Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Energy, as part of its Manufacturing USA initiative, to lead its new Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute—a national coalition of leading universities and companies that will forge new clean energy initiatives deemed critical in keeping U.S. manufacturing competitive.
The REMADE Institute, under the RIT-led Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance (SMIA), will leverage up to $70 million in federal funding that will be matched by $70 million in private cost-share commitments from industry and other consortium members, including 85 partners.
The institute will focus its efforts on driving down the cost of technologies essential to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste and aims to achieve a 50-percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027. These efficiency measures could save billions of dollars in energy costs and improve U.S. economic competitiveness through innovative new manufacturing techniques, small business opportunities and offer new training and jobs for American workers.
RIT has a long and well-established reputation as a global leader in sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing, applied research, technology transfer and policy development. In addition to the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, established in 2007 with support from Rochester businessman B. Thomas Golisano, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and New York state, RIT is home to severalresearch centers that also will be leveraged in the federal initiative.
The university will work in collaboration with Idaho National Lab, Argonne National Lab, University of Illinois and other leading universities, national labs and industrial partners in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. In all, 26 universities, 44 companies, seven national labs, 26 industry trade associations and foundations and three states (New York, Colorado and Utah) are engaged in the effort.
“As the proud academic leader of the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance, we look forward to making a critical impact on U.S. manufacturing by working collaboratively with our coalition partners in enabling improvements to the use of clean energy toward enhancing U.S. manufacturing productivity,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “We are very appreciative and proud that our our elected leaders have once again recognized the significant impact that our university has had—and will continue to have—on U.S. manufacturing.”
“Across the nation and around the world, cleaner production, clean tech and adoption of a circular economy are recognized as critical drivers to a prosperous future,” added Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. He will serve as chairman and chief executive officer of SMIA and the REMADE initiative. “As resource scarcity intensifies, the thoughtful use of water, energy and raw materials is the only path forward. This proposed institute will leverage several strong building blocks already in place in New York state and create new opportunities for economic growth.”
Economic impact and workforce development
REMADE Institute partners have the following five-year goals:
- 5 to 10 percent improvement in manufacturing material efficiency by reducing manufacturing material waste
- 50 percent increase in remanufacturing applications
- 30 percent increase in efficiency of remanufacturing operations
- 30 percent increase in recycling efficiencies
- A targeted 50 percent increase in sales for the U.S. manufacturing industry to $21.5 billion and the creation of a next-generation recycling and manufacturing workforce.
According to Nasr, the REMADE Institute also will develop and implement an education and workforce development program that will fill workforce gaps identified by its industry, government and academic partners and build the next generation of the recycling and remanufacturing workforce.