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The NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES) is one of four federally designated research centers at Binghamton University.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Smart energy TAE to fund national center planning grant
December 6, 2016Tweet
The Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence in Smart Energy will fund a $50,000 planning grant in support of a faculty team that wants to establish a national center.
“The future of research is moving away from individual efforts and toward multidisciplinary teams,” said Wayne Jones, TAE chair and professor of chemistry. “We’ve had some success already but we need to identify several more. Awards of $10 million or $15 million don’t come from a single researcher typing up a proposal.”
The planning grant will provide funding to a faculty team to develop a strategic plan to build upon Binghamton’s expertise and reputation in smart energy. A one- to three-year award will be made for a planning grant beginning June 1, 2017.
Binghamton University is already home to four federally designated research centers: the NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES), a Department of Energy-funded Energy Frontier Research Center; the Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2), a National Science Foundation-funded Industry/University Cooperative Research Center; the New York Node of the NextFlex Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, a Department of Defense Manufacturing Innovation Institute; and the Developmental Exposure Alcohol Research Center (DEARC), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The planning grant represents a significant push by the University to ensure that there’s a pipeline of research center proposals in the works, said Mary Beth Curtin, assistant vice president of strategic research initiatives. “This is the provost and vice president for research investing in a team to do this,” she said.
The smart energy TAE focuses on energy generation, energy storage and energy efficiency, Jones said. Given the work done by NECCES and ES2, he sees energy generation as the next logical step for a Binghamton research center. But the center could focus on another topic such as economics, energy policy or smart grids.
The TAE will hold an information session at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in COE-2011, the Multipurpose Room at the Center of Excellence. Faculty interested in participating in the planning grant are encouraged to attend. The full proposal packet is available online at https://binghamton.edu/tae/smart-energy .
Jones said the campus may invest in equipment and hiring to support a competitive team, and he sees the process as an exciting one for researchers at various stages of their careers.
“You can make a difference in your own research area, but by partnering with others you can have an impact on society more broadly,” he said. “Here’s an opportunity to help set the direction, to define the paradigm for the campus.”