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Additional $1 million secured for sensor research

By : Sarah Lifshin

A $1 million federal earmark for Binghamton University secured by Congressman Maurice Hinchey will be included in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill and will benefit advanced sensor design and threat detection research.

“This is crucial to our work and our increasing efforts in applied research in this area,” said President Lois B. DeFleur. “In combination with research grants, support from industry and the Congress, we’re moving forward and making significant strides. We’re very appreciative of Congressman Hinchey’s continued support.”

The appropriation is the second federal earmark in six months Hinchey has secured for Binghamton. Earlier this year, Hinchey succeeded in placing a $1.1 million earmark in the spending bill for the Defense Department, which became law in late September. The Energy and Water Bill is expected to pass into law shortly.

Bahgat Sammakia, interim vice president for research, said the federal funding crucial to the University’s efforts to be designated a Center for Excellence. “These efforts will in the end help us build companies locally and also lead to the creation of new jobs,” Sammakia said. “We are dependent on the federal, state and corporate support that we hope to receive.”

The Advanced Sensor Design and Threat Detection Research Facility will develop airborne agent detection systems that can provide early warnings of the presence of potential harmful vapors, toxins or biological reagents in battlefield settings.

“Binghamton University is uniquely situated to effect positive change in the Southern Tier economy,” Hinchey said. “The influx of these funds will have great economic benefits for the area. Moreover, the work that will be done at this facility by Binghamton researchers has great potential for enhancing the safety of our troops.”

The research facility will speed the development of critical technologies in the fields of biological, chemical and acoustic sensor design in order to better identify, evaluate and remidiate threats to national security and community and individual health. The project will strengthen BU’s existing university- military-industry partnerships by providing key resources to enable research that has already given rise to numerous breakthroughs in sensor technology.

This technology has or will be instrumental in the areas of national defense, environmental monitoring and health care. Funding will provide needed facilities renovation, equipment and training programs to enhance research and job creation and help to expand partnerships that will speed the transfer of these new technologies to appropriate arenas outside the University.

Sammakia said the federal appropriation would continue to add momentum to the University’s efforts to grow its research infrastructure on and off campus. In combination with other federal and state funding and with the support of cooperative partnerships with other institutions and regional companies, the earmark will enhance the development of small-scale systems research on the main campus, at the Innovative Technologies Complex at the eastern edge of campus and the Endicott Interconnect Technologies in Endicott. EIT is making 5,000 square-feet of ultra-clean, vibration-free laboratory space available to the University at its Endicott facility, with the possibility of additional space being assigned in the future.

Renovation of the former NYSEG building is underway at the Innovative Technologies Complex, located on a 21-acre site along Murray Hill Road. The work is expected to get a major boost with the expected receipt of the $15 million in state Gen*NY*sis funds. The funds were pledged to the project because of the backing of state Senator Thomas Libous.

The sensor’s earmark will support projects involving all three sites and up to 30 Binghamton faculty members from the across the disciplines working in small-scale research.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08