Introducing a New Anchor Institution for the Center for Climate Solutions: The Exchange
The New York Climate Exchange will be a first-of-its-kind cross-sector consortium led by Stony Brook University and will create a state-of-the-art, 400,000-square-foot campus on Governors Island, dedicated to researching and creating innovative climate solutions that will be scaled across New York City and the world and equipping New Yorkers to hold the green jobs of the future.
What is the Exchange?
Led by Stony Brook University, the New York Climate Exchange will be a first-of-its-kind, cross-sector nonprofit organization dedicated to climate research, solution development, education, workforce training, and public programs on Governors Island. The consortium will function as a hub for education and training to grow green jobs for New Yorkers and includes 15 members representing leading universities from around the world and business and nonprofit organizations dedicated to developing and deploying solutions to the global climate crisis. Click here to view all project partners.
Programs, Research, and Activities at the Exchange
The Exchange will host a diverse range of educational and training programs for all New Yorkers, as well as research dedicated to developing and deploying climate solutions to communities in New York City and around the world. Highlights include:
- Educational programs, that will prepare students at all levels for careers focused on climate change across science, policy, and advocacy. Programs include a climate solutions “semester abroad” intensive program, fellowship and internship opportunities, continuing education, and a commitment to offering additional career pathways to students at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School through a New York State Pathways in Technology (P‑Tech) program.
- Workforce Development and Jobs training programs, delivered in partnership with local organizations, including Green City Force, NYC Employment and Training Coalition, Non-Traditional Employment for Women, and SolarOne, as well as a commitment to developing a program with the New York State Building Trades and Construction Council that will offer construction trade training programs focused on climate resilient and sustainable building technologies.
- Research and Technology Accelerator, with competitively awarded laboratory and demonstration space to academic and entrepreneurial teams working on research initiatives and climate solutions that deliver immediate impact to frontline communities
- Climate Tech Incubator, that will prioritize minority and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) and draw upon the expertise of business partners, including IBM, and BCG
- Grant opportunities and partnerships with community-based organizations.
- Public programs, exhibits, special events, talks, and art, open to Governors Island visitors to engage with the work of the Exchange
Once fully operational, the campus is expected to serve 600 postsecondary students, 4,500 K‑12 students, 6,000 workforce trainees, and over 250 faculty and researchers annually while supporting up to 30 businesses through its incubator program.
The Exchange’s Core Research Themes
- Environmental justice and inclusion: The Exchange will be dedicated to finding climate change solutions that reconcile global inequities, reduce burdens, distribute benefits more fairly, and redress past discriminatory practices.
- Energy, water, and food systems: Instead of finding sustainable climate change solutions in fragmented silos, The Exchange will emphasize the interdependence of water, food, and energy systems.
- Sustainable urban environments: The Exchange will lead by example, as it will be uniquely suited to developing and demonstrating sustainable, affordable solutions for coastal and island communities.
The Physical Campus
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The Exchange’s 400,000-square-foot campus will include classrooms, laboratories, research labs, public exhibition space, student and faculty housing, university hotel rooms, and auditorium spaces, serving as an inspiring example of sustainable and resilient design. The campus will create 2,200 100% union construction jobs.
The campus will include two newly constructed classroom and research buildings on three acres of the Island’s eastern development zone, as well as the restoration of over 170,000 square feet of space within historic buildings, including Liggett Hall and the Fort Jay Theater, as well as 4.5 acres of new open space in its Phase 1 plan, adding to the Island’s existing 120 acres of open space across the Historic District and South Island Park.
Timeline & Updates
The Exchange is anticipated to begin construction in 2025 and open its first phase in 2028. News and opportunities for public engagement will be posted here. Sign up here for news.
As one of the nation’s premier research universities, Stony Brook University has been at the forefront of discovery in a number of fields that will be crucial in the work of the Exchange. SBU’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences has been a leader in severe storm research, weather prediction, climate change research, and mitigation efforts. SBU’s Renaissance School of Medicine conducts a broad range of interdisciplinary research that addresses determinants of health and illness and the causes of health disparities. SBU’s Advanced Energy Research Center is a leader in green energy research. The Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, which SBU manages, pursues innovative energy research with a focus on efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and nanotechnology applications for new and novel sources of energy. In the Exchange, Stony Brook will collaborate with other outstanding academic institutions and philanthropic, community, and corporate partners to pool expertise, experience, and insights to bring innovative climate solutions to market.