NY Gives RIT $14 Million for New STAR Center; To be Known as the Information Technology Collaboratory

May 9, 2001

Laurie Maynard

University News Services

(716) 475-5064

E-mail: lsmcmp@rit.edu

Web stream of announcement

In an extremely competitive New York state selection process, RIT has come out a winner. At a May 3 press conference, Gov. George Pataki announced the making of a new STAR (strategically targeted academic research) Center at Rochester Institute of Technology. Accompanied by Russell Bessette, executive director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), Sen. James Alesi, Assemblymen Joseph Morelle and Joseph Robach, and RIT President Albert J. Simone, Pataki told the audience in RITs Xerox Auditorium that NYSTAR will fund the center with $14 million.

“We will no longer only think of the Silicon Valley when we think of high technology — well think of Rochester, N.Y.,” said Pataki, to rounds of applause.

More on NYSTAR

President Simone said, “We applaud the vision of Gov. Pataki, Majority Leader Bruno, Speaker Silver and the members of the State Legislature, in establishing NYSTAR to provide New York state with the technological leadership that is needed for the 21st century.

“We look forward to working with our industry partners, including Global Crossing, Frontier, Corning, Kodak, Xerox and IBM, as well as the many other companies that are such an important part of the IT/telecommunications sector in this community. A number of these companies have already made significant commitments of support for this initiative. In addition, the IT Collaboratory will be a vital resource to the recently-designated Rochester Center of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems, and will draw on and complement the students, programs and research in the newly established B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.”

Bessette, who will give RITs Academic Convocation address May 25 during commencement weekend, praised RIT for its winning proposal to become a STAR Center. “RITs proposal had what we were looking for: it cited scientific innovation, collaboration and economic potential.”

More on Bessette and RITs commencement

The STAR Center at RIT, called the Information Technology (IT) Collaboratory will focus on four areas of research: microsystems, photonic systems, remote systems and high-bandwidth telecom networks. The STAR Center includes partners University of Buffalo and Alfred University, and key companies including Global Crossing, Frontier, Corning, Kodak, Xerox, IBM, ENI, NetSetGo, Advanced Vision Technologies and others. RITs team, led by First in Class Director Donald Boyd, included faculty from the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Kate Gleason College of Engineering, the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, and the College of Science.

Facilities that will contribute to the STAR Center include:

  • RIT: Laboratory for Sensor Research, Laboratory for Advanced Spectral Sensing, Laboratory for Image Algorithms and Systems, Microsystems Fabrication
  • Lab (which will be doubled in size with a major building addition), and IT labs

  • UB: Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics

  • Alfred: School of Ceramic Engineering and Material Science

“This is not only important for RIT, its also important for economic growth in the community and the region,” says Boyd. “Were excited to be working with Alfred and Buffalo in these high-potential areas. Our work will fuel huge business and job opportunities in Western New York. Microsystems technology will lead to many new products ranging from information and telecommunication devices to health and safety applications to consumer electronics.”

AboutRochester Institute of Technology

Internationally recognized as a leader in imaging, technology, engineering, fine and applied arts, and education of the deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology enrolls 15,000 students in more than 240 undergraduate and graduate programs. For the past decade, U.S. News and World Report has ranked RIT as one of the nations leading comprehensive universities. RIT also is included in Yahoo! Internet Lifes Top 100 Wired Universities, Fisks Guide to Americas Best Colleges, as well as Barrons Best Buys in Education.

The IT Collaboratory

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the University of Buffalos (UB) Institute of Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB) and Alfred University proposed a STAR (strategically targeted academic research) Center called the IT Collaboratory.

This partnerships mission is: To create key technologies and capabilities to design and integrate next-generation information technology (IT) systems through collaborative work.

The IT Collaboratory will invest in photonics and microsystems fabrication facilities and equipment. Key facilities that will contribute to the STAR Center will be constructed or renovated. The collaborating labs will acquire new equipment for applied research and technology development in microsystems, high-bandwidth networks and remote systems at RIT, and in photonics at all three universities.

By designing, building, testing and commercializing microsystems and optical communications networks, the IT Collaboratory will improve communications bandwidth and speed. Using expertise and experience in building imaging information systems, the partnership will apply microsystems and networks to build integrated remote IT systems. An expert research team from the three universities, with the required track record and in-place capabilities, has been assembled to form a strong foundation for the strategic investment from NYSTAR. The key expertise for success is system integration skill.

New York state officials, headed by Gov. George Pataki along with Sen. Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, and a congressional delegation, together with the IT, telecom and imaging industries, recently committed their support to a Rochester Center of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems.

Underscoring the importance of this industry, Dan Carp, CEO of Eastman Kodak, in his keynote address at the Comdex conference last November, said, “Today our business at Kodak is built around the convergence of two key technologies: information technology and image science. The area where those two technologies overlap represents an enormous new industry—in fact, a $225 billion industry. To put it into context, thats already twice as large as all segments of the traditional photography industry combined.”

IT Collaboratory results will generate enormous worldwide economic benefits, especially to New York state. Formation of this STAR Center will provide a crucial source of the ideas, talented experts and educated workforce required by existing and new companies. NYSTAR funding of the IT Collaboratory will produce the foundation of an operation that is expected to yield millions of dollars annually in new research, new products, extended life for current products and new startups.