Syracuse University has received a $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for ‘grid-interactive’ and energy-efficient buildings. The project is focused on strengthening the regional innovation cluster in Central New York, including resources available through the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) and CenterState CEO. This is one of ten awards made by DOE’s Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) and is the only EPIC project focused on building technologies.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated anew, indoor spaces are crucial to the health, comfort and productivity of occupants. At the same time, building operations are responsible for nearly half of the energy used in the US. The DOE’s Building Technology Office envisions that a clean-energy future requires innovations for “grid-interactive buildings” (GEBs) that integrate energy generation or storage capabilities and management systems that interact with the regional electrical grid.

Participating companies will receive assistance to develop and commercialize energy hardware innovations for buildings, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, building envelope systems, building-integrated energy generation and harvesting technologies, and building-integrated battery and thermal energy storage systems. Beyond the innovation cluster, the goals of the project are to promote equity & public health in this sector and further the nation’s transition to net-zero carbon emissions.

“This award gives us the opportunity to strengthen and grow the regional cluster of businesses that are developing building technology innovations and products,” said Eric Schiff, interim executive director of SyracuseCoE. “This project supports SyracuseCoE’s mission to catalyze these innovations in New York State.”

The project will sponsor a series of events and resources for networking, technical, marketing and equity issues, as well as provide access to funding opportunities and national lab resources. Startup companies can join the Clean Tech Center in Syracuse which offers a suite of services with additional financial support from NYSERDA. All companies can propose collaborative projects involving intellectual property, prototypes, and proof-of-concept for their potential products for buildings.

“The ‘smart’ and high-performance building technologies regional innovation cluster is critical to Central New York’s economy. We are excited to partner with the SyracuseCoE on this project as it will leverage and build on that existing regional expertise, and strengthen strategies to improve public health, particularly in disadvantaged communities, ” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Ensuring that we can help companies and innovators advance these systems to drive more equitable health outcomes is central to our vision of creating a place where business thrives and all people prosper.”

A kickoff webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at 4 p.m. ET. The event will give a brief introduction to the program, including the opportunities available for CNY companies. Event panelists will discuss the needs and opportunities for energy hardware innovations for “smart buildings,” including products that promote equity and health in addition to grid interactivity and energy efficiency. Monica Neukomm, Technology Manager for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB), with the DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) will join the panel. The event will also be joined by Eric Schiff, Ed Bogucz, Bing Dong, and Bess Krietemeyer from Syracuse University, and Sarah Hood and Juhanna Rogers from CenterState CEO, and Joseph Borowiec from NYSERDA. For more information about the program, contact Tammy Rosanio at You can register to attend by clicking this link.

About SyracuseCoE

Led by Syracuse University, SyracuseCoE is part of Central New York’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The center is a hub for innovative research and product development to improve indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency in buildings, clean and renewable energy and water resources. One of 13 NYSTAR funded Centers of Excellence, SyracuseCoE strategically brings industry partners together with researchers and students in a thriving culture of collaboration and innovation, ultimately creating new businesses and jobs, strengthening regional and state economies.

About CenterState CEO

CenterState CEO is an independent and forward thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth, and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and problem-solving. 

Daryl Lovell
Syracuse University
(315) 380-0206