May 20, 2014

Gillibrand, Schumer Press U.S. Energy Secretary to Approve Long Island Forum for Technology’s Bid For $70 Million Federal Grant to Establish National Composites Center, Bolster High-Tech Innovation

Federal Funding Would Help Support LIFT’s ‘Composites Now!’ Initiative, Renovate High-Tech Innovation Center, Purchase State-Of-The-Art Manufacturing Equipment

Washington, DC – With Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) in the finals for a $70 million Department of Energy award, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today urged U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz to approve LIFT's  application for a competitive federal grant aimed to bolster high-tech innovation and manufacturing on Long Island. Federal funding would go towards renovating LIFT’s high-tech innovation center known as the Composite Prototyping Center (CPC), purchasing state-of-the-art equipment to boost its cutting-edge program that rapidly develops and uses composite materials, which are strong but lightweight materials used in advanced construction. Senators fully backed LIFT’s bid to be designated as the Department of Energy’s federal manufacturing innovation institute for composite materials known as the Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute for Composite Materials and Structures. Department of Energy plans to announce the winner of the competition this fall.

“I strongly believe the Long Island Forum for Technology is best positioned to establish a this national institute to ensure U.S. competitiveness in the global composite materials industry,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This critical investment would help Long Island lead the way in the rapidly growing composite marketplace through state-of-the-art technology, engineering, and manufacturing and in creating thousands of high-tech jobs right here at home.”

“This federal grant will mean the renovation of LIFT’s innovation center and will help purchase new state-of-the art equipment for its programs,  further bolstering Long Island’s place on the map for high-tech research and manufacturing,” said Senator Schumer. “The Department of Energy should support LIFT’s ‘Composite Now!’ $70 million initiative as it will help create jobs and bolster innovation in the Long Island region.”

LIFT’s primary mission is to commercialize Long Island’s technology, helping to grow the region’s economy. The organization, in partnership with Stony Brook University, is leading a national team of partners from academia and industry for a competitive federal grant to help boost its Composites Now! initiative, which would be housed at Plainview’s CPC, a premier non-profit manufacturing hub for composite applications across diverse industries such as automotive, energy, infrastructure, transportation, and aerospace.

CPC’s goal is to provide companies with essential training and workforce development, process technologies, prototype manufacturing and testing capabilities, and the support manufacturers need  to succeed in the rapidly growing advanced composite supply chain.

 Below is the full text of the Senators’ letter to Secretary Moniz:

 Dear Secretary Moniz,    

We write in support of the application submitted by the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) for selection as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute for Composite Materials and Structures through the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding provided through this competition will support Composites Now!, an initiative which will rapidly develop and deploy affordable fiber reinforced composites.

LIFT’s primary mission is to commercialize Long Island’s technology, helping to grow the region’s economy.  As a non-profit economic development organization working with the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), LIFT serves as the area’s designated Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP The organization’s role is far reaching, including helping businesses secure government contracts and grants to grow their companies; giving companies access to critical business improvement and quality management systems across core areas; providing lean product design and development services, innovation engineering, feasibility studies, material analysis services and rapid prototyping; and offering industry-specific education forums. Composites NOW! will be  anchored at the Composite Prototyping Center (CPC), located in Plainview NY, which is a premier non-profit resource, open to the public, for composite applications across diverse industries such as automotive, energy, infrastructure, transportation, and aerospace.

If selected as the Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute for Composite Materials, the requested funding would be used to renovate a 25,000-square-foot building and purchase state-of-the-art equipment to support the Composites Now! initiative at the Composite Prototyping Center. The CPC’s mission is to take the best assets available to form a core manufacturing competency in the rapidly growing composite marketplace, while providing companies with essential training / workforce development, process technologies, prototype manufacturing and testing capabilities. The Center will become an extension of each participating manufacturer’s R&D /prototype capabilities with the goal of reducing many of the financial and logistical obstacles, enabling them the opportunity to play an active role in the rapidly growing advanced composite supply chain. This project will also eliminate the use of physical templates, improving the productivity of the layup process significantly.

We ask that you please give your full consideration to name the Composites NOW! consortium as the DOE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute for Composite Materials and Structures.  If you have any questions, or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact our staff.