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 program assists small and mid-sized businesses through partnership projects staffed by Watson College Engineering, Computer Science and System Science students, faculty and client personnel. SPIR was initiated at Binghamton University's Watson College 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
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?
Act as an "engineering extension" to your company
To engage with our program, SPIR and Watson College faculty representatives can meet with you to learn more about your needs. The company submits a formal project proposal to clearly state outcomes and a schedule of key events.
Typical projects involve 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 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.
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. A graduate level student currently pursuing a Masters or Doctoral level degree is typically selected to support the project.
The Watson College SPIR team works best when integrated with your company. Periodic checkpoint meetings are called to review progress and address problems. You should consider us as part of your technology team with a task and schedule that requires our mutual collaboration and cooperation.
Provide project cost-sharing assistance
SPIR works with you to define an affordable funding arrangement to cover project costs. SPIR contributes a significant portion of costs so that your company can be better positioned to compete in the global marketplace and expand your business.
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 20 companies on projects primarily in hardware and software product development, information technology services and manufacturing support.
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 to improve operational excellence, SPIR can help you with these and many other tasks to make your business more competitive.
Typical SPIR Projects
Our team can assist in re-engineering your company. 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.
- Streamlining, computerizing or automating workflow or manufacturing processes
- Factory simulation model development
- Process yield enhancement; cost reduction; quality control
- Manufacturing Facility Analysis - Plant layout, shop floor layout, workstation redesign, resources and process planning, inventory control, ergonomics, employee training
- Adding high-technology content to diversify existing products
- Vertical integration of product or process lines
- R&D of high-risk but highly promising high-tech product or process ideas
- Material, device or component testing
- Software application design and development
- Product design analysis using analytical and diagnostic laboratory equipment
- Field testing
- Faculty research application