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SAID product development program awarded another year of state funding
SAID product development program awarded another year of state fundingSeptember 27, 2002Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Syracuse University has announced that it will extend a program that assists local companies in developing products that “sense, analyze, interpret and decide.”
From 1999 to 2001, the State of New York annually awarded $500,000 to the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering (CASE) at Syracuse University for the SAID (Sense, Analyze, Interpret and Decide) Technology Program.
SAID is a strategic product development program with a mission to help local high-tech companies succeed. The program links SU faculty and graduate students with Central New York businesses in collaborative research and object-oriented product development projects. This year, and as it nears commercialization of a vital signs measurement project being developed in collaboration with Welch Allyn in Skaneateles, the program has received another round of state funding in the amount of $320,000. As in past years, the total award was a collaborative effort on the part of Gov. George E. Pataki and State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse).
“There can be no question that the SAID Program has been a tremendous success,” says Sen. DeFrancisco. “I have been pleased to help this corporate and academic partnership by securing state funds that will help identify Central New York as an important high tech center for emerging companies, for existing companies and for the job opportunities they will offer.”
“The SAID project is a shining example of world-class high-technology innovation in Central New York,” says Edward A. Bogucz, dean of the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. “Thanks to funding from New York state, our students and faculty work side-by-side with engineers in local firms to develop new products in emerging areas. In the process, our students are exposed to job opportunities that are available locally. In this program, everyone ‘wins.'”
To honor Sen. DeFrancisco for his support of the SAID program, the University will host a luncheon on Sept. 30 in the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center on the SU campus.
Currently, approximately 10-15 SU students and eight faculty members are involved in projects focusing on technologies that support analysis of situations and problem resolution at four Central New York companies–Welch Allyn, Sensis Corp., the ShoreGroup Inc. and WetStone Technologies. The teams are working on two vital signs measurement projects at Welch Allyn; secure time stamping services at WetStone; radar and security service systems with Sensis Corp., and network security services and management with the ShoreGroup.
Shiu-Kai Chin, Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence, professor of electrical and computer engineering in ECS and director of the CASE Center, says the program has been mutually beneficial for both the companies and the faculty and staff teams. Companies receive collaboration in product development that will likely result in future positive returns, which in turn results in a positive economic impact on the state; faculty have access to valuable teaching tools; and students gain real-world experience. Additionally, program participants they are exposed to the insights of both the corporate and academic cultures.
As a lead researcher on the program’s two Welch Allyn projects, Can Isik, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in ECS, has seen the benefit firsthand.
“We are dealing with real live data that is difficult to collect in the University environment,” he says. “From an educational perspective, it gives the students a unique experience that they would not otherwise have.”
Mark Pingel, director of research and development at Welch Allyn, says the company has benefited from its access to top University researchers. The program’s two projects with Welch Allyn are already yielding significant outcomes-a vital signs measurement project will complete clinical trials early next year; and the results from a temperature measurement project, currently undergoing testing, will be launched in a product next year. The projects each have the potential of making possible products which could generate significant additional sales, Pingel says.
“This program has been very satisfactory in terms of results for Welch Allyn,” Pingel says.
Chin attributes the success of the program to the businesses that are involved. He points to the program’s collaboration with Welch Allyn as an example.
“For a program like this to work, there has to be a history of trust,” he says. “We have had a very frank, open and trusting relationship, and we are very fortunate to be working with them.”