Advanced Manufacturing in the Battery and Energy Storage Sector a Key to Continued Transformation of Eastman Business Park
Innovation and Manufacturing Ecosystem Provides a Link to Commercialization of Emerging Technologies in Clean Tech Sector
(ROCHESTER, N.Y., September 12) – More than 120 scientists, technology experts, corporate executives and government leaders attending an alternative energy summit at Eastman Business Park (EBP) yesterday (Sept. 10), received upbeat news on the global market prospects for the battery and energy storage industry.
At the Energy Storage Supply Chain and Manufacturing Conference hosted by the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) consortium, participants heard industry experts discuss the broad economic potential for energy storage technologies, applications and markets, the scope of the supply chain opportunities, and insights on how to capitalize on those rapidly growing opportunities.
In his keynote address, Dr. Mark Johnson, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) of the U. S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, discussed the AMO's interest in using public-private partnerships to leverage the nation's unique manufacturing assets like those at Eastman Business Park.
Such a scenario, he said, will help create a fertile innovation environment for vigorous domestic development of new energy-efficient products and manufacturing processes.
Sam Jaffe underscored Dr. Johnson's remarks with a glowing market assessment for battery manufacturers and allied businesses. Jaffe, a research analyst for Navigant Research, which studies trends in the global clean technology markets, said demand for advanced battery systems as an alternative means to power vehicles, grid management equipment and consumer devices will continue to expand – and in some cases see double-digit growth in multiple industries around the world for the foreseeable future.
Navigant's industry projections also bode well for Eastman Business Park and its growing cadre of tenants in the battery and energy storage sector.
Michael Alt, director of EBP, said a significant amount of the technology in the emerging energy sector requires the deposition of novel materials onto flexible substrates using roll-to-roll manufacturing processes – such as battery electrodes and fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs).
"That equipment, combined with the know-how to develop and operate these processes, already exists at EBP," he said. "The result is that next generation clean and alternative energy products can be brought to market much more quickly and economically."
Alt said that helps explain why several high tech energy–related companies and universities are converging at EBP to create prototypes for new energy storage and delivery systems, test them, do pilot manufacturing – and then get business assistance to take those products to market.
"We expect that thousands of jobs will be created in the battery and energy storage industry in the next decade," said William Acker, Executive Director NY-BEST, who together with global energy technology giant DNV-GL recently opened a testing and validation center for next generation energy storage devices at EBP.
"With a long history of innovation and entrepreneurship, a highly educated and skilled workforce, major energy markets and a strong manufacturing infrastructure at Eastman Business Park, New York is uniquely qualified to lead the industry," he said.
James Greenberger, Executive Director of NAATBatt, the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries, echoed Dr. Acker's sentiments.
"The State of New York has made a major bet on energy storage technology," Greenberger said. "In the development of new technology and new industries, New York understands that invisible hands are the stuff of fairytales and political rhetoric. If you want to reap a harvest, you have to sow the seeds."
"What New York is doing in energy storage technology should be a model for the rest of the nation," Greenberger said, adding that if the State succeeds, it will "turn the remarkable opportunities and revolutionary developments in energy storage technology into successful commercial businesses and economic opportunities for its citizens."