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Governor Paterson Names Stony Brook University Advanced Energy Center To Lead New York State Energy Policy Institute

Dec 17, 2009 - 4:27:01 PM

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STONY BROOK, N.Y., December 17, 2009 – Stony Brook University has been designated by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under the direction of New York State Governor David Paterson, to lead the New York Energy Policy Institute (NYEPI), a state-wide consortium of energy research centers and experts that will advise the state on energy policy.

A partnership formed by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stony Brook University,  and Syracuse University will coordinate energy policy research and serve as a resource for state policymakers through NYEPI, which will be housed at the Advanced Energy Center (AERTC), located at the Stony Brook University Research and Development Park. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), a founding partner of the AEC along with Stony Brook, will play a prominent role in New York energy-policy research through NYEPI.

“Governor Paterson’s establishment of the New York Energy Policy Institute is a highly strategic initiative that will generate innovative clean energy solutions by uniting the most creative minds in the state,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D. “The institute is affirmation of our Advanced Energy Center model, which was developed to launch important partnerships between universities, industry and government. Creating a statewide Institute affirms that partnership model and Stony Brook University is very proud to be taking a leadership role, and the regional diversity of the collaborators provides a platform for understanding and accurately addressing regional issues within New York State.”

“The establishment of this energy policy institute provides Brookhaven Lab and Stony Brook University another excellent opportunity to bring our combined expertise together to address some of the nation's most pressing problems," said Deputy Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs.  “BNL's strengths in energy and climate S&T, including our longstanding programs in policy and analysis, and our facilities, such as the New York Blue supercomputer, the Center for Functional Nanomaterials and the National Synchrotron Light Source I and soon, II, put us in a position to make significant contributions. We are especially pleased to partner with Stony Brook University and the Advanced Energy Center in working on global and regional solutions, important for the state and the nation.”

NYEPI operations will be overseen by NYSERDA, which has allocated $200,000 a year for up to three years to be matched by the consortium members. The consortium will also coordinate efforts with energy experts at partner institutions statewide, including BNL, City University of New York (CUNY), Clarkson University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Hudson Valley Community College, Morrisville State College, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), The Rockefeller Institute of Government, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), the University at Albany, University at Binghamton, University at Buffalo and the University of Rochester.

“New York’s universities are fortunate to have some of the nation’s leading energy experts on their faculties, and the New York Energy Policy Institute will bring together the best and brightest minds in the energy field to help solidify New York’s standing as a leader in energy policy and analysis,” Governor Paterson said in a press release issued on December 14. “The public-private partnership we are forming today will help New York continue to be a leader in the new economy by building a clean energy economy that will create jobs and improve our environment in the future.”

The Stony Brook-led partnership submitted its proposal for NYEPI in November in response to a request for proposals from NYSERDA and was chosen following a competitive solicitation that attracted proposals from academic institutions across New York State. In selecting the winning proposal, the Governor’s office noted that “NYEPI will benefit from Stony Brook’s existing technology programs, including its co-management of the nearby U. S. Department of Energy Brookhaven National Laboratory and its operations of the Advanced Energy Center.”
 
AEC is a statewide partnership of academic and research institutions, energy providers and industrial corporations dedicated to innovative energy research and development, education, and outreach with a focus on efficiency, conservation, renewable energies, and nanotechnology applications for advanced energy technologies.

“As the Governor proposed, the NYEPI will draw upon New York’s incomparable base of energy experts to research and analyze energy policy options that will make our State more energy efficient, economically stronger, and environmentally responsible,” said NYSERDA President and CEO, Francis J. Murray. “NYSERDA looks forward to working closely with the new New York Energy Policy Institute to help maximize the potential of New York’s vast energy policy expertise.”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson said “As a member of the NYEPI, Rensselaer will combine expertise in energy research from power storage to transportation infrastructure with the education of the next generation of bright and motivated scientists, engineers, and policy makers. Our combined efforts will help New York to build new industries, create jobs, and bring lasting change to our economy and environmental landscape.”

Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor said: “Collaboration of this kind is exactly what New York State needs to address the complex challenges of formulating energy policy. This cross-sector partnership will tap the state’s vast community of experts working on sustainable solutions to our growing energy demands, and Syracuse University is proud to be a key partner in that community.”

Dr. Yacov Shamash, Dean of Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Vice President for Economic Development said “The translation of cutting-edge university knowledge not only into new technologies and new products but into new approaches to understanding and addressing our energy needs will provide a critical new dimension  of expertise for state energy policymakers to draw upon. We are proud to collaborate with so many distinguished partners in this initiative that is so critical to our energy future.”

NYEPI will be led by a board representing all participating institutions and will operate through an Executive Committee, a President and an Executive Director, and three hubs based at its core institutions. Dr. Gerald Stokes and Dr. Guodong Sun, professors in Stony Brook’s Department of Technology and Society, will serve as President and Executive Director, respectively. Dr. Stokes is also the Associate Laboratory Director for Global and Regional Solutions at BNL, and was the founding Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaborative effort between Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland.

John H. Marburger, III (Jack), will be senior policy advisor to NYEPI advising its board of directors. Dr. Marburger who will also serve as the Interim Vice President for Research at Stony Brook University effective January 21, 2010, was Stony Brook's third president (1980-1994), Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory (1998-2001), Science Advisor to President George W. Bush, and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (2001-2009).

Robert Catell, Chairman of the AEC and former chairman of National Grid, USA, will serve as chair of NYEPI’s Advisory Council. “We are delighted that the Advanced Energy Center can play a role in bringing together the outstanding talent in the energy field at New York's universities to establish New York as a leader in energy policy and analysis and to develop a clean energy economy providing for economic development and environmental stewardship.”

The consortium’s stated long-term goal for NYEPI is “to develop a strong, dynamic, and networked community in New York State that conducts energy policy research and advises policymakers.”

In its proposal, the three core consortium members said “The Institute will serve as the focal point for New York research and outreach on energy policy, as well as a bridge between the energy policy research community and stakeholders including government agencies, business, and non-governmental organizations. The Institute will bring together premier technology and policy resources from across the state to perform energy policy analysis, advising, outreach as needed to produce white papers, policy studies and recommendations grounded in a broad and deep understanding of energy systems and the current and emerging technologies that will shape their operation and development.”

NYEPI will initially focus on five targeted programs: 1) providing rapid response policy analysis and advising; 2) conducting longer-term energy policy research; 3) serving as an academic, energy information and research clearinghouse; 4) creating a database of energy experts; and 5) conducting policy workshops and briefings to NYSERDA on key actual and emerging energy issues.

Each of the three hubs will serve as a regional center of the Institute, coordinating the project participation of other institutions in its region, providing leadership for energy policy research and advising efforts in its areas of expertise, and communicating regional issues of concern to NYEPI leadership. The NYEPI team has an unusually broad range of research experience in energy technologies, in environmental, economic and political issues related to energy, and in the policy dimension where these issues merge. Equally important, it also has broad geographic reach, which enhances its ability to reach a broad array of stakeholders to gather information and to disseminate research results.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Guodong Sun, Advanced Energy Center at Stony Brook University, at (631) 632-3241, or by email at guodong.sun@stonybrook.edu.

***

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,600 acres. In the 50+ years since its founding, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 24,000 students and 2,100 faculty, and is recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and ranks among the top 100 national universities in America and among the top 50 public national universities in the country according to the 2008 U.S. News & World Report survey. Considered one of the “flagship” campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining an elite group of universities, including Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell, MIT, and Princeton, that run federal research and development laboratories. SBU is a driving force of the Long Island economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

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