Interim President C. Peter Magrath, left, Interim Vice President for Research Bahgat Sammakia, Gov. David Paterson and state Sen. Thomas Libous, right, applaud after renderings of the New York State Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging (S3IP) building are unveiled at a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 13 at the Innovative Technologies Complex.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
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The New York State Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging (S3IP) building will help revitalize Binghamton, the Southern Tier and upstate New York, Gov. David Paterson said Oct. 13 at a groundbreaking for the facility.
“This Center of Excellence is going to make Binghamton University an epicenter for new technology and future development while spurring on the economy of New York state,” Paterson said.
Paterson was joined at the ceremony in the atrium of the future Engineering and Science Building by University representatives, elected officials and local leaders, including U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, state Sen. Thomas Libous, state Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala.
The $30 million, 114,000-square-foot Center of Excellence building will provide space for expansion and consolidation of S3IP and its interdisciplinary, inter-institutional teams of scientists and engineers. The facility will help bridge critical scientific, technology, commercialization and education gaps, and support collaborative partnerships in energy-efficient electronic systems, systems integration and packaging, flexible electronics, autonomous solar power, advanced materials and sensors, and healthcare/life sciences.
When complete, the facility will connect with the Biotechnology and the Engineering and Science buildings, which are both part of the University’s Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC). The two-story glass, metal and stone building will feature open laboratory space, a symposium hall and offices that support the University’s ongoing and expanding industry partnerships.
“This building will solidify Binghamton University’s position as a world leader in small scale systems packaging,” Interim President C. Peter Magrath said. “This facility will connect people and ideas, accelerate discovery in this growing field and develop further our commitment to partnerships with industry. The research, education and outreach of those who will be housed in this building will make a significant contribution to this region and to New York state.”
Magrath emphasized that “center of excellence” is applicable to the entire University.
“Binghamton University – all of it – is a center of excellence in the education we provide our students, the research we do and our partnerships with business and industry,” he said. “Let’s recognize and think of Binghamton University as an ongoing center of excellence.”
Funding for the new building, which will provide a $15.9 million annual economic impact and support more than 180 jobs per year in the region during its construction, was obtained through the efforts of Libous and Lupardo.
“This $30 million Center of Excellence came to us with $15 million from the Senate and $15 million from the Assembly,” Paterson said. “Those are code names for Libous and Lupardo.”
“If we could get the rest of the Senate and Assembly to work together the way Lupardo and Libous do, we’d have a much smoother running state,” Libous advised Paterson.
Both Libous and Lupardo emphasized that the significance of the Center of Excellence goes beyond the physical facility and the number of jobs that will be created.
“Our goal is pretty simple: create opportunities for careers,” Libous said. “We can all create jobs and do our best to find a job for somebody. At Binghamton University, we are creating career opportunities with local businesses and businesses throughout the country.”
“This isn’t just about new buildings, it’s a recognition of Binghamton University’s status as a world-class research institution,” Lupardo said. “It’s also a recognition that Binghamton University is playing a vital role in reinvigorating the new economy and revitalizing the innovative spirit that helped this community grow in the first place.”
That innovative spirit can be found at S3IP, which builds on a local legacy of microelectronics research through high-impact research that supports the translation of economically significant microelectronic innovations to U.S. industry. S3IP has generated more than $700 million in economic impact through partnerships with national and international industries on collaborative, precompetitive research.
“Research is a key driver for innovation and technology development,” said Interim Vice President for Research Bahgat Sammakia. “Our research at the Center of Excellence has always been conducted in strong partnership with industry, and we are fully committed to research that has a broad and transformational impact on the community. This building will create spaces and infrastructure that bring together our faculty, scientists and students with engineers and scientists from industry to work on key technical advancements.”
Paterson, Hinchey and Magrath all praised the leadership and skills of Sammakia, who has continued to lead S3IP since taking the research reins at the beginning of the academic year.
“I’m working on a secret process to clone him,” Magrath said of Sammakia, drawing laughs from the audience at the ceremony. “He is doing incredibly important work for this University, this state and our nation.”
To see a video flyover of the architect’s plans for the building, click here.