WXXI AM News

RIT awarded $70 million in federal funds for new clean energy manufacturing institute

Jan 5, 2017

RIT has won a competition by the federal government to lead the REMADE (Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions in Materials Manufacturing) Institute, a new clean energy manufacturing facility.

The initiative will help further technologies designed to conserve energy and reduce emissions. 

At a news conference Wednesday, RIT President Bill Destler said the award will enable RIT to add more than 50 technical and administrative staff jobs to support the new national headquarters in Rochester along with new test bed facilities to move innovations from the lab to the real world. 

"Hopefully it will eventually spin into hundreds of jobs, perhaps even thousands of jobs in the region and companies wanting to be close to this kind of action," Destler said.

As the winning consortium, RIT will match the $70 million it will receive in federal funding over a five-year period. State and federal officials, including U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter are applauding the selection. They each prepared video messages for the news conference.

"This is only good news for the future of our area when it comes to good paying jobs, both in manufacturing and in research," Schumer said.

The goal of the project is to increase sales for the U.S. manufacturing industry by 50 percent, while also creating a next-generation recycling and manufacturing workforce in New York and across the country.

Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability, will serve as the chairman and CEO of the clean energy initiative. He said now that the grant has been secured, the first order of business will be to negotiate the contract.

"We anticipate within a few months that we would finalize a contract that will spell out the details and specifics. But maybe even before that, we'll need to find a place for the headquarters," Nasr said.

The REMADE consortium consists of 26 universities, 44 companies, seven national labs, and 26 industry trade associations and foundations.