CoRE has a focus on developing a regenerative framework for promoting the use of clean energy and environmentally safe manufacturing. For instance, in the field of solar energy, the Collaboratory explores the entire life cycle of solar panel manufacturing, design and recycling. CoRE serves as the hub for all stakeholders, ranging from scientists to front-line communities. Together, they work to seamlessly integrate the design of new materials and processing strategies that simultaneously meet industry and community needs through the regeneration of ecological, economic and social capital.
Materials Innovation and Civic Entrepreneurship
We are working on a “molecules to neighborhoods” perspective. With a pilot on solar manufacturing, UB’s Materials Design and Innovation Department in partnership with Niagara Share and Clean Production Action (CPA) are creating a new materials discovery program based on foundations of Materials Informatics to rethink how we design industrial materials that are safer for human health and environment. This includes broader application of CPA’s Chemical Footprint Project and the Green Screen for Safer Chemicals.
CoRE will create new adaptive data systems and analysis to inform decision making and investment in material systems that are more circular and regenerative by design. This includes technical solutions to measure material footprints, design out waste and toxic elements, and establish closed looped systems. It also includes social solutions that enable and empower communities and workers to engage collaboratively to broaden the social and ecological benefits of new science and technology developments.
Factories and Communities
We will create holistic solutions and re-imagine a new type of factory — one that is restorative and regenerative by design for workers, communities that live next to factories, ecologies and manufacturers.
Factories play a critical anchor role in our communities. That is certainly true for the new factory New York State built for clean technology and advanced manufacturing at RiverBend — an iconic industrial community on the Buffalo River.
With solar and energy manufacturers Tesla and Panasonic as key tenants at RiverBend, there is an opportunity to think of a new model of collaboration and engagement across institutions and communities.