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Multi-point Strategic Partnerships

Paul Harris

RIT impacts industries across the spectrum through coordinated, strategically valuable relationships that include applied research, solutions development, workforce education, and more. Many of our faculty members have significant and successful experience in industry, and they bring that perspective to their classrooms and labs. This makes RIT’s consultation more relevant and valuable to corporate partners than that of traditional academic partners.

RIT’s strategic partners have said that we redefined the idea of a university/company partnership, and changed their expectations of the results that were possible working with higher education. If you want a partner that will assist your business model across your entire company, few universities offer the breadth and depth of RIT.

To learn how a RIT can help drive your company’s strategic goals, contact Paul Harris, Executive Director of Corporate Relations, at

American Packaging Corp. Drives Innovation and Sustainability

Rochester-based American Packaging Corp. has partnered with RIT in the company’s efforts to build a brand as a leader in packaging innovation and sustainability. For more than a decade, the company has turned to RIT for workforce and executive training, a pipeline of new and highly skilled employees, research support, and industry visibility.

After several years of increased but still ad-hoc initiatives, APC and RIT established a coordinated and strategically valuable partnership to provide research support, a workforce pipeline, and name recognition for the company. At the center of the partnership was APC’s gift to expand RIT’s existing Center for Integrated Plastics. The expansion increased capacity and added capabilities so the Center would serve as a true APC research partner in packaging design and innovation. Beyond the facility, APC also funds ongoing equipment upgrades, a center director post, increased graduate assistant positions, and academic initiatives for undergraduate and graduate students related to new packaging technologies.

The Center is now named The American Packaging Center for Plastics & Packaging Innovation.

“We are impressed by the momentum that RIT has within our industry and believe that the combined energy and talent of our two excellent organizations will achieve truly outstanding successes in innovation,” says American Packaging CEO and owner Peter Schottland.

Supporting the partnership, two APC employees sit on RIT’s Packaging Science Advisory Board. An additional employee sits on the American Packaging Center for Plastics & Packaging Innovation Advisory Board. And the company sponsors a student innovation contest each year in packaging design.

Cisco Systems Makes Magic with RIT

Cisco Systems may be one of the most recognizable companies in Silicon Valley, but its vision for academic partnerships extends all the way across the country. Cisco and RIT have partnered on technological research and innovation for more than two decades, working directly with RIT faculty members in engineering and computing fields. The company currently employs 250 RIT alumni, and hires more than 30 student co-op employees each year from technical, business, and creative degree programs. Hiring RIT students and graduates is so valuable to the company that it hosts individual Cisco Employer Networking Events on campus to ensure they have the time to meet with candidates.

In 2015, Cisco became one of three members of a public-private partnership to create MAGIC Spell Studios, linking RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging sciences projects. Along with support from Dell and New York State, Cisco has made a substantial investment that will not only support RIT’s digital media programs, but with help to make the entire Rochester region highly attractive for economic development in gaming, media and entertainment fields.