At the site of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, Governor David A. Paterson announced on October 22 the award of $7.8 million to five projects, part of the first round of awards through the Downstate Revitalization Fund. The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation was an ideal backdrop for the announcement as it supports aspiring entrepreneurs and is located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is one of the five award recipients and will receive $1 million to develop a Green Manufacturing Center.

The Governor first announced the $35 million Fund last May as an investment tool to help attract businesses, improve commerce, and revitalize local economies. Empire State Development (ESD) administers the Fund, which invests in projects that advance local development and small businesses. The first round of funding announced today will finance business investment, infrastructure upgrades, and downtown redevelopment.

“We must continue to make smart investments and utilize our State’s assets to foster sustainable growth and create jobs,” said Governor Paterson. “The Downstate Revitalization Fund focuses on the interests of the small business community that is at the heart of our economy. The road to fiscal recovery begins by building on their successes and by keeping our entrepreneurs, workers and families in New York.”

The site of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation was an appropriate choice for the location of the governor’s announcement since its mission is to provide ambitious students, alumni, and faculty from Pratt with a safe and stimulating place to launch businesses, according to Debera Johnson, who heads the program, which is part of Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research, which she also directs. “The incubator at the Navy Yard provides a place for Pratt designers, artists and architects to actively participate in world changing projects and become part of a growing network of people who share the common belief that economic sustainability must also account for our world’s environmental and social well being,” added Johnson, who notes that the program has helped launch over 12 new businesses since 2002.

During the press conference, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Chairman Alan H. Fishman noted two products that resulted from two Pratt Design Incubator start-up businesses – Solar Ivy, a photovoltaic system for solar energy designed to adhere to buildings by Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology, or SMIT and Cerca’s eco-efficient shipping system developed for IceStone, a recycled countertop material made of glass and concrete manufactured in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“With cutting-edge green infrastructure investments and a rapidly growing cluster of green manufacturers, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has become a national model for sustainable industrial parks,” added President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Andrew H. Kimball. “We are grateful that Governor Paterson and the Empire State Development Corporation is providing critical capital support to facilitate the development of a new Green Manufacturing Center that will create more than 300 green-collar jobs, many of which will go to people who live in the surrounding communities.”

For more information on the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, please visit

For more information on the Brooklyn Navy Yard, please visit

For more information on the Governor’s allocations, please visit