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The University Magazine

Center fosters new relationships

Mark Almekinder, a science outreach presenter for Rochester Museum & Science Center, demonstrates an experiment with liquid nitrogen in the Center for Student Innovation. RMSC presented two exhibits at the Imagine RIT Festival in May. (Photo by Elizabeth Lamark ’00/ETC Photo)

The new Center for Student Innovation is already helping RIT connect to organizations outside the university.

The center’s corporate partnership with Vuzix Corp., a Rochester-based manufacturer of 3-D video eyewear, was announced in April, and a formal alliance with Rochester Museum & Science Center has also been established.

Vuzix will supply the center with the company’s advanced personal display eyewear, software development kits, technical expertise and previews of future product offerings. Vuzix designs and manufactures digital displays and eyewear used in a range of commercial, medical and defense applications. One of its upcoming products, see-through “sunglass” displays, will bring 3-D movies and graphics to iPhone users.

“It’s only natural that we team with a premier technology and innovation center that just happens to be in our backyard,” says Paul Travers, president of Vuzix. “We have a special relationship with our RIT co-op employees, and many of our engineering staff are graduates of the university.”

Cultivating curiosity about science and technology in children and in their families is at the heart of the relationship between RIT and the Rochester Museum & Science Center.

“RIT and the museum are in the same business, which is the education of the next generation,” says Ian Gatley, director of Student Innovation and Undergraduate Research Support. “The museum typically gets students at a younger age than we do on campus, but we both help develop the upcoming generation of people who are going to save the planet.”

“For years now, we’ve been involved with RIT and this is a celebration of our past work and stimulation for future opportunities,” says Kate Bennett, president of RMSC. “So much of what goes on can be driven or executed by faculty and student projects, and we welcome new ideas.”