New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved Binghamton University’s NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant proposal, which secures funding for Binghamton’s plans to implement the Smart Energy Initiative.
The objectives of Binghamton’s NYSUNY2020 Challenge Grant include construction of a $70 million state-of-the-art Smart Energy Research and Development Facility at the University’s Innovative Technologies Complex. The new building is designed to encourage public and private sector research partnerships, enhance technology development, and help create jobs in energy-related fields such as solar energy and fuel cell technologies. The funds will also be used to expand the University’s academic mission through enrollment growth of 2,000 new students and the addition of 150 faculty and 175 professional and support staff, many of whom will focus on smart energy research.
University president Harvey Stenger effusively thanked Governor Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher “for their help making Binghamton University’s NYSUNY 2020 proposal a reality. Approval of the challenge grant puts Binghamton University and the Southern Tier region on an exciting path of growth. This NYSUNY 2020 plan will help us realize a number of goals that are important to New York State—to create jobs, enhance education, and encourage research that drives new technologies. Most importantly, it will build on the synergy of our two main objectives, to enhance the academic quality of the University and have a significant economic impact on the Southern Tier. Binghamton University is proud that the governor and the chancellor value the work it is doing and have provided the opportunity to implement this progressive plan.”
When Binghamton’s plan is expected to increase the University’s economic impact on the region by $77.5 million annually and will create more than 840 new jobs over the next five years. Most importantly, the plan positions the Southern Tier and New York State as leaders in green energy research and development.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher adds: “With an estimated economic impact of $1 billion by 2017, the Binghamton University plan not only meets but far exceeds the NYSUNY 2020 challenge and promises to greatly enhance the University’s services to students, faculty, and staff as well as its partnerships in the Southern Tier and throughout New York. NYSUNY 2020 represents a fantastic opportunity for SUNY and for New York State, and we are thrilled by the remarkable progress this partnership with Governor Cuomo and the Legislature has enabled our campuses to make as this initiative has moved forward.”