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University Council updated on research initiatives

A high technology commercialization center will not only prove to be a dynamic partnership between BU, the private sector and other academic institutions, but it will also serve as a strong economic stimulus for the region, according to Bahgat Sammakia, interim vice president for research.

In the Division of Research’s annual report to the University Council last week, Sammakia highlighted continued plans for the implementation of the center, along with an update on other economic development and research initiatives. “The opportunities are wide open and we plan to work closely with industry as a partner,” he said.

With traditional manufacturing jobs in the region and nationally under pressure due to lower labor costs, it is predicted that new manufacturing jobs will be created in emerging technology areas, Sammakia said. The commercialization center will capitalize on the University’s strengths by leveraging its experience and partnerships in small-scale systems packaging. By perfecting packaging and manufacturing processes at the micro- and nanoscale levels, the University-based center will ramp up the innovations spawned by Centers of Excellence throughout the state.

“We believe that Binghamton University and New York state are a perfect match for this and this could develop future manufacturing jobs,” Sammakia said.

Among the division’s other priorities is to continue to garner research funding. While the economy has shown early indicators of improvement, research funding continues to grow.

Total awards and contracts in the past year increased to $25.1 million, up a total of 59.9 percent over the past five years, while federal funds are at $12.6 million — a 20 percent increase during the last year and a 66 percent increase over the past five years. The division will also continue to grow its regional partnerships. Among the University’s partnerships are the Greater Binghamton Coalition, Southern Tier Opportunity Coalition, Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, Small Business Development Center, Integrated Electronics Engineering Center and the proposed downtown center.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08