The newly passed state budget includes a significant increase in funding for Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing along with continued funding for the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute located at RIT.
RIT’s Center of Excellence
The technology created by the Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing, initially established in 2012, will allow New York companies to compete more effectively in global markets as the environment for manufacturing competitiveness increases with the emphasis on sustainable manufacturing products and processes. The increase in state funding will provide a wide range of economic and environmental benefits for the Rochester area and beyond, according to RIT President Bill Destler.
“We are very pleased that Governor Cuomo included our Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing in his Executive Budget this year, and that our legislative delegation in Albany supported this increased level of support in recognition of the considerable impact that the Center has made in just two years through its work with upstate manufacturers,” Destler said.
“Historically, the work being done at RIT—which led to the formation of GIS—has been a true partnership with industry,” added Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of GIS. “The value of this partnership has been shown with more efficient product development and production, increased job creation, and related economic benefits.”
One of New York state’s most innovative and ambitious high-technology initiatives is the establishment of centers of excellence at leading universities such as RIT. The centers support high-technology ventures through a collaborative approach among the state, academia, private-venture capital companies, and other private and public sector parties and are designed to encourage rapid commercialization of scientific breakthroughs and stimulate new job creation. In total, these initiatives are expected to leverage new private sector and other contributions of more than $1 billion.
NYSP2I continues at RIT
Located at RIT since its inception in 2008, NYSP2I focuses on reducing the environmental footprint and increasing the productivity and efficiency of New York businesses.
NYSP2I received its $3.25 million in funding through an appropriation that was included in the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) as part of the 2014-2015 state budget. The institute is funded through the EPF, which is managed by the DEC.
NYSP2I provides comprehensive and integrated programming in technology research, development, training and education aimed at promoting sustainability across New York state. Partners include Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo, and New York’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers.
NYSP2I promotes cost-effective, pollution-prevention techniques that aid businesses in reducing manufacturing costs; lowering energy and water usage; lessening hazardous substances and overall waste streams—allowing companies to remain competitive and environmentally responsible in today’s global economy.
The institute also has provided assistance to businesses in key sectors—such as the food and beverage industry as well as pulp and paper and metal finishing—to make New York companies more efficient and environmentally friendly.
The latest state investment will enable NYSP2I to work with businesses and organizations across New York in a number of key ways. The institute’s programs, for example, provide assistance to manufacturers looking to achieve more efficient production processes, implement green chemistries, or pinpoint energy savings at a facility; recommend the use of cleaner, alternative materials; accelerate and commercialize environmentally friendly products; and assist the supply chain in securing important sustainability certifications.
“RIT has been proud to host the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute since 2008,” Destler said. “This funding and contract extension provide added momentum for the optimization and testing of green manufacturing methods and technologies that will no doubt result in significant economic benefits for business and industry across New York.”
Anahita Williamson, NYSP2I’s director, said the combined state funding and the DEC’s decision for the cutting-edge environmental center to continue operating at RIT is “recognition for the results we have achieved with the wide range of industries and organizations we have worked with over the last five years.”
“As an important technical resource in New York, P2I is a unique collaboration of industry, academia and community—all working toward a single goal: reducing our environmental footprint and making our state more sustainable for future generations,” Williamson said. “At the same time, we’re helping forward-looking organizations to increase profits, gain industrial competitiveness and commercialize green technologies. We welcome the challenge of striving toward an even more sustainable New York.”