RIT Receives Economic Development Award from U.S. Department of Commerce

Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies honored for economic development efforts

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has announced that Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies has been honored with the 2009 Excellence in University-Led Strategies in Economic Development Award.

The center was selected for its university-led economic development strategies and its commitment to research-based, market driven economic development in helping grow the local and regional economy. It currently conducts multiple research, training and technology-transfer projects designed to enhance the development of new technologies and processes in the manufacturing, alternative-energy and environmental development sectors. The center was the only winner selected nationally in this category for 2009 and the first New York winner among all categories since the awards program was established in 2004.

“The Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies represents the best and brightest in 21st century economic development,” Locke says. “Excellence award winners exemplify the importance of supporting regional strategies to ensure American communities succeed in the global marketplace and create higher-skill, higher-wage jobs.”

The national award is presented annually by the department’s Economic Development Administration. Nominations are made in different categories and are evaluated by a selection panel appointed by the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected for this incredible honor,” says Nabil Nasr, CIMS director. “For over a decade, our organization has sought to improve our local economy and promote sustainability through the development of new production methods that are both greener and more efficient and productive.”

The center has received significant state and federal funding to advance these efforts and works closely with a host of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Office of Naval Research, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and hundreds of companies throughout the region and around the state. The center’s efforts have been credited with creating or saving hundreds of jobs, primarily in the manufacturing sector.

“I was pleased to support the center in receiving this important recognition for the pivotal contributions it makes in strengthening Rochester's continued economic development,” says Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, chair of the House Rules Committee. “I have been pleased to partner with Professor Nasr and his team on a variety of job-creating initiatives from remanufacturing projects with the Defense Department to creating a fuel-cell development competency in Rochester.

“CIMS plays a critical role in helping leverage our region’s unique assets and resources to propel us to the leading edge of emerging industries. The center and RIT are well deserving of this honor,” Slaughter continues.

“The work of the center is just the sort of forward thinking our region needs,” adds Congressman Eric Massa “The emphasis on regional strategies employed is critical to creating local jobs to help grow our local economy. I am pleased that the U.S. Commerce Department agrees and I am happy to see RIT, a great regional educational gem, receive this award.”

“I have been a proud partner and supporter of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies in the belief that its work will provide much of the foundation for the resurgence of our local and regional economy,” says New York State Assemblyman Joseph Morelle.

“The Commerce Department’s recognition of the center verifies the importance of this great resource, and the ongoing value added to our area by the entire RIT academic community.”

The Excellence in Economic Development Awards program recognizes organizations making significant contributions to the advancement of economic competitiveness and technology advancement. The initiative supports the overall mission of the Economic Development Administration in leading the federal economic development agenda, promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.