By GREGORY ZELLER //
A U.S. Department of Energy training program that schools burgeoning energy-hardware manufacturers on prototyping and manufacturing is coming to Long Island.
FuzeHub, a nonprofit networking organization serving as the vital cog of New York State’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, has scheduled its first Long Island-based Build4Scale workshops, designed to equip energy innovators with the necessary knowledge to create manufacturing-ready prototypes, avoid costly redesigns and play nicely with large-scale manufacturers.
With the Trump Administration slashing federal funding for clean-energy research and production in favor of older fossil-fuel technologies, investment in (and manufacturing of) new clean-gen tech is swiftly shifting overseas – marking billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs lost to canceled investment-based tax credits and new import tariffs.
Enter programs like FuzeHub, which is leveraging relatively small federal stipends in an effort to stem that tide. This summer, FuzeHub was awarded a $150,000 Department of Energy grant to create Build4Scale workshops throughout New York State.
Other federal and state agencies are also rallying to the cause. The New York MEP is part of a national MEP network funded by the National Institute of Standards & Technology, a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce dedicated to helping small and mid-sized manufacturers remain innovative and competitive.
The New York MEP is also supported by NYSTAR, the Empire State Development Corp.’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation.
On Long Island, FuzeHub is working with the Stony Brook University-based Manufacturing and Technology Resource Consortium – the regional MEP center – and SBU’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program to present the Build4Scale workshops.
Elena Gurac, executive director of Albany-based FuzeHub, said the networking nonprofit is “pleased to be working with our partners to educate New York State energy-technology entrepreneurs about manufacturing their products, and to help ensure that more of those innovations are ultimately produced here in the United States.”
The Oct. 18-19 workshops, to be held at SBU, consist of “optional modules” covering introductory topics – such as product-design planning, moving from proof-of-concept to prototyping and next-generation strategizing – and more advanced issues, including “manufacturing readiness” plans and production-cost estimates.
Participants are encouraged to pick and choose the modules that best suit their needs. Both sessions include lunch breaks with program partners and post-workshop networking receptions. A complete rundown of the module menu, including detailed descriptions of each module and registration information, is available here.
FuzeHub was one of four organizations nationwide to win the DOE’s American Inventions Made Onshore prize competition in August. The nonprofit group is also planning Build4Scale innovator workshops in the Western New York and Southern Tier regions.
NYSTAR director Matt Watson said FuzeHub and other components of the statewide MEP system, through programs like the Long Island workshops, will go a long way toward keeping New York energy-hardware innovators in the game.
“Utilizing the expertise and longstanding manufacturing networks of the NY MEP system, we can collectively address the Department of Energy’s goal of helping energy-technology innovators close the manufacturing-readiness gap,” Watson added.