ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A joint project between Regenerative Solutions, Inc. and the University at Albany was among three winners selected in the first New York State Advanced Materials Innovation Challenge, according to Manufacturing Extension Partnership center FuzeHub. Each of the three projects will receive $50,000 from the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund to support cutting-edge developments in materials science while raising the bar for eco-friendly manufacturing.

FuzeHub and NYSTAR, Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation received several applications for the funding initiative, which launched in September. They challenged New York’s innovators to consider the environmental impacts of their potential high-performance products and submit projects that would lead to greater sustainability in the manufacturing industry.

From mixing a better concrete, to reducing the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries, to removing harmful synthetic forever chemicals from water, the companies and researchers behind the winning projects are creating new materials and using old materials in new ways.

Winners:

  • KLAW Industries LLC in Binghamton and the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator. Historically in New York, recycled glass has been sent to landfills because of high contamination and the lack of an end-use market. KLAW has developed a process to use waste glass as a raw material to create Pantheon—an innovative material to make concrete stronger, lower cost, and less carbon-intensive.
  • Custom Electronic Inc. in Oneonta, working with the Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics and the Materials Design and Innovation Department at the University at Buffalo to scale their novel lithium-ion battery anode material. The new material is a sustainable hybrid that reduces both the environmental impact and the cost of the technology.
  • Regenerative Solutions, Inc. in Albany and the University have been developing green, environmentally sustainable, low-cost sorbents that remove PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which are harmful synthetic forever chemicals, from water. Once these newly synthesized sorbents are tested and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, the product can go to market for treating water at both small and large scales.

“Manufacturing in New York is cleaner and greener than ever before — but we can still do better as an industry,” said Elena Garuc, Executive Director of FuzeHub. “Through the use of advanced materials, we believe manufacturers can make products, leverage technologies, and use processes that strengthen sustainability. These winning projects are going to show us what’s possible.”

Advanced materials are new or sustainably enhanced materials that have unique properties or provide improved performance relative to conventional materials, facilitating innovation that benefits the industry, consumers, and society. Across the state, advanced materials innovations involving ceramics, chemicals, glass, metals, plastics, and more are enabling high-performance products in sectors ranging from semiconductors and aerospace to medical equipment and consumer products.

The Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund—which serves as the source of funding for this Innovation Challenge— supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. Launched in December 2016, the fund is named for Jeff Lawrence, a champion of the New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities.

Each year, the Innovation Fund provides more than $1 million in direct assistance to the manufacturing, research and development, technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems. To date, the fund has awarded $7.3 million in funding to support collaborative projects throughout the state.