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Harpur Forum shines spotlight on Center of Excellence’s future

Bahgat Sammakia spoke about Binghamton University’s Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center during a Dec. 6 Harpur Forum luncheon.

Bahgat Sammakia shared his vision for the University’s Center of Excellence with members of the Harpur Forum during a luncheon Dec. 6 on campus.

Sammakia is director of the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center as well as the University’s executive director for economic development. He offered examples of the sorts of projects and partnerships he hopes the center will join and discussed the center’s potential for job creation.

“The idea in the end,” he said, “is to improve the way people live.”

Sammakia began by highlighting the promise of technologies such as smart bandages, diagnostic pills and flexible displays. Flexible electronics, he said, are potentially both cheaper and faster to produce. They may also enable new applications.

Collaborations with industry will be the key to developing these technologies, he said, noting the center already has developed partnerships with firms such as IBM, General Electric, Samsung and Lockheed Martin.

Sammakia laid out the center’s ambitious goals for the next five years.

He would like to have 30 faculty members affiliated with the center, and hopes they can each have $300,000 in sponsored research. The center, he said, should eventually receive $8 million to $10 million annually in peer-reviewed federal and state funding, industrial memberships and testbeds.

Sammakia sees the center having an estimated annual impact of $100 million, with 24 member-partner companies and many more firms using its laboratories. He believes many firms that collaborate with the center will create jobs in this area.

“This is about partnerships and getting a piece of the action locally,” he said.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08