RIT Celebrates Dedication of IT Collaboratory Research Building

The IT Collaboratory, a Rochester Institute of Technology-led research collaboration with the University at Buffalo and Alfred University, has officially moved into a new facility. The IT Collaboratory Research Building—a three-story, 32,000-square-foot structure—was formally dedicated today on the RIT campus.

Started in 2001 with a $14 million grant from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), the IT Collaboratory targets the creation of key technologies, knowledge, and capabilities to design and integrate next generation information technology systems. Collaborative research within the center focuses on microsystems, photonics, remote sensing systems and nanomaterials—helping to develop a skilled, educated workforce that will play a major role in the economic revitalization of upstate New York.

“The opening of the IT Collaboratory is further proof that our efforts to transform the Finger Lakes region into a global leader of high-tech research and development are working,” says Governor George E. Pataki. “New York’s Finger Lakes attracts millions of dollars in new investment and has become the place where cutting-edge research and development takes place, helping to make New York state an international leader in high-tech development, and helping to create new jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers.”

The IT Collaboratory is among eight Strategically Targeted Academic Research (STAR) Centers. Combined, these centers represent one of the largest one-time high technology and biotechnology related investments in state history.

“Today, RIT, and its academic and industry partners, has achieved an important milestone to become an even greater center for high-technology research,” states Russell W. Bessette, M.D., executive director of NYSTAR.

Bessette adds, “These investments would not have been possible without the proactive leadership that Governor Pataki continues to provide in support of universities and high-tech industry in New York. It is another strong demonstration that the strategy of Governor Pataki is paying significant dividends for New York state.”

Research conducted by scientist and engineers within the IT Collaboratory has already resulted in more than $26 million in research grants, 27 invention disclosures, 18 patents issued or pending, and four start-up companies established.

Completion of the IT Collaboratory Research Building—a $30 million project—represents the next stage in the center’s evolution, providing its partners with much need research space and equipment. The first two floors include shared spaces for metrology, sensor development and the Lobozzo Optics Laboratory. There is also dedicated research and faculty space for nanolithography, remote sensing systems and the RF-Analog-Mixed Signal Laboratory. The third floor is equipped as an integrated microsystems laboratory through a partnership with Analog Devices Inc.

RIT President Albert Simone believes research opportunities within the new center are crucial to enhancing students’ academic experiences, which he states has a broader impact.

“The region and the state as a whole will realize benefits as students become intrigued with the research that they will participate in at this new center, follow that work to the companies that emerge and then stay in western New York to build their careers,” says Simone.

John Kelly, senior vice president of technology and intellectual property at IBM, emphasizes the role that resources, such as the IT Collaboratory, can play in helping to retain the region’s brainpower. In doing so, he credits RIT and its partners for defining the leading edge of collaborative innovation.

“Competition is not just from other parts of the U.S., it’s from all over the world,” explains Kelly. “To compete, we need to collaborate. We need to build centers of excellence and open our labs and our research as never before. I see it happening right here at the IT Collaboratory.”

For more information on the IT Collaboratory, visit the Web at www.rit.edu/ITColl.

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