Center for Advanced Technology Will Develop State-of-the-Art 3D Printing Technology to Establish the Finger Lakes Region as a Leader in Booming, Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Project Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" – Region’s Award-Winning Revitalization Plan to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the over $18 million AMPrint Center on Rochester Institute of Technology’s Henrietta campus. The center is supported by a grant from Empire State Development, worth up to $9.2 million in state funding over 10 years and $9.7 million in university and industry funding. One of the first research labs in the world to focus on state-of-the-art multi-functional 3D printing technologies, materials and devices, the new Center for Advanced Technology will bring together university and corporate researchers to advance two leading industries in the Finger Lakes region, printing and imaging.
"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," Governor Cuomo 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."
The new center is one of 15 Centers for Advanced Technology through Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation, which are designated to support university-industry research and technology transfer in commercially relevant technologies. Grants are 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. The center was awarded a 10-year designation in 2015, with $921,200 per year in state funding to support applied research operations. The project received an additional $500,000 through the state’s Higher Education Capital Facilities Program, which was matched by the university and corporate partners to support construction of the lab, and was also awarded $100,000 from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined state representatives, corporate partners and RIT technology leaders today for the announcement.
Lieutenant Governor Hochul said, "Governor Cuomo’s economic development strategy is founded on regional collaboration and the merger of business and academia. The AMPrint center symbolizes this approach and affirms RIT’s leadership in establishing the Finger Lakes as a nexus for advanced manufacturing and imaging technology. RIT students are learning the skills that will make them marketable to today's employers, and that is the model that will lead to jobs and renewed prosperity across the region and all Upstate."
Rochester Institute of Technology President Bill Destler said, “The AMPrint Center will propel RIT and the Finger Lakes region to the forefront in accelerating the growth of this industry. The state’s Center for Advanced Technology designation, along with the grant we received through the state’s Higher Education Capital Facilities Program and a significant commitment from our partners at Xerox, made it possible for us to build and equip this state-of-the-art facility. The center will be a unique asset to companies for research, product development collaboration and the talent that they need to grow and compete globally.”
Denis Cormier, Earl W. Brinkman Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said, "Our goal is to ensure that this region becomes a globally recognized industry hub for multi-functional 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The partners in RIT’s AMPrint Center will develop new multi-functional 3D printing technologies that will transform the way many products are manufactured in the future. The technology that the public is most familiar with now is hobbyists using 3D printers to make simple prototypes. Next-generation multi-functional 3D printing technologies developed in the RIT AMPrint Center will be faster than anything currently on the market, and they will produce components made from a broad array of materials that will greatly increase their performance."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "AMPrint is one of the first research labs in the world to focus on next generation 3D printing and imaging. As one of the newest Centers for Advanced Technology in New York State, AMPrint is a perfect fit for the Finger Lakes region which is at the forefront of production and technology and this center will foster a closer collaboration between academics and industry partners."
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman said, "The FLREDC has identified advanced manufacturing as a key regional industry sector, particularly in fields such as next generation printing and imaging, and AMPrint is an exceptional use of state funds. AMPrint will encourage greater collaboration between private industry and RIT. Working together, they will develop and explore the applications of new technologies that will foster innovation and economic development in the Finger Lakes region."
The additive manufacturing industry grew 25.9 percent to $5.165 billion in 2015. For the second consecutive year, the industry grew by more than $1 billion. Additive manufacturing and multi-functional 3D printing refer to processes in which materials are printed, 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 and functionality of products, such as flexible electronics.
These new technologies are capable of blending multiple materials, including metals, ceramics, plastics and composites, within a single component to produce high performance products that would be impossible to produce any other way. The new center is leading the development of these next-generation multi-functional 3D printing technologies. The new AMPrint Center offers laboratory space, offices and meeting rooms and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Photos of the interior of the center are available here.
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 that allows 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 a RIT graduate student. Xerox is one of the center's founding partners. During today’s ceremony, Xerox representatives announced the company will invest up to $1.5 million in the center.
Karl Dueland, Vice President of Digital Manufacturing, Xerox Technology Group, said, "RIT is a well-respected and cutting-edge institution, and their goal of creating the AMPrint Center aligned with our capabilities and our commitment to science, technology and innovation."
Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said, "RIT has always been a leader in innovative technologies. The new AMPrint Center will allow the University to continue to position itself as a nationwide hub for 3D-printing and advanced manufacturing, which will ultimately create new jobs and further strengthen our economy. I am grateful for RIT’s continued leadership in our community and I thank Gov. Cuomo and Empire State Development for investing in our future and making this exciting day possible."
Senator Joseph Robach said, "The Rochester region has quickly become a leader in manufacturing, innovation and technology thanks in large part to the resources, students and faculty at RIT. The AMPrint Center for Advanced Technology will help leverage the resources that already exist at RIT, specifically in the growing field of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. This is a win-win for Rochester and the Finger Lakes, and will help usher in a new era of manufacturing success in our region."
Senator Patrick Gallivan said, "This unique partnership will help ensure the Finger Lakes region and New York State remain competitive in global manufacturing. The state-of-the-art center at RIT’s Henrietta campus will support students, faculty, researchers and regional companies interested in 3-D printing technology."
Senator Rich Funke said, "It’s great to see RIT taking our region’s rich tradition in imaging to the next level by developing the advanced 3-D printing technologies that will create jobs and investment here in the future. Thank you to President Destler, his team, and all of our public and private partners for their commitment to building a stronger, more highly skilled local workforce and economy."
Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, "I want to applaud RIT, President Destler and Professor Cormier for this exciting venture into additive manufacturing and multi-functional 3D printing. These new technologies are capable of blending multiple materials that will help bring advanced manufacturing into the next generation of customized production. This is a great day for RIT, the Rochester community and our region as we celebrate this milestone and turn a page on the next chapter on advancements in manufacturing technologies."
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agricultureý and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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