Teal background image.

Empire State Development Announces Applications Open for the New York State Advanced Materials Innovation Challenge

Will Leverage the Power of Advanced Materials to Promote Greater Environmental Sustainability and Drive Innovation Across the State

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the New York State Advanced Materials Innovation Challenge is open and accepting applications through September 30. As manufacturers statewide adopt cleaner and greener practices to eliminate waste and emissions, advanced materials have the potential to accelerate the process of making manufacturing more environmentally sustainable. To support these goals, the New York State Advanced Materials Innovation Challenge will award up to $150,000 for projects that will develop new materials or new applications of existing materials.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Advances in materials science are providing groundbreaking opportunities to replace or reduce the use of toxic or excessive materials in manufacturing while also developing new and improved high-performance products. The strongest proposals for the New York State Innovation Challenge will deliver positive change by using or developing advanced materials that are themselves sustainable while creating applications that promote environmental sustainability.”

New York State-based innovators are encouraged to submit projects for the Advanced Materials Innovation Challenge that achieve one or more of these goals:

  • Reduce the use of toxic chemicals during manufacturing.
  • Shorten the supply chain to use locally-sourced and sustainable materials instead of materials that require long-distance transportation.
  • Identify, develop and/or validate alternative sustainable materials.
  • Reduce or eliminate the creation of harmful byproducts during manufacturing.
  • Reduce landfilling and/or repurpose waste from manufacturing or product end-of-life.

FuzeHub Executive Director Elena Garuc said, “By using advanced materials to conserve natural resources and protect ecosystems now and in the future, New York State manufacturers can lead the way nationally and globally for environmental sustainability within this vital industry. New Yorkers are known for rising to the occasion and tackling big challenges — this is a moment for our state’s innovators and problem-solvers to create positive change by harnessing the power of advanced materials.”

Innovation Challenge organizers expect to award three grants of $50,000 each. More details, including guidelines and the application, are available at fuzehub.com/innovation-challenge.

Advanced materials are new or substantially enhanced materials that have unique properties or provide an improved performance relative to conventional materials, facilitating innovation that benefits industry, consumers and society. Across the state, advanced materials innovations involving ceramics, chemicals, glass, metals, plastics and more are enabling high-performance products in sectors ranging from semiconductors and aerospace to medical equipment and consumer products.

The Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund — which will serve as the source of funding for this Innovation Challenge — supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. Launched in December 2016, the fund is named for Jeff Lawrence, a champion of the New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities. Each year, the Innovation Fund provides more than $1 million in direct assistance to the manufacturing, research and development, technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems. To date, the fund has awarded $6.7 million in funding to support collaborative projects throughout the state.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


Kristin Devoe (ESD): [email protected] | 518.414.1087

John Mackowiak: [email protected] | 716-785-5475