BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT) – US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer visited Binghamton University today to pledge his support for a BU-led effort to bring a battery research and manufacturing hub to the area.

The university’s proposal for a New Energy New York Project is among 60 contestants in the federal Economic Development Administration’s Regional Challenge.

20 of the bids are expected to receive up to $100 million to implement their plans.

New Energy NY would leverage the research being conducted by BU Chemistry Professor Stan

Whittingham invented the lithium-ion battery and won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

The hub work to develop a workforce as well as attract smaller companies that could act as suppliers for battery manufacturers that would be located in Endicott.

“If we made more batteries here at home, it would avoid all of these supply chain problems and that would mean lower costs for every family in America. So, it’s not only science, it’s not only technology, it’s not only jobs, it’s also lower costs for us,” says Schumer.

“If we made more batteries here at home, it would avoid all of these supply chain problems and that would mean lower costs for every family in America. So, it’s not only science, it’s not only technology, it’s not only jobs, it’s also lower costs for us,” says Schumer.

Much of the lithium-ion ecosystem would be built around a battery gigafactory that Imperium 3 New York is currently building on the Huron Campus.

IM3NY Board Chair Shailesh Upreti, who was a student of Whittingham’s, says momentum continues to build for the business.

“We have raised about $110 million in the last year. Just last Friday, we raised another $100 million to support our initiative. This raise is going to make us leapfrog not only the development but the industry of tomorrow which is the manufacturing. This also means more local jobs and more sustainable economy,” says Upreti.

Upretri says the first large-scale lithium-ion batteries are expected to roll off the assembly line later this Summer.

Schumer says a decision on whether New Energy NY receives an EDA Regional Challenge grant should be known in 3 months.