NEW YORK, NY (09/27/2021) (readMedia)-- City and State officials gathered on Thursday, during Climate Week, to discuss partnerships between government, universities, and industries. After a summer of storms made worse by climate change, the opportunities posed by partnerships between research institutions and government are a crucial component in ensuring New York is resilient and sustainable in the face of a changing climate.

The panel session, hosted by Stony Brook University, explored the role of universities and industries in helping New York meet its climate goals, and how we might improve university-industry-government-community connections to improve our environment and our economy. Panelists discussed research universities' role in developing renewable energy storage solutions, successful existing partnerships between universities, government, and industries, and how to ensure that every communities' needs are met in the face of the climate crisis.

Watch the panel here. Passcode: S=pdp1K%

Panelists included Adele Ferranti, Director, Workforce Development and Training, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Nse Esema, VP, Smart and Sustainable Cities, NYC EDC; Jon Longtin, Interim Dean, College of Engineering & Applied Sciences; Paul Shepson, Dean, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences; Patricia Malone, Associate Vice President for Professional Education at Stony Brook; David C. Hamilton, COO Advanced Energy Center; James Misewich, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Photon Sciences, Brookhaven National Laboratory; and Marie-Lou Picherit, Innovation Manager, Orsted.

"In the university setting, we develop and test new technologies that are essential to meeting the climate challenge before us," said Paul Shepson, Dean of Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. "We must leverage our complementary assets, bringing together government, universities, and the private sector to meet this enormous challenge: Changing the way we do everything on the planet. Fortunately, we've laid the groundwork in New York State with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act for us all to lead, if we can do it together."

"Here in New York, through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, we have set very aggressive and exciting goals related to greenhouse gas emission reductions, zero emission electricity, and renewables such as large scale wind and energy storage. It's all about empowering stakeholders through extensive engagement and coordination, and making sure we bring them all to the table as we address climate change and the transition to a clean energy economy," said Adele Ferranti, Director of Workforce Development and Training at NYSERDA.

"When we talk about transitioning from an economy that is carbon-based and extractive to a regenerative one fueled by renewables, we have to remember that it's not inevitable that this transition will happen in a way that is equitable or just. We need to ensure that this transition happens in a way that centers communities that have been directly impacted by the climate crisis. This is what EDC is doing with our offshore wind efforts," said Nse Esema, VP for Smart and Sustainable Cities at NYC EDC.

"It's incredibly important that we build bridges between our diverse communities and environments to enable us to respond more holistically to these challenges," said Patricia Malone, Associate Vice President for Professional Education at Stony Brook. "The role of the university in translating research and academic expertise to real-time labor market work is a big job. We have the resources and ability to lead the charge and help the workforce transition their skills from working with fossil fuels to renewables."

"The idea of siloed groups each working on their own has to be a thing of the past. We all have to work together: technicians, engineers, climate scientists, economists, financiers, social scientists, urban planners, and those in public policy - that's how we'll solve the climate crisis," said Jon Longtin, Interim Dean of Stony Brook University's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.