Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Syracuse Chamber one of five national finalists for award from Institute of Sustainable Development and Partners for Livable Communities

The Syracuse-based Clean Tech Center and The Tech Garden, are pleased to have been selected by Partners for Livable Communities and the Institute for Sustainable Development as one of the five national finalists for the Green Plus Chamber of the Year at the Green Plus North American Sustainable Enterprise Awards

The Award is intended to recognize chamber leadership in creating more sustainable regional economies and will be announced June 18, 2010 at an event in the Research Triangle.

The Syracuse Chamber of Commerce was at the core of organizing a regional innovation cluster that has gained international recognition for its efforts to build a comprehensive and connected infrastructure to support the development of renewable and clean energy companies, and help existing companies advance energy and climate change initiatives to support sustainability.   The Chamber was instrumental in organizing a nearly 200 member “green” consortium of education, industry, government, investor and small business leaders to develop a regional strategy around green innovation, and worked with the New York State Energy Research Development Authority to create The Clean Tech Center at The Tech Garden -- a clean energy incubator to accelerate the launch of renewable energy businesses and technologies.

In addition, the Chamber hosts a regular calendar of “Green Business Development” Days for members, in partnership with the NYS Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration.   More than 100 companies have already been served in the first year of the program.  The Chamber hosts an annual Green Business Showcase, which is the largest event of its kind in the northeast, with more than 7,000 annual attendees, and this year also launched a student “Green Innovation Exposition” to engage young entrepreneurs in idea formation around green business concepts.

Finally, the Chamber is an active partner with New York State policy makers and has had a hand in helping to shape some of the most ambitious statewide clean energy programs and sustainability goals in the nation.  The Clean Tech Center’s blog/news site:  has become one of the most widely consulted central clearinghouses of information on sustainability news and issues in New York State – with readers in more than 60 countries.

The Chamber’s efforts were recently recognized by Sustainable World Capital in the Cleantech Group’s February 2010 report for creating one of the “top ten clean tech cluster organizations in the world.”  According to an independent study by the Battelle Group, there are more than 400 clean tech businesses, employing more than 10,000, in the region – evidence of strategic growth in this sector.

The Chamber worked with the Syracuse Post Standard, a large daily newspaper, to launch a regular publication, “Green Central New York”  ( that is published bi-monthly in a four-color tabloid (using sustainable printing practices) and is also on-line to engage the community in a broad-ranging conversation and educational process about sustainability and the triple bottom line.  The publication is the only one of its kind by a daily newspaper in the country.

The Chamber has a clearly articulated economic development strategy related to green:  a)  Create green collar jobs through collaboration and the research, development, demonstration and deployment of new technologies, processes and systems that lead to sustainability;  b)  Promote case examples of companies that have implemented sustainability strategies with great return on investment, and help the business community better understand the payback economics of sustainability;  c)  Find early adopters in the region, who are willing to be testbeds for new ideas and innovations.

Specifically, the Chamber also recently coordinated a region-wide sustainability competition called “The Green of the Crop” in partnership with the Syracuse Post Standard 

The result has been a community-wide infusion of sustainability sensibility, and a competition among businesses to introduce sustainable practices and innovate green products and solutions.  In short, the Chamber and CenterState CEO are the center of a vibrant green hub that encompasses public policy, technology development, business development and community education, with an ambitious goal of becoming one of the best green clusters in the country, and a model for other regions.