The Rochester Institute of Technology has received a grant from Empire State Development, worth up to $9.2 million in state funding paid over 10 years, as well as a $9.7 million grant in university and industry funding for its new AM Print Center for Advanced Technology, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated.
The center will serve as a multi-functional research lab for developing 3D printing technologies, materials and devices, and bring together university and corporate researchers to advance two leading industries in the Finger Lakes region, printing and imaging, Gov. Cuomo stated.
“This new state facility will establish this region as a leader in this growing, multi-billion dollar industry at the forefront of 21st century innovation,” the governor said. “By investing in cutting-edge research and technology in promising industries, we attract top talent and economic activity, continuing to move the Finger Lakes forward.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined state representatives and RIT officials Wednesday to announce the opening of the new center, which will be one of 15 Centers for Advanced Technology designated to support university-industry research and technology transfer in commercially-relevant technologies, through Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation.
“The center will support new initiatives, as well as current work at RIT, including a collaboration between RIT and Elmira-based Hardinge Corp. to develop hybrid manufacturing equipment allowing the fabrication of metallic parts through a combination of laser material deposition and traditional machining; the development of intricate nano-structures for a micro-pump implanted system designed to deliver bio-therapies to address hearing disorders; a collaboration with Xerox and a local start-up to provide RIT with a large-scale, high-speed material ink jetting system; and a football helmet with 3D-printed, custom protective padding developed by a multi-disciplinary team led by an RIT graduate student,” the state said.
According to officials, the grants have been awarded through a competitive program intended to spur economic growth, promote workforce development and increase the competitiveness of New York companies in the global marketplace.
ESD awarded the center a 10-year designation in 2015, including $921,200 per year in state funding to support applied research operations, and Xerox, one of the center’s founding partners, will also invest up to $1.5 million in the center.
The project has also received an additional $500,000 through the state’s Higher Education Capital Facilities Program, which was matched by university and corporate partners to support construction of the lab, and the center has also been awarded $100,000 from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.