Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke in Endicott on Wednesday, announcing that Imperium3 New York, Inc., a consortium of local businesses, will begin operating in the village. The move is expected to bring over 230 jobs to the Southern Tier.
Imperium3 New York will focus on researching, developing and manufacturing lithium-ion batteries. The consortium includes Charge CCCV, which started on the Binghamton University campus in 2014, as well as C&D Assembly, Inc., a company based in Groton, and Primet Precision Materials, located in Ithaca.
“[Charge CCCV], with this great invention, is now ready to go to the next step, which is to create a factory to actually make these batteries and produce these batteries,” Cuomo said. “Where are they going to do it? Right here in Endicott.”
While Charge CCCV will focus on research and development, C&D Assembly and Primet Precision Materials handle manufacturing and producing the batteries. Charge CCCV, which has patented a method of extending the life of lithium-ion batteries, will be located at the Huron Campus in Endicott. The company’s method is based on the work of M. Stanley Whittingham, a distinguished professor of chemistry, materials science and engineering at BU. Charge CCCV has also developed methods of storing renewable energy.
According to Cuomo, the presence of Charge CCCV in Endicott will bring employment opportunities to the area, which has suffered economically since the collapse of the manufacturing industry. Now, Broome County is fighting to find new opportunities and industries.
“Everyone had their industry, and then the industry changed,” Cuomo said. “And the question became, well, how can you transform upstate New York to get into the new economy, which was much easier said than done.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in August 2017, Broome County reported an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent. In the same month, the national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, and the state unemployment rate sat at 4.9 percent. For residents of Binghamton, average weekly wages in the first quarter of 2017 were $298 lower than the national average. Cuomo said his administration hopes to turn those numbers around by pushing academic institutions, particularly SUNY and CUNY schools, to invest in their communities.
“We said to our academic universities, private and public — SUNY spearheaded it — look, you’re coming up with great ideas,” Cuomo said. “And those are not just academic ideas. Your ideas can help the world by commercializing it.”
Cuomo said Charge CCCV is a good example of a university generating economic change and progress on a local level.
“Binghamton University has a professor, a couple of professors, who are doing research, who are doing development, and developed the new lithium battery of the future,” Cuomo said. “That is the entire game in so much of this economy now. Everything is battery storage, and how do you store energy, whether it’s in cars or windmills.”
Shailesh Upreti, the founder, director and president of Charge CCCV, completed his postdoctoral work at BU. He stated his company plans to develop technologies for storing energy at the Huron Campus and bring jobs to the Southern Tier.
“For me, today’s announcement, right here in Endicott, has been many years in the making,” Upreti said. “My research in battery technology first brought me to upstate New York, several years ago, and I am excited to continue this journey down this new path right here in upstate New York.”