Stony Brook University hosted a panel of city and state officials to discuss how partnerships between government, universities, and industries can not only help New York State meet its climate goals, but also improve the economy.
Held on Sept. 23 during Climate Week, the online session — The Research University: A Catalyst for Equitable Climate Solutions and Education — discussed research universities’ role in developing renewable energy storage solutions, successful existing partnerships between universities, government, and industries, and how to ensure that communities’ needs are met in the face of the climate crisis.
Panelists from Stony Brook included Jon Longtin, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Paul Shepson, dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences; Patricia Malone, associate vice president for professional education; and David C. Hamilton, COO of the Advanced Energy Center. Other panelists included James Misewich, associate laboratory director for Energy and Photon Sciences, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Adele Ferranti, director, workforce development and training at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Nse Esema, Vice President, Smart and Sustainable Cities, New York City Economic Development Corporation; and Marie-Lou Picherit, innovation manager at Orsted.
“The idea of siloed groups each working on their own has to be a thing of the past,” said Longtin. “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.”
“It’s incredibly important that we build bridges between our diverse communities and environments to enable us to respond more holistically to these challenges,” added Malone. “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.”
“In the university setting, we develop and test new technologies that are essential to meeting the climate challenge before us,” Shepson said. “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.”