The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science


The Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) is an industry support service offered by SUNY engineering schools at Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook.

SPIR was established to strengthen New York State's small and mid-sized businesses by helping them apply technology solutions to make them more competitive. This is essential in today's rapidly changing and technology-dependent business environment.

To accomplish its mission, Binghamton's SPIR Center assists small and mid-sized businesses through partnership projects staffed by Watson School Engineering, Computer Science and System Science students, faculty and client personnel. SPIR was initiated at Binghamton University's Watson School in 1994 with strong support from the Governor and Legislature.

An estimated $90 million in wages-per-year is generated by the approximately 2,500 jobs that SPIR has helped our partners create and retain.

Mission Statement & Goals

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    Assist technology-based and technology-dependent NEW YORK STATE companies in meeting their business objectives through development or improvement of their product, manufacturing, operations or service technologies

    • Promote stabilization or growth of workforce.
    • Increase business volume and investment.
    • Have a positive impact on our area's economic development.

What Can SPIR Do for You?

  • Organize and manage technology-based projects

    SPIR and Watson School faculty representatives will meet with you to learn more about your needs so that a project team can be assembled to accomplish the work. A formal project proposal is created to clearly state outcomes and a schedule of key events. Periodic checkpoint meetings are called to review progress and address problems.

    Provide student and faculty resources

    Every SPIR project has a Faculty Advisor/Mentor assigned to oversee a student selected on the basis of specific skills needed to best perform the project work. The student is generally a "degreed" professional, currently pursuing a Masters or Doctoral level degree.

  • Perform a wide variety of technology-based work

    Projects typically deal with just about any problem-solving task normally handled by application of engineering, information technology or System Science disciplines. Thermal or vibration/shock testing, manufacturing process definition or tune-up, finite element modeling and analysis (FEM/FEA) and a wide variety of programming and other information technology services are just a few typical SPIR work tasks.

    In addition to problem-solving services, SPIR provides resources to assist small company entrepreneurs in developing their unique product or service concept into a "demonstration" or "prototype" level suitable for attracting venture capital or licensing agreements.

    Act as an "engineering extension" to your company

    The Watson School SPIR team works best when treated like employees. You should consider us as part of your technology team with a task and schedule that requires our mutual collaboration and cooperation. This works!

  • Provide project cost-sharing assistance

    SPIR works with you to define an affordable funding arrangement to cover project costs. SPIR can underwrite a significant portion of costs based on company size and financial resources and stability.

  • Who is Eligible for SPIR Assistance?

    Any small or mid-sized New York State technology-based or technology-dependent company in the manufacturing, product development, information technology or service sector is eligible for SPIR assistance. Annually on average, SPIR works with 25 companies on 50 projects primarily in hardware and software product development, information technology services and manufacturing support. Work is generally project oriented and lasts one or two semesters. Companies work together with SPIR to define essential work tasks and measurable outcomes that will enable companies to meet their business and growth objectives.

    Whether you are a small firm looking to upgrade or introduce new technology, a high- technology firm addressing the challenges of product development and testing, or a company seeking ISO registration, SPIR can help you with these and many other tasks to make your business more competitive.

Typical SPIR Projects

Our industry partners span a multitude of domains including communications, clean or renewable energy technology, computer hardware, defense technology, life sciences, electronics, sensors, displays, semiconductor and software.

  • Industry transformation into high-technology domain
    • Streamlining, computerizing or automating work flow or manufacturing processes
    • Adding high-technology content to diversify existing products
    • Adding value to hardware or software products
    • Vertical integration of product or process lines
  • Research and Development (R&D) of new, high-technology products, processes, or systems
    • R&D of high-risk but highly promising high-tech product or process ideas
    • In communications, clean or renewable energy technology, computer hardware, defense technology, life sciences, electronics, sensors, displays, semiconductor, software, etc.
    • Material, device or component testing; process yield enhancement; cost reduction
    • Plant layout, resources and process planning, ergonomics, employee training
  • Building a platform to nurture synergy and high-technology growth
    • Organizing and conducting seminars, workshops or training in high technology
    • Developing marketing and business development platform for area high-tech industries
    • Manufacturing Facility Analysis/Definition
      • Shop floor layout
      • Work station redesign
      • Work flow improvement
    • Factory Simulation Model Development
    • e-Business conversion
    • Manufacturing info system analysis / definition
      • Order entry
      • Shop floor load / order visibility
      • Delivery date accuracy
      • Inventory Control
    • Test Plan Design and Application
    • Faculty research application
    • Enterprise info system analysis / definition
    • Manufacturing process design, analysis and redefinition
    • Software application design and development
    • Product design analysis
      • FEM/FEA
      • Field testing

SPIR Contract and Policies

Last Updated: 1/5/17