September 15, 2022
Leading Technological Research Institute Brings Rich Resources, Including Life Sciences Focus, to CUNY-Led Consortium
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), based in Troy, NY, is joining the National Science Foundation New York I-Corps Hub as a new partner institution and will immediately begin to help the Hub meet its goal of enabling researchers from diverse backgrounds to bring scientific discoveries to the marketplace. The New York Hub includes the City University of New York (CUNY) as its principal institution, with Columbia University and New York University as initial partner institutions and five additional affiliates: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Rockefeller University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and University at Albany.
The NY I-Corps Hub, seeks to add one new partner institution per year as part of its growth strategy. The U.S. National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Hubs form the operational backbone of the National Innovation Network, comprising universities, NSF-funded and other researchers, established entrepreneurs, local and regional entrepreneurial communities, and federal agencies. The I-Corps Program is designed to support the commercialization of "deep technologies" such as those based on fundamental discoveries in science and engineering. The I-Corps program addresses the skill and knowledge gap associated with the transformation of promising basic research outcomes into deep technology ventures.
“We are thrilled to bring on RPI, America’s oldest technological research institution, and are looking forward to the many ways they will expand and elevate our work,” said John Blaho, Director for Industrial-Academic Research, CUNY. “This new partnership not only broadens our geographic footprint in New York State, but also enables I-Corps participants to access impressive and established resources, filling gaps, and opening new doorways to success.”
RPI is one of the world’s most renowned technological research institutes. Since 2016, the RPI I-Corps team has trained more than 94 teams, with 56 percent of participants from underrepresented groups and 32 percent female, demonstrating RPI I-Corps’ significant social and economic impact in the region. RPI had the first incubator on a college campus and has an evolved infrastructure which includes a 1,250-acre technology park with 300,000 square feet of office space engaging innovators and keeping them connected to the institute.
“RPI brings a rich set of resources and opportunities to the NY I-Corps Hub, and we are excited to collaborate,” said Jason Kuruzovich, Faculty Lead for RPI’s new role in the Hub. “For example, we have an extensive focus on life sciences through the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, which has over $18 million in annual research expenditures and a strategic partnership with Mt. Sinai. We are excited to bring this and other resources to the Hub and accelerate opportunities for commercializing scientific discoveries.”
The RPI region is experiencing growth in many high technology areas, with Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Albany counties becoming desirable centers for technology companies and knowledge workers. The addition of RPI to the NY I-Corps Hub further strengthens a culture supporting entrepreneurship in the region which will have a meaningful economic impact and encourage both graduates and recently formed companies to stay in the area.