PowerBridgeNY Student Award Winners Announced

The first student winners of the PowerBridgeNY awards have been announced by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The recently established Proof-of-Concept Center aids clean energy ideas move from the laboratory to commercial product. These awards continue to support the development of New York’s cleantech economy to create jobs and businesses focused on emerging clean-energy technologies.

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.”

cleaning-solar-panelsPowerBridgeNY 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 winners, who were awarded up to $150,000, 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.

“The funding announced today will help these scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs move their innovative technology closer to market-readiness as they tackle technical clean-energy issues,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s support, the proof-of-concept centers are advancing cleantech innovation in New York State, growing new companies and commercializing the next generation of products that will help reduce the State’s energy use.”

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.

“These award-winning projects, which will improve our environment and strengthen the economy, are precisely what we envisioned 16 months ago when Governor Cuomo pledged the state’s support for partnerships with Columbia, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and High Tech Rochester,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “We are pleased to be part of this effort and for Columbia’s pioneering researchers in sustainable technology and clean energy solutions to have yet another opportunity to contribute to our community, New York and society at large.”

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

  • Columbia University whose students are developing early detection of problems in wastewater treatment microbial processes to reduce energy costs; turning carbon dioxide waste and electricity into fuels or chemicals and well as a forecasting machine to improve grid reliability and boost efficiency.
  • NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering whose students are addressing the need to reduce electricity outages, studying wireless recharging of electric vehicles and working on building a more efficient power transformer.
  • City University of New York whose students are trying to reduce dust on solar panels to increase energy efficiency and improving energy efficiency of HVAC technology.
  • Cornell University whose students are studying longer battery life; faster recharge time for new lithium oxide batteries; and new materials to absorb CO2 emissions.
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory whose students are looking at how to reduce the cost of fuel cells and electrolyzers.
  • University of Stony Brook whose students are generating clean energy from railroad track vibrations.

In addition to funding the proof-of-concept centers, NYSERDA also has invested in a variety of other clean energy entrepreneurship initiatives, including six cleantech business incubators around the state; an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program that links experienced business mentors with cleantech start-ups; and Green Capital Empire, a NYSERDA-sponsored initiative designed to bring early-stage funding to New York-based clean energy businesses.

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