New York Announces Tech Prize to Advance Building Decarbonization

ON 10/27/2021 AT 09:23 PM

The state of New York announced $9.5 million to establish the Empire Technology Prize program, an ambitious new corporate challenge aimed at advancing building decarbonization across the state.

This announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) nation-leading goal calling for an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Empire Technology Prize program is designed to be both a business accelerator and a prize program by combining business support with monetary awards to advance low carbon retrofit approaches.

NYSERDA is currently accepting applications for the program administrator who will be awarded up to $1.7 million through 2024 to engage industry partners in a competitive corporate challenge to facilitate the deployment of carbon emission reducing technologies. NYSERDA is dedicating an additional $7.8 million for prizes under the program, with the program administrator expected to grow the prize pool by leveraging private sector partnerships and investments.

NYSERDA will accept applications through November 17, 2021 from qualified single organizations or teams of organizations to be the program administrator, co-develop and manage the Empire Technology Prize program. A scoring committee will evaluate the proposals based on the applicant's past track record of creating successful corporate challenges with activities including global recruitment, industry-focused convening, business acceleration support, strategic partnership facilitation, and leveraging private dollars. The prize program itself will launch in 2022.

This program builds on the market insight gathered through the successful Empire Building Challenge, announced in September 2020, a public-private partnership to spur economic growth in New York through solutions to decarbonize tall commercial and multifamily buildings in conjunction with some of the world's largest real estate holders, manufacturers, technology experts, and entrepreneurs.

Buildings are responsible for one third of the economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, and many of the more than six million buildings across the State were constructed before the energy code and are not designed to be energy efficient. Through NYSERDA and utility programs, over $6.8 billion is being invested to decarbonize buildings across the State. 

The Empire Technology Prize program is supported through NYSERDA's Innovation program which helps early-stage companies with technical assistance and business development resources through entrepreneurial support, and manufacturing scale-up.