Gov. Cuomo names winners of clean energy technology awards

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the first round of awards from PowerBridgeNY, a recently created proof-of-concept center established to move clean-energy ideas from the laboratory to become successful businesses in New York State.

"New York is taking a leading role in supporting the development of cleantech products that are environmentally friendly, reduce energy use and increase reliability of the state’s energy systems,” said Governor Cuomo. “When the best and brightest cleantech researchers in New York State have the opportunity to collaborate with smart, experienced experts in the private sector, the result can be a powerful force for economic development resulting in a cleaner, greener, more sustainable state for future generations.”

PowerBridgeNY was created by Columbia University and New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, leading a consortium of public research institutions throughout the state, and is partially funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The award winners are working on products with the potential to reduce wastewater treatment costs, increase energy efficiency of solar panels, reduce electricity outages, decrease the cost of fuel cells, absorb carbon dioxide from the environment, and generate clean energy from railroad track vibrations, among others.

PowerBridgeNY’s award winners receive up to $150,000, mentoring and other business support to develop an innovative cleantech product first conceived through research taking place in New York State.

The funding —$5 million for each of the three organizations — is for five years, after which the centers are expected to operate on their own. The center in Rochester, called Nexus-NY, is expected to release the names of its first funding award winners.

Businesses were judged on the products' technical potential, the potential appeal to investors and how the scientists could benefit by taking part in this program.

The research teams that won the first round of PowerBridgeNY funding include:

Columbia University:

· Early detection of problems in wastewater treatment microbial processes to reduce energy costs

· Turning carbon dioxide waste and electricity into fuels or chemicals to reduce reliance on fossil fuels

· New, low-cost device to measure energy use during energy audits

· Forecasting machine to improve grid reliability and boost efficiency

NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering:

· Reducing electricity outages

· Wireless recharging of electric vehicles

· Building a more efficient power transformer

City University of New York:

· Reducing dust on solar panels to increase energy efficiency

· Improving energy efficiency of HVAC technology

Cornell University

· Longer battery life; faster recharge time for new lithium oxide batteries

· New material to absorb carbon dioxide emissions

Brookhaven National Laboratory

· Reducing cost of fuel cells and electrolyzers

University of Stony Brook

· Generating clean energy from railroad track vibrations

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