Congresswoman Louise Slaughter today hosted a forum highlighting the work of three Rochester companies at the forefront of diesel fuel technology and Rochester Institute of Technology, saying they are already creating the next generation of green jobs.
Last month, the Obama administration announced improved fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for three categories of medium- and heavy-duty trucks beginning in model year 2014. Separate but complementary technologies developed by Cerion, Torvec and Vnomics with assistance from RIT are perfectly poised to create the next generation of advanced manufacturing and research and development jobs in Rochester.
The three companies currently employ 80 people in the Rochester area and now, thanks in part to the new regulations from the White House, plan to hire 60 more workers in the next 12 to 18 months. Today Slaughter brought together the four job creators to praise their commitment to future growth in Rochester.
“Imagine a world where long-haul trucks, buses and delivery trucks can run cleaner than they do today and on less fuel,” says Slaughter. “Imagine a time when Rochester is once again a leader in research and development and high-tech manufacturing. Today the leaders that will turn this dream into a reality surround us. The work being done by Cerion, Torvec, Vnomics and RIT is what will create the next generation of jobs and help rebuild America’s manufacturing sector, starting right here in Rochester and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Slaughter has worked closely with Cerion, Torvec and Vnomics over the years and more than a decade ago secured $11 million to assist RIT in building the Center for Integrated Manufacturing. Since then she secured another $22 million for technology-related funding at RIT understanding that technologies developed at the university have the potential to fortify Rochester companies and create jobs.
Already this technology is seeing success at local trucking company DeCarolis Truck Rental. In May, they began testing technology from Cerion and Vernomics on board one of their trucks. Not only has fuel economy been improved, but coking, which affects engine performance, has been reduced. DeCarolis’ willingness to provide a real-world testing environment has been a plus with fewer trips to the pump and less time in the shop.
“From early stage incubation to the technical assistance required to help these companies grow, RIT has been there every step of the way,” says Slaughter. “Back in the 1990s, RIT approached me with their vision to be a world-class center for advanced manufacturing. Back then we didn’t know that in 2011 we would be announcing three transformative diesel fuel economy technologies, but we did know that the creation of such a center would result in the type of advances we see here today. From the very beginning, RIT was helping Cerion, Torvec and Vnomics, and I was happy to help them.”
In August, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation announced first-ever medium- and heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standards. These standards, which will be phased in over four years starting in 2014, call for reduction in fuel usage of 10 to 20 percent. Heavy-duty trucks account for 12 percent of all U.S. oil consumption and diesel vehicles represent 95 percent of all heavy-duty trucks.
“At RIT, we are committed to enabling the results of our applied research and development efforts to move swiftly from the lab to the marketplace,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “The university’s role is to help our industry partners to bring these technologies to life in new products and processes, and to spawn new companies that will fuel economic growth in the region. RIT has played a critical role with each of these companies in a variety of ways and we look forward to their continued growth and success.”
“ The Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT is helping shape the future of energy technologies applied to transportation,” adds Nabil Nasr, RIT assistant provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “The technologies produced by Torvec, Vnomics and Cerion, generated right here in Rochester, illustrate the momentum we are bringing to the region in the expanding alternative fuel industry.”
RIT has worked closely with all three technology firms, including Cerion and Vnomics who got their start in the university’s incubator, Venture Creations. For more on the incubator, go to http://www.rit.edu/research/vc.
From Cerion : “It’s exciting for Cerion to not only be adding high-tech, skilled jobs to the western New York region but also, to have our manufacturing based here at Eastman Park is important to us a local company,” says Mick Stadler, founder and CEO of Cerion Energy. “When President Obama announced his mandates for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, we immediately felt that Cerion would be part of this solution. The feedback we’ve been getting on the dramatic reduction in fuel consumption and the reduced emissions from DeCarolis while using our product only reinforced this confidence. The two years we’ve spent in product R&D has been validated by the sheer number and size of the companies that are currently engaging us. We’re talking to government entities, some of the largest mining companies in the world and now have business in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina in addition to over 25 scheduled product demonstrations in the United States. I just read a fuel audit made by an independent company that showed a 14 percent decrease in fuel consumption for one of our customers using our product. It’s a very exciting time for Cerion Energy.”
From Torvec Inc.: “Rochester has always been a place of creativity and innovation. Vnomics, Cerion and Torvec exemplify this tradition,” says Keith Gleasman, president and chief technology officer at Torvec Inc. “Our technology will not only allow fleet owners to save money and meet new standards, but also help create new manufacturing jobs here at home, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
From Vnomics : “Vnomics’ FleetKnowSys technology delivers on average an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy for commercial trucking fleets, which equates to about $4,000 in fuel savings per truck per year. FleetKnowSys is perfectly positioned to significantly help in achieving the federal government’s Green Energy commitment to identify sustainable ways to improve fuel economy for the commercial trucking industry by 20 percent,” says David Chauncey, president and chief executive officer of Vnomics. “We estimate that if all trucks in the U.S. used FleetKnowSys, more than 2 billion gallons of fuel could be saved a year. This equates to a 44 billion pound reduction in carbon emissions.”
From DeCarolis Truck Rental : “DeCarolis Truck Rental is committed to the growth and success of our customers. Our transportation solutions provide them with confidence and predictability for their business operations. The emission technology in today’s diesel engines has not been consistent in reliability. Therefore, we at DeCarolis have decided to work toward possible solutions with local technology companies. Real-world testing on our equipment has proven to be successful, and we believe it will make a positive impact not only for us and our customers but for the entire industry,” says Paul DeCarolis, chairman of DeCarolis Truck Rental Inc.