New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has approved and signed the Binghamton University NYSUNY 2020 challenge grant.
The plan includes the development of a $70 million Smart Energy Center that will create more than 840 university and private sector jobs and provide $7 million in additional funding for energy research each year.
The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program – a joint program between the Governor and SUNY – incentivizes bottom-up, individualized, long-term economic development plans on SUNY campuses and the surrounding communities.
Under the plan, Binghamton will receive $35 million in capital construction funds for the smart energy facility.
They will also be able to implement a rational tuition plan to support the hiring of new researchers and faculty, development of public/private research partnerships and expansion of technology development in high-tech fields.
The new facility will focus on research in solar and thermoelectric energy harvesting, energy storage technologies, energy-efficient electronic systems, and sensors for energy resource management.
New tuition revenue will allow Binghamton University to increase enrollment by 2,000 students from 2012-2016; lower the student: faculty ratio from 21:1 to 19:1; and hire an additional 150 faculty members. All put together, the grant and project will create 385 jobs at Binghamton University and 455 jobs across Broome and Tioga Counties.
Gov. Cuomo said, “The Binghamton University plan will maximize the economic impact that one of New York’s most prominent university centers has on the Empire State.”
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “With an estimated economic impact of $1 billion by 2017, the Binghamton University plan not only meets but far exceeds the NYSUNY 2020 challenge and promises to greatly enhance the University’s services to students, faculty, and staff as well as its partnerships in the Southern Tier and throughout New York.”
Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said, “This NYSUNY 2020 plan will help us realize a number of goals that are important to New York state — to create jobs, enhance education and encourage research that drives new technologies. Most importantly, it will build on the synergy of our two main objectives, to enhance the academic quality of the University and have a significant economic impact on the Southern Tier.”
Binghamton is the third University Center in New York, along with Buffalo and Stony Brook, to implement the Challenge Grant Program.