systems or via a simple cell phone text message or email.  
  • GeneWeave Biosciences, LLC, Ithaca: GeneWeave Biosciences is commercializing a disruptive bacterial detection technology developed at Cornell University. The diagnostic testing technology will rapidly determine drug‐resistance and toxicity of bacteria with results accurate to the genetic level, while requiring no laboratory or expensive equipment, at one‐tenth the production costs of competitors.  
  • MicroGen, LLC, Ithaca: MicroGen’s energy harvester prototype chips are synergistic with batteries including advanced long‐life batteries. It harvests the energy created by vibrations which can then be used in a range of applications. They have successfully fabricated 3 wafer MEMS which have demonstrated increasing voltage, power and yield.  
  • Sound Reading Solutions, LLC, Ithaca: Sound Reading Solutions provides Reading Therapy software to improve reading abilities in children and adults by using proprietary cognitive learning methods. Sound Reading creates Reading Therapy to effectively help the brain match sounds to the symbols on a written page.

Brand Yourself and MicroGen are portfolio companies of The Tech Garden / The Clean Tech Center.

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds

Cities, towns and counties around NYS just closed on submitting a round of issuance plans to NYSERDA for Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds.  QECBs were first authorized by Congress in October 2008, with a $800 million volume cap nationwide. Through the February 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress increased the QECB volume cap to $3.2 billion.  New York State has been provided an allocation of $202,200,000 through the program.

A broad array of “green” projects may be financed with QECBs, which are a type of tax credit bond.  Eligible project types include:

Capital expenditures incurred for purposes of
  • Reducing energy consumption in publicly owned buildings by at least 20%
  • Implementing green community programs
  • Rural development involving the production of electricity from renewable energy resources
  • Any facility eligible for the production tax credit under Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code
Expenditures with respect to research facilities and research grants to support research in
  • Development of cellulosic ethanol or nonfossil fuels
  • Technologies for the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide produced through the use of fossil fuels
  • Increasing the efficiency of existing technologies for producing non-fossil fuels
  • Automobile battery technologies and other technologies to reduce fossil fuel consumption in transportation
  • Technologies to reduce energy use in buildings
Mass commuting facilities and related facilities that
  • Reduce the consumption of energy
  • Reduce pollution from vehicles used for mass commuting.
Demonstration projects designed to promote commercialization of
  • Green building technology
  • Conversion of agricultural waste for use in the production of fuel or otherwise
  • Advanced battery manufacturing technologies
  • Technologies to reduce peak use of electricity
  • Technologies for the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide emitted from combusting fossil fuels in order to produce electricity
Public education campaigns to promote energy efficiency

In New York, the program allocates NYSERDA, which is a public authority, to issue bonds and sell tax credits to bond or tax credit investors in order to finance energy conservation projects.  It is not a direct funding program that allocates public dollars.

For more information:

NYS Energy Efficiency Clearinghouse is new one-stop for energy efficiency programs

Finding energy efficiency programs is now easier.  There's a great one stop clearinghouse for NYS energy efficiency programs for institutional customers:

Find info on programs for K-12, Colleges and Universities, Local Governments, State Government, Water and Wastewater Facilities and Health Care Facilities.

NYS Dormitory Authority goes green

Did you know that the New York State Dormitory Authority has adopted a policy that supports sustainable design approaches and construction practices? The policy encourages integrated design and recognition of sustainable opportunities in every project. Since January 1, 2008, all DASNY projects that are new construction, addition, or significant renovation include a goal of LEED Silver and are submitted to the US Green Building Council(US GBC) for a rating review.

Each project requires energy modeling in the schematic phase as well as the construction document phase, and requires that a Commissioning Authority be part of the process.

The policy is one more example of  how New York State is leading the way in smart green building design.

NY Energy Frontier Research Centers

It has been nearly a year since The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named five New York institutions Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC), awarding each DOE grants between $2 and $5 million per year for a planned initial five year period. New York’s five centers were the second most awarded to any state, in large part due to the State's commitment of a 10 percent state match in funding and work to position New York as a national leader in clean energy technology research and development.

Over that time, the EFRCs have brought leading scientists to address fundamental issues in fields ranging from solar energy and energy storage to materials sciences and superconductors. New York facilities were among 46 chosen nationwide, and include SUNY Stony Brook, Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, Columbia University, Cornell University, and General Electric Global Research in Schenectady.

To secure the EFRC federal grants, Governor Paterson and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided letters of support and provided matching state grants to the projects at a ratio of one state dollar for every 10 federal dollars. Additionally, NYSERDA provided a $250,000 grant to each academic center.

The awards wereas follows (with the total five-year commitment):
  • Columbia University: $16 million; $1.6 million state match; $250,000 NYSERDA grant
  • Cornell University: $25 million; $2.5 million state match ; $250,000 NYSERDA grant
  • General Electric Global Research: $15 million; $1.5 million state match
  • State University of New York, Stony Brook: $17 million; $1.7 million state match; $250,000 NYSERDA grant
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory: $25 million requested; $2.5 million state match; $250,00 NYSERDA grant
Significantly, three of the five awards in New York State are for energy storage technology research, complementing the Governor’s Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (known as NY BEST). There were only six centers nationally that will focus on energy storage, and New York State is home to half of them.

NY BEST has made great strides to implement an impressive “battery consortium,”committing $25 million to this effort, which will support research to advance the commercialization of battery and energy storage technologies within the State. At the same time, General Electric (GE) Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt announced GE’s plan to establish a new sodium battery manufacturing facility in New York that will create 350 new jobs.

A year later, and impressive progress.  Read more about it, and sign up for updates here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NYS is fourth largest energy consuming state in the county, but also the second most energy-efficient per capita

New York is both the fourth largest energy-consuming state in the nation and the second most energy-efficient state per capita, according to a recent report by NYSERDA. 

Highlights in the report:
  • Total Energy Consumption.  Overall consumption declined by 1.6 percent. Consumption of natural gas, petroleum, and coal decreased by 1 percent, 7 percent and 7 percent respectively, while hydropower and nuclear power increased by 7 percent and 2 percent respectively.

  • Types of Energy Consumed.  Petroleum consumption represents 37 percent of energy use compared to a national average of 33 percent.  Coal represents 6 percent of energy, compared to 25 percent nationally.  Other sources include natural gas, 30 percent; nuclear power, 11 percent; hydropower, 7 percent; and other, including various fuels regarded as renewable, 9 percent.
  • Electricity Generation. Electricity generation accounted for 40% of energy consumption.  Natural gas and nuclear each contributed 26% of the state’s electric generation.  Hydro power was third at 17%, imported mixed-source power from outside the New York grid at 14%, coal at 12%, petroleum only 2%, other (including biomass) at 2% and wind at one percent.

  • Dependence on imported petroleum.  The state’s dependence on imported petroleum was 91%, versus an average of 68% for the US.  In-state resources—mostly hydro power, natural gas and alternative energy including bio-fuels, wind and solar increased to 12% of energy consumed, or one percent higher than the previous year.
    The full report is available online at  Patterns and Trends - New York State Energy Profiles: 1994-2008  (480kb .pdf), or by visiting

NYSERDA wins 2010 ENERGY STAR leadership award

NYSERDA received the 2010 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its work to promote energy-efficient construction and environmental protection through its New York ENERGY STAR Homes Program. 
More than 16,000 energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly homes have been built since the program began in 2001.  New York ENERGY STAR homes are at least 30 percent more energy efficient than standard homes and 15 percent more efficient than the national ENERGY STAR standards set forth by the EPA.  According to NYSERDA, the program has saved residents over $12 million a year on energy bills, and cut electricity by 18.7 million kilowatt-hours (enough to power 3,100 homes for a year), and saved 898,590 MMBTUs of fossil fuel to date.

During the economic downturn, the New York ENERGY STAR Homes market share has been steadily increasing, reaching approximately 24 percent of the 1-4 family new residential construction market as of the end of 2009.  Nearly 2,100 New York ENERGY STAR Homes were built in 2009, allowing owners to avoided nearly $1.5 million in energy costs last year while saving 3.2 million kWh of electricity and 101,192 MMBTUs of fossil fuels.  It is estimated that owners of New York ENERGY STAR Homes spend nearly $1,000 less per year than owners of conventionally built homes     

New York ENERGY STAR Homes incorporate improved air sealing and insulation techniques, high-quality windows and doors, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and well-sealed duct systems.  Not only do New York ENERGY STAR Homes save energy, they make for a more comfortable, durable and healthier home.  New York ENERGY STAR Homes must pass a stringent evaluation, including computer-based energy analysis and inspection performed by a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater.  Only homes that meet the Program’s high-efficiency standards can earn the label of a New York ENERGY STAR Home.

Earlier this year, NYSERDA won the Sustained Excellence award from the EPA for its accomplishments in energy efficiency and environmental protection. 

ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency.  Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations.  More than 17,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings, and businesses.  For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

Read the whole story here:

NYSERDA announces $204 million for large-scale renewable energy projects

NYSERDA, in conjunction with the Public Service Commission (PSC), has awarded $204 million of funding to eight large-scale electric generating projects to produce and deliver renewable electricity to New York consumers.  The projects will be funded through the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which finances the development of renewable energy resources that will help reduce harmful emissions, increase energy security, and build a clean energy economy.         
The funding will support wind power initiatives at the Hardscrabble (Herkimer County), Steel Winds II (Erie County), and Marble River (Clinton County) wind projects; hydroelectric projects including upgrades to the Wappingers Falls (Dutchess County) and Taylorville (Lewis County) power projects; and biofuel projects including co-firing operations at the NRG Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) facility, landfill gas-to-electricity at the Albany Energy (Albany County) project, and a new 100 percent biomass Black River Generation  project (Jefferson County). 

Last year, the Public Service Commission expanded the RPS goal to increase the proportion of renewable electricity sold in New York from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2015.  Under the a state goal of ‘45 by 15,' in addition to obtaining 30 percent of our electricity through renewable technologies, another 15 percent will be obtained through energy efficiency measures. 

New York is nationally recognized for its investments in clean renewable energy technologies.  Including projects from this latest solicitation, 39 projects have been selected under the RPS program representing more than 1,532 megawatts of renewable capacity.  These include 14 wind farms, 19 hydroelectric facility upgrades, one landfill-gas project, three power plants that will partially displace coal with biomass, and two power plants that will use 100 percent clean renewable biomass.  Of the 39 projects selected to-date, 26 are operating, five are under construction, and the eight selected under this solicitation are under development.

NYS solar thermal industry ready for roadmap

With solar thermal projects now eligible for Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) funding for the first time and a roadmap for growing the technology nearing completion, New York is moving toward leading the nation in this technology, says New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA).

NYSEIA had urged the PSC to include solar thermal as an eligible technology to receive RPS funding from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). New York now joins 13 other states to include solar thermal in RPS programs.

“This is a landmark move that realizes the substantial benefits that solar thermal can provide to the New York economy and its renewable energy goals,” said NYSEIA President Ron Kamen, senior vice president of EarthKind Solar.

“Including solar thermal in the RPS and providing a five-year program will jump start New York’s solar thermal industry,” said NYSEIA Executive Director Gail Markels. “The PSC decision provides a critical base for the first part of a three-legged state energy platform that needs to next address electric gas and oil programs.”

The solar thermal segment will be further propelled by a new Solar Thermal Roadmap under development that aims to deploy 2,000 MWs of solar thermal in New York by 2020 and create 10,000 jobs. The plan will be unveiled by theSolar Thermal Consortium at the association’s annual conference, The Business of the Sun, in Albany on May 13.

The New York Solar Energy Industries Association, founded in 1994, is the only statewide non-profit membership and trade association dedicated solely to advancing solar energy use in New York State. For information, visit

NYS PSC approves a $279 million funding package for small-scale renewable projects over the next five years

A recently approved New York State Public Service Commission plan is expected to help thousands of homeowners and businesses install solar panels, fuel cells, wind turbines and other renewable energy devices, with a $279 million funding package coming from the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard initiative.

The funding will support customer sited renewable energy projects over a five year year period.  For the smallscale funding program, equipment up to 50kW will be eligible for funding, which breaks down into $144 million for solar photovoltaic projects, $70.5 million for anaerobic digesters, $21.6 million for fuel cell projects and $18.1 million for small wind turbines.  For the first time, solar thermal projects will also receive support, with that technology allocated $24.7 million.

New York is striving to meet a target under its RPS to source 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.  The Public Service Commission estimates that the program could help produce 466,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity generated over its five year period – enough power to supply 72,000 homes.

View the entire story here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Clean Tech Center to close second round of clean energy incubator company applications

Last call for the second round of applications to The Clean Tech Center's NYSERDA funded clean energy incubation program.   Applications to this round will close Friday, April 16, with the next class of portfolio companies announced on April 28.

Learn more about the program at: and

Download an application at:

It's Entrepreneurship Week at Cornell

This week is eCornell's Celebration 2010, the milestone annual entrepreneurship event on campus that brings together 11 colleges and programs for symposia, a showcase of technologies that are being commercialized and two business idea contests.  The activities are planned for April 15-16 on campus -- from workshops to career opportunities, "Big Idea" competitions, and the BR Ventures Challenge.  Watch the celebration live on the Web.  Get more details at www.entrepreneurship/

Greentek Industries leads in reuse of recycled materials

Greentek Industries, a division of the JM Murray Center, has launched an impressive new manufacturing line that includes production, packaging and distribution of products made from recycled materials.  The company also provides recycling services to industry and municipalities, and can provide on-site warehousing and recycled material brokering services.  It additionally offers engineered custom reclamation and refurbishment processes.

Greentek develops processes that use post-consumer plastics and paper, and sustainably harvested materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.  The company manufactures its own line of adult and child toothbrushes with handles made from 100% recycled polypropylene, and are developing high density polyethylene bags with significant post-consumer recycled content.

Greentek also produces injection molded reusable plates and flatware from recycled materials and environmentally friendly colorants, and CNC-machined cutting boards made from Paperstone, a material made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper products.

The company's capabilities include:  injection molding, CNC machining, liquid filling, mechanical assembly, automated labeling and packaging, and custom processes.

Learn more about Greentek at:

Cayuga - Onondaga BOCES becomes first LEED certified public school in NYS

The US Green Building New York Upstate Chapter recognized recently LEED certified projects, including Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES which is the first LEED certified public school in NYS.  The new $42.1 million, 200,000 sq. ft. facility is LEED Silver, with 20% of its energy coming from renewable sources including two 125 ft. deep geothermal wells.  The project diverted more than 95% of its waste, totaling nearly 130 tons, and more than 20% of its construction products were produced regionally.  The smart green building includes sophisticated energy monitors to report on real time energy usage to help monitor and manage energy systems.

Orange County Choppers goes green

Okay, how cool is this?  Orange County Choppers is green.  The legendary company, headed up by Paul Teutel, Sr., recently earned its LEED Silver plaque from the US Green Building Council  New York Upstate Chapter for its new world headquarters in Orange County, New York.

In case you are living on another planet and don't know the famous team from the Discovery Channel hit show, visit:

Cornell's Center for Materials Research explores nanostructured materials for photovoltaics, thermoelectrics and fuel cells

The Cornell Center for Materials Research is presenting its 2010 CCMR Symposium, "Nanostructured Function Materials by Design," on May 18.  Beyond nanoparticles, nanofabrication and polymers, the event has an energy bent this year with a focus on photovoltaics, thermoelectrics and fuel cells.  Early bird registration ends April 17.  Learn more about the program at:

NYS municipalities tackling climate change action planning

"Climate Change Action Planning," a workshop for municipal officials, is set for May 13 at Albany Law School.  Sponsored by the NYS Bar Association's Environmental and Municipal Law Sections, the workshop will focus on the DEC's Climate Smart Communities Program and include information on local land use and transportation planning, and technical and financial assistance for climate-oriented projects. 

New York State created the Climate Smart Communities program to encourage municipalities to develop local initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate climate change. 

The NYS DEC website has good ideas that communities can consider -- from ridesharing and recycling programs, to creating green space and green infrastructure, to developing alternative energy sources.  Visit the site at:

The DEC also has an excellent Energy and Climate webpage:

RGGI auction results for NYS

The seventh Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction, held recently, helped raise total NYS revenues from the auctions to more than $213 million since December 2008.  $90 million of those funds will assist in reducing the State's deficit, with the rest going to fund programs through a plan adopted by NYSERDA, including a $112 million allocation to the Green Jobs / Green New York workforce training program, as well as the establishment of a loan fund for residential and small commercial and nonprofit customers for weatherization and energy efficiency improvements.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have agreed to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018.  The states sell nearly all emission allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in consumer benefits: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies.  The goal of RGGI is to spur innovation in the clean energy economy and create green jobs in each state.

The RGGI website ( provides a portal for official user platforms, state applications, and materials for participants in RGGI, as well as current information about the status of RGGI auctions and state rules. Auction 8 will be held June 9, 2010.

Congressman Dan Maffei makes "green" requests

Congressman Dan Maffei's FY 2011 Appropriations Request list has a strong "green" theme, with a number of cleantech projects targeted for support in the 25th District.

Among the highlights:
  • Atlantic State Legal Foundation -- $350,000 for a green infrastructure training project
  • SUNY ESF -- $1.5 million for Source Sentinel LLC for development and deployment of sensors to detect biological agents in water, and protect water supplies against man-made chemical and biological toxins
  • Montezuma Audubon Center -- $150,000 to increase energy efficiency by converting to geothermal
  • New York State Parks -- $1 million to replace fleet with zero emission clean fueled vehicles to be built in Onondaga Count
  • Onondaga Community College Sustainability Initiative -- $290,850 to develop talent for emerging jobs in the energy and environmental systems industry, and equipment for wind turbine and photovoltaic technology
  • Syracuse University -- $500,000 for the development of innovative energy systems in buildings and communities
  • The Tech Garden -- $100,000 to create a green entrepreneurship program for regional college students
  • Discovery Center of Science and Technology (MOST) -- $500,000 for an Energy Exhibit that will encourage students to choose career paths in science, tech, engineering and math

NYSERDA launches "Entrepreneur in Residence" program

Recognizing the need for executive level mentoring for start-up, seed, and early-stage clean energy companies in New York State, NYSERDA has launched an Entrepreneur-In-Residence program. The EIR program will provide a broad range of high-level advice and assistance to early-stage companies through a program, facilitated and managed by High Tech Rochester (HTR).  The EIR program is open to companies who receive NYSERDA funding and participate in other NYSERDA programs.

Engagements are project driven, and have a predetermined timeline, with project appropriate milestones generated by the company, HTR, and the EIR.  Companies may receive assistance under this program in the following areas, including but not limited to:
  • Business plan writing
  • Business plan/investor presentations
  • Marketing approaches/implementations that are appropriate for the targeted markets
  • Staffing for growth
  • Budget and finance management
  • Resource planning
  • Management selection, strategic partnering
  • Seeking additional financing/funding sources
  • Operations planning
  • Technology development planning
  • Board composition and management
If a company has NYSERDA funding or is participating in a NYSERDA program and is interested in participating in the EIR program, it should contact its NYSERDA Project Manager to inquire about being approved for participation. Alternatively, it may contact the NYSERDA EIR Program Project Manager, Mike Shimazu, at 1-866-NYSERDA ; (518) 862-1090, ext. 3478;

HTR EIR Program Director is Doreen Kula, at (585) 214-0581;

Click here to view a complete EIR description.

RIT makes list of "Top 50 Green Buildings Around the World"

From:  Engineering a Better World -- 50 Greenest Buildings in the World 

“Greenest” can be a highly subjective term. An environmentally-friendly building encompasses an exceptionally broad spectrum of elements – with some excelling in a couple of areas but potentially in need of a boost in another.  Once a building attains the platinum LEED certification levels as outlined by the United States Green Building Council it is difficult to define what makes a building “greener” than one of its fellow sustainable contemporaries.  There are far more than 50 platinum-certified buildings, both retrofitted and built from the ground up around the world. Some nations also play host to extremely green buildings, but hold them to different standards than the United States or have not submitted themselves for LEED certification in spite of probably meeting at least one level of their different criteria.

Engineering a Better World compiled a list of its favorites, and RIT’s University Services Center in Rochester, NY made #5 in the world.  Rochester Institute of Technology also plays host to a LEED-certified gold building as well.  It's website proudly outlines some of the hallmarks of their first platinum achievement.

The Engineering A Better World Blog is about applying the general principles of engineering; testing, method, research, creativity, and artistry, to our world in a very practical way.

Learn more, and get access to 50 Green Engineering Blogs here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Time for Emerging Talk

John on the Quad

Syracuse University’s first Entrepreneur in Residence, John Liddy, was "John on the Quad" this week, handing out checks for great ideas pitched by student entrepreneurs.  The catch:  The checks are redeemable at Emerging Talk, a regional entrepreneurial network for student start-ups and the donors who support them.  Emerging Talk will award $100,000 in monetary and non-monetary prizes on April 28 to registered, attending students.  Awards range from free legal advice to thousands of dollars in seed funding to Apple iPads.

Emerging Talk is being held on April 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Syracuse Technology Garden. It’s free and open to anyone interested in attending.

John on the Quad is still ready to hear ideas.  To register for Emerging Talk, visit

Several entrepreneurial resources are available to SU students:
  • The Accelerator has three main components, all aligned to maximize the success of student start-ups: courses, iVenture and the Student Sandbox at the Syracuse Technology Garden. The courses are designed to 1) assemble innovative students across the SU campus, 2) organize teams around viable student business ideas and 3) coach students toward a business launch.
  • iVenture is a student-run organization focused on finding and matching student talent across the SU campus. Students who need help creating the appropriate team for their start-up can find the necessary skill sets at
  • The Syracuse Student Sandbox is an incubator for student-run businesses. It provides an experiential environment with access to professional resources, investors, business mentoring, legal advice, and technical and subject matter support.
  • The Orange Tree Fund provides seed funding to facilitate student ventures at SU. Funding is awarded to student companies to cover start-up expenses.

Clarkson University Electric Snowmobile Earns Trip to Greenland in Clean Snowmobile Competition

Clarkson University's Electric Snowmobile was one of the top-two zero-emissions winners last month at the 2010 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge at Michigan Technological University. As a result, Clarkson has been invited to bring the snowmobile to the Summit Station in Greenland, where the National Science Foundation (NSF) is doing atmospheric research.

The zero emissions category for battery-powered sleds is sponsored by the NSF, which uses electric snowmobiles while conducting research in pristine arctic locations. With data being taken in parts per billion, any emissions from a conventional snowmobile would affect the results.

Clarkson University also took the CH2M HILL Polar Service Range Event Award and the Keweenaw Research Center Draw Bar Pull Award, dragging 737 lbs., nearly 100 lbs. more than the second-place team. The team also came in first on the endurance run.

The Clarkson snowmobile, which weighs in at 718 lbs., is powered by 816 Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, which power a 42 horsepower Solectria motor. It was the quietest at the entire competition, measuring at 63 decibels (dB), about the noise level of an average conversation.

The competition's snowmobiles are built as utility vehicles, with the goal being to build a machine that can pull a heavy load and have as long a range as possible. The sleds must also be able to withstand arctic temperatures as low at -40 degrees Celsius.

Sponsors of the Clarkson Electric Snowmobile Team include Alcoa Inc., Vicor, EV Components, Camoplast, Woody's, Omega Engineering, K2 Energy, Salisbury High Voltage Protection, Clarkson University's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Anderson Power Products, Solid Works, North Country Collision, and Northeastern Sign.