Wednesday 1st November 2023

Stamford Schools' Role In President Biden's Tech Hub Announcement

On 23 October 2023, President Biden announced that Binghamton, a city in upstate New York, was awarded the status of America's Tech Hub for battery innovation. This remarkable recognition holds significant implications for that particular region while being directly linked to Stamford School, and one of our notable alumni.

One of the key figures at the heart of Binghamton's ascent in the realm of battery innovation is Old Stamfordian and 2019 Nobel Laureate Dr M. Stanley Whittingham (OS 60). A distinguished professor of chemistry and materials science at Binghamton University, Dr Whittingham's pioneering work in lithium-ion battery technology has been a driving force behind the region's success in this field.

While giving his Nobel Lecture in 2019, Dr Whittingham talked about his time here at Stamford, saying, "It was there that I got attracted to science through the inspired teaching of Major Lamb and Squibs Bowman in chemistry and physics, respectively. The school had a well-equipped new science building."

As a student here between 1951 and 1960, he won the mayor’s mathematics prize, was a prefect and member of Willoughby and Ancaster houses. He took part in hockey, did cross country around Burghley Park and sailed on gravel pits.

Dr Whittingham was one of the chemists behind the development of the lithium-ion battery in the 1970s, along with John Goodenough and Akira Yoshino, with whom he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

M. Stanley Whittingham talking about his time here at Stamford during his 2019 Nobel Lecture

The Tech Hub Program, established through the CHIPS and Science Act, aims to catalyse investments in new technologies, with a focus on commercializing research and development. The primary goal is to bolster U.S. manufacturing in critical tech industries, with an initial funding allocation of $500 million, part of a larger $10 billion authorization.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a champion of this program, recognized the potential in cities like Binghamton with rich manufacturing legacies, envisioning them as hubs for the industries of the future. Binghamton's burgeoning battery sector showcased its ability to excel on the national stage, ultimately securing the Tech Hub designation, signifying its potential to become a new Silicon Valley in critical technology.

“I am so heartened to see how our University's and region’s focus on batteries and energy storage solutions — something I've dedicated my entire professional life to — has achieved this level of attention and support from our federal government,” said Dr Whittingham of the award.

"Thank you Senator Schumer for your vision and unwavering advocacy. This Tech Hub designation is just what is needed to take our coalition's work to the next level and beyond. I am confident we will become the clean energy hub for the United States.”

Below is a video of Dr Whittingham talking about Binghamton University's plan for $100M Build Back Better award.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr Whittingham for his instrumental role in Binghamton's Tech Hub success, and we take immense pride in the role that Stamford School played in helping to achieve such remarkable accomplishments.

Video courtesy of Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

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