Innovation and Commercialization Initiative Seeks Proposals to Build a World-Class, Self-Sustaining Ecosystem of Carbon-To-Value Research, Technology Transfer, and Commercialization

April 7, 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $10 million to launch the Carbontech Development Initiative, a program to establish New York State as a world-class hub of carbon-to-value research, technology transfer and commercialization. New York State is seeking proposals from organizations to design and operate this new entity, which will build out programming, secure sources of funding and engage industry participants, and environmental justice and other disadvantaged communities to drive the innovation needed to capture waste and atmospheric carbon, build out its utilization as valuable products and ultimately facilitate deep decarbonization economy-wide. Today's announcement supports Governor Cuomo's nation-leading clean energy and climate goals as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

"Capturing carbon and using it requires innovation, and this program will enable us to work with industry leaders who possess the necessary knowledge, technology and vision," Governor Cuomo said. "If we want to reach our ambitious goal of creating a greener, cleaner future for all New Yorkers, we need to make decarbonization a top priority. The Carbontech Development Initiative will help us to establish this innovative practice right here in New York, while simultaneously fueling economic growth and community engagement."

As part of the competitive process, an organization will be selected to establish a new entity, which will secure private and public funding, develop support for emerging technologies, and award grants to advance technologies that capture existing carbon or lower carbon emissions and transform this carbon into useful products. The organization will not support solutions that support the use of fossil fuels. The Carbontech Development Initiative and the new entity created will be managed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

In order to develop support for emerging technologies, the organization selected will convene academics, industry partners, investors, innovators, environmental justice and other disadvantaged communities, and the public in support of advancing solutions focused on capturing or converting carbon dioxide into valuable end products or services. As of 2017, the economic opportunity of expanding the carbontech market to industries not yet served by it, including building materials, consumer products, and others, is estimated to be worth $1 trillion in the U.S. and $6 trillion globally.

Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), said, "Advancing technology and nature-based systems for removing carbon from the air and repurposing carbon into useful products are critical steps to scaling decarbonization across New York State. Through this initiative, the state will leverage a wide range of technologies, expertise and funding to bring products to market that turn climate warming carbon dioxide into useful products that can improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers."

NYSERDA will accept applicationsLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. through May 4, 2021 from qualified institutions to run the Carbontech Development Initiative. A scoring committee will evaluate the proposals based on the applicant's plan to deliver the services requested combined with their experience and expertise in the carbontech sector and the proposed budget and resources. Requirements include building out a program that supports technologies to address climate change, develops an ecosystem and creates a world-class, self-sustaining economic hub in New York State that boosts innovation and commercialization.

According to the New York State Decarbonization Pathways Analysis Summary of Draft Findings released in 2020 and commissioned by the New York State Climate Action Council, removing carbon from the atmosphere, also referred to as "negative emissions," could account for up to 15 percent of the reductions needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and will help New York State reach sectors of the economy that are challenging to decarbonize. It is also imperative to reducing the ongoing effects of climate change, the brunt of which are often borne most heavily by disadvantaged communities.

The Carbontech Development Initiative is the first of two components that will launch in 2021 as part of a larger $19.5 million Carbontech program managed by NYSERDA's Innovation program. The second component, a fellowship program for entrepreneurial scientists, is expected later in the year to attract talent to New York's growing carbon-to-value and broader innovation ecosystem. New York prioritizes investments in research, development, and commercialization to support startups accelerating the clean technology innovations needed to meet the state's goal for economy-wide carbon neutrality. Support through NYSERDA's Innovation program helps early-stage companies with technical assistance and business development resources through entrepreneurial support, and manufacturing scale-up. Through its entrepreneurial support programs the State has invested more than $28 million since 2009 through NYSERDA, supporting nearly 349 companies and generating more than 1,140 jobs. More than $780 million in private investments and $200 million in project finance capital have been created while helping bring more than 440 new and improved clean energy products to market, including LED lighting systems, home appliances, longer-lasting batteries, and more efficient heating-and-cooling systems.

Funding for this initiative is through the State's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund. More information about this funding is available on NYSERDA's website.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.