The Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute, which will be headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., was announced on January 4.

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability will lead the efforts. It was established in 2007 with support from Rochester businessman B. Thomas Golisano, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and New York State. RIT is home to several  research centers that also will be leveraged in the federal initiative.

The university will work in collaboration with Idaho National Lab, Argonne National Lab, University of Illinois and other leading universities, national labs and industrial  partners in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. In all, 26 universities, 44 companies, seven national labs, 26 industry trade associations and foundations and three states (New York, Colorado and Utah) are engaged in the effort.

The Institute will focus on driving down the cost of technologies needed to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste and aims to achieve a 50% improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027.

REMADE Institute partners have the following five-year goals: 

  • 5% to 10% improvement in manufacturing material efficiency by reducing manufacturing material waste
  • 50% increase in remanufacturing applications
  • 30% increase in efficiency of remanufacturing operations
  • 30% increase in recycling efficiencies
  • A targeted 50% increase in sales for the U.S. manufacturing industry to $21.5 billion and the creation of a next-generation recycling and manufacturing workforce.

REMADE will leverage up to $70 million in federal funding, subject to appropriations, and will be matched by $70 million in private cost-share commitments from over 100 partners.

“The REMADE Institute is a key example of how public-private partnerships like Manufacturing USA are critical to advancing America’s low-carbon economy and strengthening manufacturing industries across the country,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

“This Institute will be an important catalyst to leverage innovation and energy efficient technologies that will reduce harmful emissions while creating jobs and building America’s 21st century economy,” Moniz added.

U.S. manufacturing accounts for nearly 25% of the nation’s total annual energy use. The physical products that are created as a result of manufacturing embody most of that energy. The research and deployment of cost-effective technologies that could reduce the energy used in materials production could offer energy savings of up to 1.6 quadrillion BTU annually in the U.S.– more than the electricity, oil and other energy consumed by New Hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C. and Vermont combined.

Extracting raw materials like steel and aluminum for manufacturing is energy intensive as is the manufacturing process used to make products with these materials. By enabling recycling and remanufacturing (the rebuilding of original products using a combination of reused or recycled parts) technologies, the Institute will dramatically reduce life-cycle energy consumption for products and improve overall manufacturing efficiencies.

The focus also includes new ways for information collecting; gathering, identification and sorting of end-of-life and waste materials; separating mixed materials; removal of trace contaminants and robust and cost-effective reprocessing and disposal methods.

REMADE is the fifth Energy Department-led institute in the multiagency network known as Manufacturing USA, also known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. Since it was established four years ago, Manufacturing USA has grown from a single institute to a network of 13 institutes. Led by manufacturing experts renowned in their field, the Manufacturing USA Institutes have attracted over 1,300 companies, universities and nonprofits as members – starting with 65 members and now at more than 1,000.

The institutes continue to attract new business investment to their regions, develop cutting-edge technology and train American workers to apply new skills to our growing manufacturing sector. To date, the federal government’s commitment of more than $920 million has been matched by more than $1.87 billion in non-federal investment.