VESTAL (WBNG) — Last week, Binghamton University was awarded a $750,000 in federal funding for its Acceleration of Cleantech Entrepreneurial and Economic Development or XCEED initiative.
BU says the funds could not only impact renewable energy in our area, but college officials hope it could potentially boost the local economy as well.
“The goal is we create the companies that will develop something and hopefully hire more people to do development, manufacturing, sales, the whole thing,” said the assistant vice president for innovation and economic development at Binghamton University, Per Strohaug.
The university says the XCEED program will give students the chance to create new clean energy products.
“This is really an applied learning opportunity, so not just going in the classroom and reading and taking exams but they actually will build something, said Strohaug. “That allows us to really take technologies developed here and see if they have business potential, try to prototype them and see if we can develop a product that actually can be going into the community to benefit the public.”
Officials hope the prototypes will turn the students into new entrepreneurs. They can then learn how to sign up for grants to start a company of their own and add more jobs to the area.
“The tremendous demand for workforce development to cover the needs of the companies developing Cleantech and deploying Cleantech in the state is something that our students are interested in, they would like to get involved with. It’s a perfect fit for Binghamton University and the work we do here,” said Strohaug.
BU says the grant is not just a testament to the students’ skills and talents but it also shows the area’s economic potential.
“The entrepreneurial eco-system is growing and is changing and I think people are starting to take notice and I think this is exactly what we need here,” said Strohaug.
According to a news release, the funding was allocated through the federal Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) i6 Challenge program.
Binghamton University says it hopes to start the XCEED program in January.