Pataki announces re-designation of SU as Center for Advanced Technology
Pataki announces re-designation of SUas Center for Advanced TechnologyJuly 01, 2004Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Gov. George E. Pataki today announced that 10 universities in New York, including Syracuse University, have been designated or re-designated as hosts to Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT), part of an overall initiative to encourage greater technological and economic collaboration between New York State’s industries and research universities.
Based upon historical appropriations and subject to the availability of state funds, it is expected that each CAT will receive up to $1 million annually. Each CAT will be designated for up to 10 years to serve as a vehicle for transferring applied research in its technological focus from the university to industry.
The announcement marks the third such designation for SU’s Computer Applications and Software Engineering (CASE) Center (http://www.case.syr.edu), which supports research on information technology and telecommunications. The CASE Center reports that for the fiscal year ending in July 2003, its applied IT research collaborations with local companies resulted in a $30 million impact as measured by jobs created and retained, company revenue and cost savings, financing acquired and capital investments made.
“The announcement being made today reflects our comprehensive efforts to build a stronger and brighter economic future for New York State,” says Pataki. “These grants will support the world-class research being performed at New York’s colleges and universities and will complement our other high-tech economic development initiatives, such as our Centers of Excellence program.”
Also included in the designations is a new CAT in energy systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute focused on energy conservation, smart lighting, fuel cells and renewable energy sources.
“As we move forward with Phase II of our high-technology and biotechnology job creation efforts, we are ensuring every opportunity for our young people to secure a good paying, high-tech job so they can build their future right here in New York State,” says Pataki. “With every new high-tech job we create, we can realize our goal of creating 1 million new jobs by the end of the decade.” The governor’s proposed budget provides strong support for Phase II of New York’s High-Tech/Biotech Efforts to encourage new investment and job creation, including $350 million for a higher education capital matching grants program; a new biotech capital access program; additional support for the Centers of Excellence program; and the establishment of a new High-Tech Council.
Russell W. Bessette, M.D., executive director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), says, “Under Pataki’s leadership, the CAT program has become an extremely important component of the State’s high technology economic development efforts. The universities that have been awarded a highly coveted CAT designation will be key partners in helping to create a vibrant technology-based economy well into the foreseeable future.”
The CAT program, which consists of 15 research centers, has been successful to date. In a five-year period, New York’s CATs have helped create or retain more than 5,300 jobs and generated more than $1.7 billion in private sector revenues, cost-savings and capital expenditures.
As detailed in a request for proposals (RFP) issued early this year, New York is awarding 10 CAT designations to enhance universities’ ability to increase New York companies’ competitiveness by commercializing promising new technologies and create significant economic impact in New York State. The RFP was issued because 10 CATs required re-designation. The other CATs are not required to be re-designated at this time.
As part of the rigorous selection process for this initiative, applications were judged on the basis of the center management team’s experience, the applicant’s track record in assisting industry with applied research and commercialization, the institution’s breadth of research resources, and the degree to which New York’s investment will enable the applicant’s ability to create economic impact in New York State.
The RFP sought proposals in six specific areas of technology that represent significant economic opportunity for New York State: information technology and telecommunications; life sciences, enabling sciences, and agricultural sciences; nanotechnology; semiconductors and microelectronics; photonics and imaging science systems; and energy systems.
Institutions that were eligible to apply for designation as a Center for Advanced Technology included any New York State university, university-affiliated research institute or consortia that met specific eligibility criteria identified in the RFP.
In addition to SU, the announcement of designation applies to Binghamton University, City University of New York-City College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Polytechnic University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stony Brook University, University at Albany and University of Rochester.
The CAT program complements NYSTAR’s other programs to spur technology-based research and economic development in New York State; promote national and international research collaboration and innovation; and better leverage the State’s research expertise and funding with investments from the federal government, foundations, businesses, venture capitalists and others.
Pataki and the state legislature have advanced several major initiatives to expand high technology and biotechnology business and job-creation opportunities in New York. The governor’s Centers of Excellence initiative, along with Strategically Targeted Academic Research (STAR) Centers and Advanced Research Centers (ARCs), focus on critical emerging technologies that are expected to become major high-tech growth areas. Each Center is designed to complement other specialized academic centers in a seamless network of high-tech research and economic development.