Bayer MaterialScience is part of initiative to promote energy-efficient buildings
Bayer MaterialScience is a member of a Pennsylvania State University-led consortium that will receive a five-year, $129 million grant primarily from the Department of Energy (DOE). The funding will help establish a research center, Energy Innovation Hub (Hub), focused on developing technologies to make buildings more energy efficient.
In addition to $122 million from the DOE, other federal agencies will contribute $7 million to the initiative. The grant is the largest in Penn State history and thought to be the largest ever provided to an institution in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell has pledged at least $30 million to the project.
“This initiative brings together the public and private sectors, as well as academic institutions, for a common purpose. This impressive team will enable us to make great strides in developing more energy-efficient buildings,” said Henry C. Foley, Penn State Vice President for Research and the principal investigator for the proposal. Foley continued, “Bayer MaterialScience, with its long-standing commitment to sustainability and long history of providing materials to the construction industry, will be a valuable member of our group.”
Bayer MaterialScience’s capabilities were embedded into the initial grant proposal. Subject to execution of the final contract, the Hub is expected to commit $2.5 million to Bayer MaterialScience to fund its role in the project. The funding will partially cover research and development into advances in technologies like light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and energy-efficient building envelope systems. These concepts align with the focus of Bayer’s EcoCommercial Building initiative. Bayer MaterialScience’s North American EcoCommercial Building Program was launched April 26, 2010, and advocates a holistic, collaborative approach to sustainable building design and construction.
Bayer MaterialScience will be involved in all five areas of the program, particularly in the Components, Subsystems, Controls & Diagnostics; Education and Workforce; and Demonstration Deployment and Intellectual Property Development segments.
Bayer MaterialScience’s participation in the grant program is coordinated through its Government Services Group, which will also manage the company’s activity related to the program during the five-year grant period.
“At Bayer MaterialScience, sustainability has always been a priority,” said Mike Gallagher, director, Government Services Group, NAFTA, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “So naturally we’re pleased to be involved in this important initiative. It reinforces our desire to align our public sector efforts with our long-standing sustainability focus especially as it relates to energy-efficient buildings.”
The Hub will have full-time staff members from all member organizations, including one Bayer MaterialScience representative who will serve as principal investigator. The representative will be a conduit to Bayer MaterialScience’s expertise. Additionally, Bayer MaterialScience will sponsor two National GEM Consortium student internships per year to support development projects.
The Hub, to be constructed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Clean Energy campus, will unite researchers from academia and the private sector with two U.S. National laboratories to collaborate on innovations to save energy, cut carbon pollution and position the United States at the forefront of the energy innovation industry. The Hub’s mission will be to research, develop and demonstrate highly efficient building components, systems and models that are applicable to both retrofit and new construction.
The Philadelphia Navy Yard Clean Energy campus, which has more than 200 buildings, operates an independent electric microgrid as a “virtual municipality” to test and validate the technologies developed by the research, development and demonstration program.
In addition to Bayer MaterialScience, Hub member organizations include Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeast Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Collegiate Consortium, Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, Drexel University, IBM Corp., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Morgan State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, PPG Industries, Princeton University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, Turner Construction, United Technologies Corp., University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and Wharton Small Business Development Center.
Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,300 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2009 sales of 7.5 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.
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