Learning Cutting-Edge Technology

In New York State, Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) support university-industry collaborative research and technology transfer in commercial-relevant technologies. The CAT program was created in 1983 to facilitate the transfer of technology from New York’s top research universities into commercially viable products produced in the private sector. The CAT Development Program was created in 1999 to provide more resources to successful centers to expand their work with New York business.

As one example, in August it was announced that a consortium of universities and corporations led by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has been chosen to receive a state grant to establish a New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Additive Manufacturing and Functional Printing. The RIT consortium was chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

The center, to be called the AMPrint Center for Advanced Technology, will be based at RIT. Its focus will be to conduct research and development in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, an industry seen as a key economic driver for the Finger Lakes region and New York state because of its application to a wide range of companies and products.

Additive manufacturing refers to a process of joining materials, usually layer upon layer, to make objects from 3D model data. It is most often used for design and modeling, fit and function prototyping and parts production, and is acclaimed because it can result in significant savings of time and money, as well as enhanced quality of products, such as flexible electronics.

Denis Cormier, RIT’s Earl W. Brinkman Professor and a national expert on 3D printing and additive manufacturing, will lead the AMPrint Center. The consortium’s university partners include RIT, Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY) and SUNY New Paltz and corporate partners Xerox Corp., GE Research, Corning Inc., Eastman Kodak Co. and MakerBot. Smaller, regional companies will also collaborate with the center.

Cormier said the center will serve as the state’s focal point for applied high-value research and development in this industry. He described the Finger Lakes region as a functional 3D printing “ecosystem” because of the expertise from a collection of hightech innovators in the area with experience in print materials, print process systems design and high volume sales and distribution channels and flexible electronics.

The AMPrint Center is one of 10 Centers for Advanced Technology announced by the state. For more information, log on to esd.ny.gov/nystar/CentersforAdvTechnolgy.asp.

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of College Planning & Management.

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