Statement by Brookhaven Lab Director Sam Aronson on Funding of SGRID3 and STEM Hub Proposals

On behalf of the researchers and staff at Brookhaven National Laboratory, we are all very excited to hear that the Brookhaven Lab/ Stony Brook University Smarter Grid Research, Innovation, Development, Demonstration, Deployment Center (SGRID3) proposal and our STEM Hub proposal are two of several regional projects that will receive significant funding from NY State to help advance economic development on Long Island. Today’s announced funding awards include $5 million for the SGRID3 proposal and $320,000 for the STEM Hub initiative.

Solutions to today’s energy challenges — which are incredibly complex and include significant obstacles — are often beyond the capabilities of any one utility, company, or government entity to solve. These complex challenges can only be addressed by a team of stakeholders working closely together, and Brookhaven Lab and Stony Brook University, in partnership with the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, now have the ability to lead such a team to develop our next-generation power grid through the SGRID3 initiative.

Just as important to our future is our ability to prepare students for the Island’s high-tech workforce, which requires science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills to support economic growth in the region. Today’s STEM proposal award will help us build on the momentum we generated earlier this week when the Long Island Regional STEM Hub was launched, and work toward our goal of significantly boosting the Island’s technical workforce.

I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for having the vision to energize the best minds throughout the state to work together and compete in ways that would advance the state and attract and retain business. I also commend the hard work of Lt. Governor Bob Duffy for his efforts to coordinate the Governor’s Councils around the state and the members of the Strategic Planning Committee for taking on the difficult task of choosing the best proposals from a very competitive process.

Congratulations also go to Long Island Association President Kevin Law and Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz, who headed up the Long Island Regional Council. Their personal leadership skills enabled the council — under a very tight deadline — to develop strategies that would bring jobs and economic development to Long Island. Each and every project submitted contained valuable ideas for our region.

I also thank NY State Senator Ken LaValle and the many elected officials and business leaders who took an interest in learning what our proposals could do for Long Island — and for providing their support.

Finally, I congratulate the teams of leaders and researchers who developed the two proposals. For the SGRID3 proposal, credit goes to Stony Brook University President Sam Stanley; Brookhaven’s Deputy Director for Operations Mike Bebon and Associate Lab Directors Jim Misewich (Basic Energy Sciences) and Gerry Stokes (Global and Regional Solutions); Stony Brook University’s Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Vice President for Economic Development Yacov Shamash and Director of Economic Development Ann-Marie Scheidt; and NY State Smart Grid Consortium Chairman Bob Catell and Executive Director David Manning. The team's vision for SGRID3 challenged our researchers to explore new ways of advancing energy research while creating jobs and producing economic development opportunities for Long Island and the region. Brookhaven’s Manager of Educational Programs Ken White and his staff are the driving force behind the STEM Hub proposal, in partnership with the Long Island Works Coalition.

- Sam Aronson
Brookhaven Lab Director

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