By†Amy Donovan

The Koffman Southern Tier Incubatorís Clean Energy Program held its first board meeting Monday night, Feb. 12, focusing on the programís logistics and the future of clean energy in the Southern Tier.

The board, which consists of 13 local and regional industry leaders, aims to increase the†the use of renewable energy in the region by assisting the nine companies currently participating in the incubatorís program. This assistance includes mentoring in both entrepreneurship and the growing field of clean energy, which refers to any source of power that doesnít pollute or harm the environment. Common examples of clean energy are solar, wind and geothermal power.

Board members include program director Alex Hagen; Bill Acker, the executive director of New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and Stanley Whittingham, a distinguished professor at Binghamton University and the director of the NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES.) NECCES endeavors to improve current methods of energy storage in batteries, and uses contributions from researchers at partner institutions including Rutgers and Cambridge University.

Hagen said the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator will play a key role in the program, which†will help stimulate the Southern Tierís economy and put the region on the right track in terms of renewable energy promotion.

ďA lot of new job creation and new technologies come from start-ups, and I think communities all around the country are starting to embrace the value of incubators,Ē Hagen said. ďAlso being a clean energy start up ó itís the right direction to head in with our energy future.Ē