Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the U.S. National Science Foundation has designated the New Energy New York (NENY) Storage Engine as a Regional Innovation Engine (NSF Engine) as a part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The NENY Storage Engine, anchored at Binghamton University in New York’s Southern Tier Region, will receive up to $15 million for two years and up to $160 million over 10 years to establish a hub that will accelerate innovation, technology translation and the creation of a skilled workforce to grow the capacity of the domestic battery industry. Through Empire State Development, New York State will match up to 20 percent for the first five years of the project as well as provide support through established programs. The NENY Storage Engine was chosen for its diverse, cross-sector coalition that will build a leading ecosystem driving battery technology innovation, workforce development and manufacturing to support U.S. national security and global competitiveness.

“With this transformative National Science Foundation grant, we are putting Binghamton and all of New York State back at the cutting edge of manufacturing and innovation,” Governor Hochul said. “The modern era of battery technology was born right here in New York, and thanks to Majority Leader Schumer, President Biden and New York’s congressional delegation, the CHIPS and Science Act is helping to ensure that the future of batteries is built here as well.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “Up to $160 million is now on its way to supercharge Upstate NY as a booming battery research hub being led by Binghamton University. Thanks to my CHIPS & Science Law, Binghamton will be the beating electric heart of federal efforts to help bring battery innovation and development back from overseas to spark growth of this critical industry vital to our nation’s national and economic security. With the prestigious NSF Engines award, the Southern Tier and Upstate NY has officially secured its place as the next loop on America’s battery belt. Lightning has struck not once, not twice but three times to supercharge Binghamton and the NENY coalition as best in class to grow cutting edge research in America’s battery industry. For years I have worked to craft and lead to passage these new programs to spur economic development, create good-paying jobs, and spark scientific innovation, specifically with places like Binghamton and Upstate NY in mind. Binghamton’s battery hub is already electrifying Upstate New York’s workforce and economy, but this investment is the crown jewel that will help fuel the scientific discovery and innovation to ensure this industry is here to stay in America.”

The NENY Storage Engine was one of sixteen national finalists for this designation across the country, out of an original pool of 188. The proposal came from the NENY project, a coalition led by Binghamton University, a leader in lithium-ion battery research, in a region that has become renowned for its battery manufacturing capabilities. NENY’s proposal brings together diverse partners to tackle the battery technology value chain and ensure the U.S. is ready as demand grows for electric vehicles and reliance on battery storage grids increases. This includes chemistry research, new components and applications, and recycling plans. The coalition is comprised of 14 industry partners, 50 networked sector companies, 4 core university partners, 5+ high tech incubators, 17 vocational & tech training partners and 3 international collaborators.

The NSF Engines represent one of the single largest broad investments in place-based research and development in the nation’s history – uniquely placing science and technology leadership as the central driver for regional economic competitiveness. The announcement delivers on the bipartisan priorities outlined in the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022,” which authorized the NSF Engines program. Launched in May 2022, the NSF Engines program uniquely harnesses the nation’s science and technology research and development enterprise and regional-level resources.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “This designation marks another win for New York State and the Southern Tier, which is poised to become a global hub for research, innovation, and advanced manufacturing. This funding will provide needed resources to support the researchers and entrepreneurs who are working to advance the growing energy storage industry, which will super-charge economic development and job creation in the region and statewide.”

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “The NENY Storage Engine developed at Binghamton University in the Southern Tier is helping ensure New York’s energy storage industry is cultivated through a responsible process that will support a robust local supply chain and skilled workforce. This designation as a Regional Innovation Engine hub and funding award is indicative of Governor Hochul’s leadership on climate and clean energy and reflects the State’s ongoing collaboration with the federal government to realize our shared vision for a thriving green economy.”

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “Our congratulations to SUNY’s Binghamton University and the New Energy New York partnership for being recognized by the National Science Foundation for their leadership in this technology space and their economic impact in the region—winning yet another significant federal award will enable Binghamton to expand research and development to grow the domestic battery industry. Led by Nobel Laureate Dr. Stan Whittingham’s research and expertise, supported by President Harvey Stenger, and backed by further investment and commitment from our Governor and the state legislature, as well as Senate Majority Leader Schumer and our congressional delegation, battery technology innovation will lead to strong economic development for the entire region and our state.”

State Senator Lea Webb said, “I am extremely proud that Binghamton University’s battery hub has won a prestigious award from the National Science Foundations Engines competition, winning up to $160 million, with a $15 million dollar immediate investment. There are exciting developments happening in Upstate New York and I am thrilled that Binghamton battery hub will play a central role in our economic development and innovation. I thank Senator Schumer for his work on the CHIPS & Science law and Governor Hochul for supporting the Southern Tier.”

Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said, “I am thrilled that the coalition led by Binghamton University has received an award through the Regional “Innovation Engine” Competition. Years of dedication and hard work are helping our area become the center for battery innovation and manufacturing. I would especially like to thank Senator Schumer and Governor Hochul for their steadfast support on behalf of the regional economy of the Southern Tier. Our clean energy future depends on the work being done by this team.”

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, “Today’s announcement is great news for our community as it establishes Broome County as the nation’s leader in battery research and manufacturing. Thank you Governor Kathy Hochul and Senator Chuck Schumer for delivering once again for Broome County.”

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said, “Another extraordinary win for Binghamton University’s New Energy New York (NENY) and the entire coalition. We have all of the right academic and research collaborators on board, we are partnered with major industries as well as small businesses, and our ecosystem is diverse. This is what the NSF Engines program is all about. Of course, we want to thank Senator Schumer for his vision, leadership, and support for Binghamton University and the entire NENY coalition.”

Today’s designation builds upon prior federal and State combined investments of $113.7 million through Binghamton University to support the creation of Battery-NY, a cutting-edge technology development, manufacturing, and commercialization energy storage hub. In addition to $50 million in State funding first announced by Governor Hochul in her 2022 State of the State address, Binghamton University was selected by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration to receive $63.7 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge, a national competition that is providing transformative investments to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters across the country, that also enhance economic equity, create good-paying jobs and further the United States’ global competitiveness. Binghamton University was one of 21 chosen out of more than 500 applications originally which were narrowed to 60 applicants in round two of the challenge.