December 19, 2012

UAlbany NanoCollege awarded $1M in funding through Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council initiative to launch design phase for the world's first zero energy nanotechnology building



CNSE’s ZEN will serve as a ‘living laboratory’ to advance innovative clean energy technologies,
fuel attraction of leading cleantech companies and more than 1,500 green energy jobs to New York

 Albany, NY – In accordance with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy superhighway blueprint and NY-SUN initiative to advance New York’s clean energy industry, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany announced today that it has been awarded $1 million in funding through the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative to launch the design phase for the world’s first Zero Energy Nanotechnology (ZEN) building, which will enable innovative research, development and commercialization of green technologies, and fuel the attraction of thousands of green energy jobs and leading cleantech companies to the Empire State.

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, “On behalf of the UAlbany NanoCollege, I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his visionary leadership and critical support in catalyzing the establishment of CNSE’s ZEN building, and applaud his entrepreneurial strategy for promoting economic growth through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. As a first-of-its-kind resource to enable innovative research, development and deployment of green energy technologies, the ZEN building will attract leading clean energy companies and more than 1,500 cleantech jobs to New York, and further distinguish the state as a national leader in developing clean energy solutions that are critical for our nation’s energy, environmental and economic future.”
Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, “This exciting project spearheaded by the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering will play a vital role in showcasing the state’s clean-energy economy. The State’s investment, under Governor Cuomo, of this one-of-a-kind resource will attract new high-tech companies and jobs to New York, while also helping to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”

The Regional Economic Development Councils were created by Governor Cuomo to transform New York’s operating model for economic development from a top-down approach to a community-based model which empowers individual regions to develop and advance regionally-targeted strategic plans and job-creating projects.

This funding will launch the design process for CNSE’s state-of-the-art, 200,000-square-foot ZEN building, a critical first step in engaging corporate partnerships. Over the next five years, the establishment of CNSE’s ZEN building is expected to generate more than 1,500 high-tech jobs among CNSE and its corporate partners, including scientists, researchers, architects, engineers, and technicians, as well as over 1,100 construction jobs. Concurrently, this one-of-a-kind facility will provide groundbreaking educational opportunities for CNSE students to ensure the presence of a highly educated and trained green collar workforce.

CNSE’s ZEN building will serve as an international showpiece and “living laboratory” for energy efficient and renewable energy technologies, to include demonstration, deployment and testing of renewable energy technologies, and analysis of the impacts and beauty of sustainable design. Areas of research to be targeted will include energy efficient lighting, smart windows, building energy management systems, heat pumps, photovoltaics, and energy storage, among others.

Designed to meet the definition of a zero energy building as defined by the National Buildings Institute – “a building that generates onsite at least as much energy as it uses over the course of a year using renewable resources” – CNSE’s ZEN building will incorporate the most advanced thinking regarding energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and building operations, with extensive monitoring of energy systems throughout the building.

The ZEN building will engage the innovation community and leverage the partner network developed at CNSE, and expand that network more deeply into the sustainable building community, with the objective of attracting additional organizations, companies and jobs to the state. It will also support CNSE’s leadership of the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), an industry-led collaboration designed to accelerate next-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

The timing for CNSE’s ZEN building is ideal, amid the growing national demand for energy security, rising costs of energy, discussion of global climate change, and the negative impacts that electrical generation have on the environment – all of which dictate that energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable design must become priorities for the United States.


About CNSE. The UAlbany CNSE is the first college in the world dedicated to education, research, development and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience and nanoeconomics. With more than $14 billion in high-tech investments, CNSE represents the world’s most advanced university-driven research enterprise, offering students a one-of-a-kind academic experience and providing over 300 corporate partners with access to an unmatched ecosystem for leading-edge R&D and commercialization of nanoelectronics and nanotechnology innovations. CNSE’s footprint spans upstate New York, including its Albany NanoTech Complex, an 800,000-square-foot megaplex with the only fully-integrated, 300mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line within 85,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms. More than 2,700 scientists, researchers, engineers, students and faculty work here, from companies including IBM, Intel, GlobalFoundries, SEMATECH, Samsung, TSMC, Toshiba, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML and Lam Research. An expansion now underway, part of which will house the world’s first Global 450mm Consortium, will add nearly 500,000 square feet of next-generation infrastructure, an additional 50,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms, and more than 1,000 scientists, researchers and engineers from CNSE and global corporations. In addition, CNSE’s Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon provides a prototyping and demonstration line for next-generation CIGS thin-film solar cells, supporting its leadership of the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC). CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center of Excellence (STC) in Rochester offers state-of-the-art capabilities for MEMS fabrication and packaging. CNSE also co-founded and manages operations at the Computer Chip Commercialization Center at SUNYIT in Utica and is a co-founder of the Nanotechnology Innovation and Commercialization Excelerator in Syracuse. For information, visit

Media Contact:

Steve Janack, CNSE Vice President for Marketing and Communications
(518) 956-7322 | [email protected]