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Queen’s spearheads new sustainable energy group


Leaders in sustainable energy from universities, government and industry in Ontario and New York State are teaming up to address critical energy issues affecting communities and commerce on both sides of the international border.

The Great Lakes Sustainable Energy Consortium (GLSEC) will be launched today in Syracuse, NY, as a joint initiative of Queen’s new Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Through research and technology related to sustainable energy, the group hopes to foster economic growth in Canada and the United States.

The consortium has been facilitated by the Consulate General of Canada in Buffalo. “Canada and the United States continue to work together towards our common objectives of energy security, economic prosperity, and environmental stewardship,” says Consul General Stephen Brereton. “We have a strong common interest in promoting energy efficiency and in developing and deploying new and cleaner energy technologies.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for key players from both sides of the border to focus on research advances and new developments that can be translated into tangible outcomes of benefit to society at large,” says Queen’s Principal Karen Hitchcock. “Queen’s welcomes the opportunity to advance collaborative research and technology development and to foster international partnerships in this important area of sustainable energy.”

Among the institutions joining Queen’s and Syracuse University in the new consortium are: Royal Military College, University of Guelph, Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, University of Albany – SUNY, University of Buffalo – SUNY, University of Rochester, Eastern Lake Ontario Regional Innovation Network (ELORIN), Performance Plants, Inc., HSBC Bank USA. Other institutional members will be engaged in the future.

Queen’s Mechanical Engineering professor Andrew Pollard, director of the university’s Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre, emphasizes the importance of the Great Lakes as a “transportation corridor” for advancing an economy based on renewable energy produced from organic matter.

“The Great Lakes are a unique resource and provide an opportunity to help focus the consortium on sustainable energy issues faced by both countries and specific neighbouring regions,” says Dr. Pollard. Energy security includes the transmission and distribution of both electricity and biomass-derived energy, where there is either aging infrastructure or the need for new, innovative infrastructure.

“The consortium’s focus on sustainable energy technology development could not come at a better time,” says John Molloy, president of PARTEQ Innovations, Queen’s technology transfer office. “Public demand for green energy innovations has never been higher, resulting in unprecedented levels of funding for research in this area. This has created a considerable window of opportunity for university researchers interested in developing related products, and we at PARTEQ are willing to assist in that process in whatever way we can.”

“The consortium will re-affirm its commitment to work together across the border on energy issues and explore how this initiative will contribute to the economic growth and well-being of communities in New York State and Ontario,” adds Mark Glauser, Associate Dean of Research at Syracuse University’s LC Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Queen’s Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre (SBC) promotes national and international efforts for a transformative bioeconomy, with special emphasis on the Great Lakes region.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems is a federation of more than 170 businesses and institutions that collaborate on sustainable innovations to improve built and urban environments.
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