BINGHAMTON, NY – A plan to make Greater Binghamton a hub for an energy storage advanced manufacturing ecosystem holds the promise of turning the Valley of Opportunity into a Green Valley and reviving Endicott’s industrial base.

The federal government announced on Monday that Binghamton University’s proposal dubbed New Energy N-Y is in the running for a 100 million dollar Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant.

The idea is to leverage B-U’s research into energy storage lead by Professor Stan Whittingham, Nobel Prize Winner and inventor of the lithium-ion battery.

It would be centered around the Huron Campus where B-U already has research facilities.

“We’d basically have a hub and spoke scenario. Endicott would be the hub. We’d attach out to Rochester, to Albany and other parts of the state. Essentially rebuild the industrial center of Endicott is the goal,” says Whittingham.

B-U has already been selected a Phase 1 winner in the competition which provides half a million dollars for developing its proposal for the 100 million.

That application is due on March 15th with 20 to 30 regional coalitions receiving prizes ranging from 25 to 100 million dollars.

Associate Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development Per Stromhaug says the Phase 1 victory is significant on its own.

“We put the plan together to build this ecosystem. If we are lucky, we get the money to also support that development. But in either case, this should help us to develop the ecosystem and put something together that will help the region,” says Stromhaug.

Whittingham says that while IM3 New York has already announced plans to buiold large scale lithium-ion batteries in Endicott, there is still a lot of potential for other companies to become a part of the ecosystem.

They include suppliers of the components to manufacture the batteries as well as producers of end products that use the batteries.

Whittingham says it’s unlikely that New Energy N-Y would directly compete in the electric automobile industry opting instead to focus on niche markets such as wind and solar power storage and batteries for planes, buses, forklifts and special vehicle fleets.