Water Purification, Homeland Security, Biofuels Research Among Projects Funded by SUNY Networks of Excellence

February 19, 2014

Research Foundation Awards $778,000 for Collaborations in Energy, Environment, Economics, Education

Albany – The State University of New York and the Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) today announced the first round of funding for projects supported by the SUNY Networks of Excellence. The RF awarded $778,000 to 19 projects involving 14 campuses as part of the “SUNY 4E” Network, which fosters collaborative research in the areas of energy, the environment, economics, and education. 

“The Networks of Excellence connect SUNY’s brightest student and faculty scientists with new York’s private sector experts, as well as national labs, to support the commercialization of our most promising and effective strategies,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “By sharing knowledge, facilities, and ideas in these critical areas of research, the networks are driving innovation, economic opportunity, and job growth across the state.”

“Today’s awards are an exciting glimpse at what’s to come from the five SUNY Networks of Excellence,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “From the purification of drinking water to the assessment of homeland security, SUNY and its partners across the state are increasing sustainability in our communities and improving the quality of life in New York State. Congratulations to all of the partners receiving this support.”

Projects to be funded include:

  • Examination of the Genesee River watershed to ensure drinking water quality, adequate cooling water for power production and industrial processing, and opportunities for ecotourism; (University at Buffalo, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Brockport)
  • Investigating the potential impacts that unconventional natural gas production has on the state’s water resources; (University at Buffalo, Binghamton University)
  • Planning collaborative projects that will establish a biofuels research and education partnership across SUNY; (SUNY Geneseo,Alfred State College, Monroe Community College)
  • A comprehensive assessment of homeland security through a SUNY-wide workshop that includes researchers, government, and non-profit agencies engaged in research, training, and program management of homeland security "outside the Beltway”; (University at Albany, University at Buffalo, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering)
  • Connecting SUNY faculty with middle school social studies teachers in the Southern Tier to focus on research-based learning and writing related to energy production and smart buildings; (SUNY Fredonia, SUNY New Paltz, Jamestown Community College)

More information, and a detailed abstract for all 19 projects that were funded, is available online.

Dr. Tim Killeen, president of the RF and SUNY vice chancellor for research, said, “The number of faculty, researchers, and campuses submitting proposals for the Networks highlights the active brain trust at work across the SUNY research community. The network platform is an ambitious approach to assembling new knowledge and encourages participation of all interested faculty, not only those of the teams awarded funding.”

More than 300 faculty and researchers have submitted more than 80 proposals since September. Proposals were awarded funding following a competitive external peer review process.

SUNY 4E is one of four SUNY Networks of Excellence announced by Governor Cuomo in September with the goal of increasing research collaborations and spurring commercialization activities between SUNY and industry partners in core research areas. The others are SUNY Brain, SUNY Health, and SUNY Materials and Advanced Manufacturing. A fifth network, SUNY Arts and Humanities, was announced in January, at Chancellor Zimpher’s State of the University Address.  

About The Research Foundation

The Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) is the largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. The RF manages SUNY’s research portfolio providing essential sponsored programs administration and innovation support services to SUNY faculty and students performing research in life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences, and computer and information sciences. The RF moves SUNY ideas and inventions to the marketplace collaborating with business and industry to create new opportunity and new jobs for New York State. To learn more about the RF visit www.rfsuny.org.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit suny.edu.

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