This is the story about what’s happening in Upstate New York as a result of a multiagency federal initiative. In its final year of the three yearlong grants from five federal agencies to 10 regional partnerships entitled, the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (AMJIAC) is supporting the growth of existing advanced manufacturing clusters around the country. One example is the Advanced Manufacturing of Thermal and Environmental Controls (AM-TEC) cluster in Syracuse, NY.
The AM-TEC initiative provides a broad range of targeted economic development assistance to small, medium, and large manufacturers and suppliers of thermal and environmental control (TEC) equipment in Central New York.
For more than 60 years, companies in the Syracuse region served a single, large, local customer—Carrier Corporation. Today, they are being revived as a vibrant, resilient, growing cluster that sells products to customers around the world. Central New York’s growing clean economy ranks 8th out of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas in percentage of private clean economy jobs. TEC manufacturing is a cornerstone of this industry and is fueling its transition. Adoption of advanced manufacturing innovations in the nascent TEC cluster will yield disproportionately large returns in creating jobs throughout this region.
That’s what the AMJIAC AM-TEC program aims to do. It is designed to grow this cluster by targeting services to suppliers and manufacturers of systems that heat and cool buildings, refrigerate produce, control manufacturing processes, and enable a variety of other applications. The partners consist of SyracuseCoE (Syracuse Center of Excellence), Syracuse University, NYSTAR – specifically Central New York Technology Development Organization (CNYTDO)- an MEP affiliate, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the Onondaga Community College.
A unique feature of the AM-TEC AMJIAC project is the “TEC-Tuesday” events which have become the centerpiece of networking for cluster companies and service providers, creating opportunities for collaboration. A typical event is held at an AM-TEC firm’s manufacturing facility. The TEC-Tuesday events enable participants to learn about new ideas, seize opportunities, network, and share challenges within their respective industries. Several larger, more mature firms have established mentor relationships with start-up firms in the cluster, while others have created independent working groups to address specific barriers within their areas of focus.
AM-TEC partners engaged with HealthWay to support its growth and success. HealthWay has been manufacturing products to improve indoor air quality for over 30 years. The company employs over 190 people, with 70 employees in Pulaski, NY.
CNYTDO collaborated with SyracuseCoE and Syracuse University researchers to help HealthWay export their products to China by assisting in the development of a patented disinfecting filtration system. SyracuseCoE helped fund testing for the units in the state-of-the-art research facilities of the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory at Syracuse University. The products have already been installed in public buildings at Harvard University, The Cleveland Clinic, Hyatt Hotels and LEED-certified commercial buildings to mitigate air borne pollutants by removing harmful particulates. Over 60 units have been exported for use in Dulwich College, Beijing, and have been installed in public buildings in Taipei.
It’s expected that more success stories like this will be submitted, so stay tuned for future blog postings!