ROME — A new $12 million computer technology research center is coming to the Griffiss International Airport, giving scientists, companies and others a collaborative home to solve high-tech problems.
Oneida County, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate, the Griffiss Institute and SUNY Polytechnic Institute are partnering to develop what’s called the Open Innovation Campus with the goal of connecting global technology companies — such as Google, IBM and QCWare — to help solve “intricate Air Force computing challenges,” according to local officials who announced the project Monday at the Rome airport.
“It’s really going to allow us to open relationships with non-traditional partners,” said Michael J. Hayduk, deputy director at AFRL.
Campus collaborators will use quantum information processing to analyze and improve computer hardware and software, data protection, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, among other research areas, local officials said.
Hayduk referred to this as an “outside the fence” collaboration, on a potentially global scale. He said the collaboration could help AFRL solve technology problems such as cyber technology, rapid software development and machine learning.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. said the collaboration would produce revolutionary research and put the county forward as a trailblazer in quantum information science.
“It’s not about putting us on the map,” Picente said. “We’re on the map. It’s about moving us forward.”
SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Grace Wang said AFRL collaborated with the college last month to host its first international quantum workshop. She said nearly 200 scientists and engineers, from 14 countries, attended the workshop to discuss strategies.
“With this Open Innovation Campus, we can attract all the engineers from the Air Force Research Lab, from SUNY campuses and from our key partners across the world in industry, in academia and government so we can work together on these game-changing technologies and accelerate these technologies into the marketplace,” Wang said.
The campus is under construction at the three-floor, 40,000 square-foot facility within Building 100 at Griffiss. The facility will feature two quantum labs and two neuromorphic/electronic labs, event space and classrooms.
Some preliminary work has started on the site, with construction slated to start this fall. The campus is slated for completion in spring 2020.
The entire cost of the facility is expected to cost $12 million. Oneida County is contributing $5.6 million, Empire State Development is contributing $1.4 million and the New York State Department of Transportation Aviation Bureau is providing $1.5 million. Griffiss Institute will provide additional funding.
William Wolf, president of Griffiss Institute, said the campus and the collaboration would help the organization address the mission on which it was founded.
“This concept will enable the (Griffiss Institute) to create an ecosystem for discovery, technology and advancement through an open entrepreneurial culture and environment,” he said. “As pointed out, it will create a place where researchers from around the world can join the AF, AFRL, the government, period, Industry, academia all collaborating to solve technology and cyber problems right here in Oneida County.”
Contact reporter Ed Harris at 315-792-5063 or follow him on Twitter (@OD_EHarris).
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