INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Bioengineering department moves to ITC
Renovation work continues on research facility
On Jan. 3, the department became the first occupant of Binghamton University’s Innovative Technologies Complex. The newly renovated space at the south end of the building’s second floor includes office and workspace for the department’s 12 faculty members and a supporting network of students and staff.
The move will give the department room to grow. Bioengineering now has about 200 undergraduate students, eight graduate students and one post-doctoral student enrolled. Ken McLeod, director of the department, expects the number of graduate and post-doctoral students to increase now that the department has the space.
Work continues on the rest of the building, purchased from NYSEG in 2002. When renovations are complete, the building will include office space for the Division of Research, lab space, an area for clinical testing and an incubator for new companies utilizing ITC research. The building renovation is the first stage of a long-term plan to create a multi-building research facility on the 21-acre parcel adjacent to the Binghamton campus, said Gerald Sonnenfeld, vice president for research.
Researchers based in the facility will conduct research with the potential for economic viability, becoming a driving force for academic and economic development in the region, Sonnenfeld said.
“It is not a replacement for the research facilities on the main campus,” he said. “The labs are going to be occupied by researchers who are extramurally funded.
They are going to have to be interested in bioengineering, and they are going to have to work together. It really is a novel concept and certainly something the University hasn’t done before.”
McLeod described the building’s function as “a flow from basic ideas to testable ideas to marketable ideas.”
While the facility will serve as an incubator for fledgling technology companies, the University does not plan to compete with other incubators in the community, Sonnenfeld said. Instead, the ITC incubator space will serve as a feeder for other area incubators, driving academic and economic development.
Lab space in the building will utilize modular fixtures, allowing space to be modified to meet changing research needs, said William Hall, staff architect. “The idea is to be able to make quick change,” he said. “This is going to help us be more competitive in drawing researchers to the area.”
Renovation of the building is being funded by a $15 million Gen*NY*sis — Generating Employment Through New York Science — grant obtained by State Sen. Thomas Libous. Gen*NY*sis funding is designed to encourage cutting-edge research and create high-skilled, high-wage jobs in the rapidly growing life science areas.