NYSERDA

Government officials have awarded New York’s Binghamton University $2.8 million for its smart energy facility.The grant forms part of the New York SUNY 2020 economic development plan and will go towards improvements and equipment in the dry room and data centre lab, where the battery manufacturing and research will take place, reports local media.

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, said: "We've got great brains here. I think we've got great vision.

“It's not just about creating a new manufacturing facility. It's about creating a whole new way of thinking about how we store energy and how we capture energy," said Stenger. [New York named world’s smartest city]

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Materials Stanley Whittingham, added: "If we have more renewables, we need more batteries, which means we need trained personnel, but we also need equipment to make the batteries.

"This would be like a pilot smart energy facility, so we can make the initial batteries, and then the companies will build their own facilities hopefully in the Southern Tier.

"This will enable some local companies to get into the business and hopefully make this a battery-manufacturing center in the US,” concluded Whittingham.

Canadian uni cybersecurity research

Also this week, Concordia University researchers have received a $2.1m grant to find new ways for which to protect Quebec’s high-tech power grid system from cyber-attacks.

The five year research grant was awarded to the university by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Mourad Debbabi, the Concordia University research chair in information security systems said that this project is “of paramount importance.” [NIST releases IoT cybersecurity guidelines]

He adds: “There are vulnerabilities and threats that can lead to major consequences.”

Debbabi will lead a team of some 25 researchers, working along industry co-sponsors Hydro-Québec and Thales, to lead the charge in what is still an emerging area of cybersecurity.

Debbabi said that the goal will be to make the smart grids of the province’s power supplier more secure.

“This is happening, it’s already a concern,” he said in an interview after the official NSERC announcement Thursday.

Debbabi added that it’s important to understand as much as possible about the “threat landscape.”

Research done by Concordia University will focus on prevention as well as how to detect, mitigate and recover from such attacks.