SPIR Anecdotes . . . Some Details from "the Big Picture"
Selected Company Reports/Testimonials:
David Goldman, Ph.D. CS, '00, Watson School and President of his Graphic image based embroidery software business writes:
"SPIR has been an invaluable resource to us as a small technology startup company in New York State. As a recent recipient of a National Science Foundation research grant and also due to strong licensing agreements that allow our products to be distributed throughout the world, we feel that our future is bright and that SPIR can certainly share some of the credit due here. We expect that current and future SPIR projects will help us stay ahead of the curve and grow into new markets as a company. It has definitely been one of the underlying reasons why we continue to base our technology business within New York State."
Frank P. Girardi, President of this highly successful small manufacturing business writes:
". . . SPIR has helped PB Industries to improve productivity, quality and plant throughput since 1998 when we first started working with the Engineering School and SPIR. It has enabled us to sustain growth for the 5 years, which translates into jobs in NY. As you are fully aware manufacturing for the past 2 years has been in a steep fall off with over 2MM jobs lost nation wide. PB Industries has been able to buck this trend avoiding layoffs and this year we have already added 10 new jobs." "An example of a SPIR project included the CAD programming assistance this spring which enabled us to scale up to a 7 figure new customer in 10 weeks. Without that support, it would have taken twice as long and we would have lost the opportunity."
SWS's President/CEO Ronald S. Charsky reports:
"We are once again closing out another year of successful projects between Binghamton University and the Sheltered Workshop. The first project involves an inkjet printer cartridge recycle and refill business opportunity. Your student has done a nice job of marketing research, business plan preparation, process and product development, equipment installation and packaging requirements. We are now close to landing some contracts for this new business that will mean additional employment needs at SWS. Our second project is focused on a variety of improvement activities within the company including operational layout and flow and tooling improvements to aid in the efficiency of our disabled workers."
"Our final project this year is in our services to the disabled division. A database has been established of the disabled clients of SWS. This will enable us to be more efficient in updating the status of each individual as well as sharing required information with various state agencies and potential employers of these individuals. This system approach has caught the attention of New York State and is being reviewed for a wider application outside of our company." "As you can see, your work with us through the SPIR Program this year is leading to new job opportunities, improved competitiveness and a wealth of experience for the student with a very positive result for all."
Charles J. Hissin, former quality assurance manager/IE and key contact for SPIR work to increase production of military tents for use in anti-terrorism operations, writes:
"Without your help, we would never have been able to complete the projects that were assigned to the Industrial Engineering Department". . ."In today's ever changing and competitive marketplace, it is always good to stay one step ahead your competition. The SPIR project that you helped with did exactly that." . . . " I highly recommend this program to any company throughout New York State." . . ."Our Country will have no worries if all the students that work under SPIR are half as good as the ones that have worked for me."
Johnson's operations project manager, Kristina M. Shapley, adds:
"The efforts the Watson School students have given allow us to maintain our competitiveness. . . the success of (our) projects has allowed us to increase our labor force and help the local community."
Michael Pentaris, Vice-President/CFO of this Oneonta, NY manufacturer of high voltage capacitors and electronic modules reports:
" the SPIR project will allow is to market our products to our customers and show that our products have an extended and reliable life. . . this marketing tool will expand our sales and contribute to our company's stability and growth."
Binghamton-based Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment (A.V.R.E.) President /CEO Robert K. Hanye comments:
"SPIR is currently working with us to identify machine capacity, evaluate material flow, design more effective and efficient plant layout and even working on some environmental and safety issues with us. We know these have to be done, but we simply do not have the resources internally to be successful. SPIR can fill the gaps and help us grow."
He also states:
"We are planning to relocate to a new facility and the SPIR engineer is designing the most efficient and safe layout. Because of this we will be in a position to convert our new capacity to sales and then to additional jobs."
RPA President Rick Pray was so impressed with the quality of contributions and qualifications of SPIR project students that he hired two graduate student to be part of his permanent workforce. RPA Electronics is a supplier of custom electronics components to several local companies, some of whom are also SPIR partners. In addition, several students, provided through SPIR partnership projects, have assisted RPA in successfully achieving the expected outcomes of important Federal SBIR funding grants thus increasing the likelihood for follow-on grants.
This Apalachin, NY - based SPIR partner lacked the expensive equipment and facilities resources to determine shock, vibration and thermal product performance characteristics of their in-transit video recording products. Based on determination of such characteristics, appropriate system design changes were made. This product has caught the attention of mass-transit carriers and provides an important offering to the anti-crime and anti-terrorism arsenal. SPIR partnered with the Watson School's IEEC and Mechanical Engineering grad student to accomplish the critical testing.
Based in Ithaca, NY, President Richard Sheiman writes:
". . . the SPIR program has consistently allowed us to involve Binghamton University Computer Science majors in our operations. These resources have significantly advanced our service development efforts." He further asserts: "I believe that SPIR is a fantastic program that warrants perpetual funding, even during a tough budget environment. SPIR succeeds on multiple fronts, most notably the provision of practical work experience for students and the supply of affordable staffing resources for NYS small businesses."
Headquartered in Utica, NY, Indium is a leader in the global electronics assembly materials market. Recently included in their product and service offerings were state of the art technology workshops on topics that are vital to the continued competitiveness of companies involved with electronics assembly. The work products of a past SPIR/Indium partnership were three instructional offerings.
Rick Short, Indium's Director of Corporate Communications wrote:
The 0201( Passive Component Assembly) workshop is most noteworthy. With the experiences and resources of their SPIR team, Professor Santos and Amey Teredesai developed this workshop, which is almost certainly the best in this important global manufacturing field." "These SPIR activities helped Indium Corporation remain competitive in this difficult economic time."
Donald G. McBride, President of this promising startup company writes:
". . . I have been presenting the technology to several major players in this field: Micron, Intel, Sun Micro, HP, et al. All those who know of technology are very interested, but they are waiting for us to make good samples and collect reliability data. Thanks to SPIR funding, we now have a student on board who is helping us select the best molding material, and characterizing this material." "We believe that once we get one company such as Micron or Intel to "bite", we will be on our way to bringing a major new technology to the semiconductor industry. It is our hope to grow BSP into a major employer in the Susquehanna Valley."
President and Founding Partner David P. Gdovin states:
"Diamond Visionics has been a satisfied SPIR customer for over eight years. During this period we have grown at an average rate of 20%. During this same period, Binghamton University Watson School has provided students with all the capabilities and characteristics that a small company needs to grow. At the present time, Diamond Visionics is supporting three (3) very talented SPIR graduate students that we hope to extend offers of employment to." "This SPIR resource supports our ability to provide specialized products and services in the niche market of visual systems for military and commercial training, education and entertainment."
James R. Ballus, CEO writes:
"Recently H.V.E. acquired a Universal Vari Cell II Robotic Odd Form Placement Machine. This machine will automatically assemble certain, nonstandard electronic components such as phone jacks, Through a SPIR project, Watson School Professor Daryl Santos assigned a graduate engineering student to assist H.V.E. in bringing this machine on line, documenting its operations and training employees so we can offer this additional service to our customers. Upon completion of this project, H.V.E. will be in a position to increase our business into other printed circuit boards that we wouldn't have been able to assemble at a competitive price." "This type of Partnership can only help our customer base to grow."