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Full Slate of Events to Unveil Innovare Advancement Center

Innovare Ribbon Cutting

Rome, NY – The Innovare Advancement Center (IAC) has officially opened to the public with day full of events that included a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony earlier this morning, followed by an afternoon Invest NY program focused on entrepreneurs in aerospace and defense and ending this evening with a Summer Soirée featuring local cuisine and a local celebrity chef.

The day started off the east hangar of the IAC, a new, open innovation campus which is a partnership between the Griffiss Institute, the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), New York State, Oneida County (OC), the City of Rome, NYSTEC, and the State University of New York (SUNY). Several Innovare strategic partners together with national, state, and regional dignitaries, took part in the milestone event, including the cutting of the ribbon outside in front of the building. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was the official unveiling of the state-of-the-art facility at the Griffiss International Airport that will bring together scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs from academia, industry, and the Department of Defense to collaborate on cutting-edge technology.

“All across the world, innovation and collaboration are becoming synonymous with Oneida County,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The investment the county and its partners have made in the Griffiss Business & Technology Park is paying off huge dividends for the City of Rome and the region at large, and the Innovare Advancement Center is the epitome of that success. This facility will serve as hub to produce revolutionary research from those on the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Together with Rome Lab, Griffiss Institute and SUNY Poly, we will entrench ourselves as a trailblazer in the emerging field of Quantum Information Science and spur economic development that will feed our robust high-tech economy.”

“Our thanks to Oneida County for making the commitment to renovate Building 100 clearing the way to establish Innovare Advancement Center. This open campus facility will strengthen the Air Force Research Laboratory’s ability to collaborate in an unclassified environment with academia and research and development specialists from around the world,” said Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo. “It also allows the Griffiss Institute to further its important mission in commercial technology transfer with Rome Lab partners and provide the management skill set necessary for a world class facility of this magnitude. Already, Innovare has become a major player in the quantum and AI marketplaces and provides the opportunity for the community to grow our commercial technology footprint at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park for years to come.”

“I am thrilled to finally unveil Innovare Advancement Center to the public! We have been the Mohawk Valley’s best kept secret since the Griffiss Institute quietly moved into this innovative space this winter, working in close partnership with Oneida County and Rome Lab to prepare to welcome international scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to collaborate with us as soon as it became safe,” said Heather Hage, President and CEO of Griffiss Institute. “Today, with over 300 collaborators in service with the GI, we finally get to show off all that Innovare has to offer the tech community. I am so excited to be a part of this great organization and team, and the GI is committed to do all we can to grow Innovare as a global destination for scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to collaborate as we educate, innovate, integrate and elevate the next generation of technology leaders, right here in the Mohawk Valley.”

Innovare Advancement Center is a premier talent and technology accelerator for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Cyber, Quantum and Unmanned Aerial Systems. A 150,000 square foot open innovation hub, Innovare’s unique capabilities include highly specialized laboratories for experimentation in quantum and neuromorphic computing; 40,000 square feet, across two floors, of collaboration spaces; an auditorium with capacity for more than 250 people; a first in the nation, New York State funded 50-mile drone corridor for advanced unmanned aircraft operations; and coming in the spring of 2022 – an indoor sUAS research and testing facility with a 22,500 square foot indoor flight testing area - the largest in the United States.

“I’m delighted to represent AFRL in celebrating this milestone of how vision, persistent leadership and teamwork have created a new engine for growing talent, catalyzing partnerships, and delivering solutions that will benefit not just the Air Force and Space Force but the nation as a whole,” said Timothy Sakulich, Executive Director of Air Force Research Laboratory.

“The Air Force partnership with Innovare Advancement Center is a critical component to achieve our nation’s Air and Space missions through 2030 and beyond,” said Colonel Fred E. Garcia II, Director, Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory. “The global impact of this partnership will take the world class work that has been performed here in Rome, NY for the past seventy years to a new level by working closer with our technical, entrepreneurial, and teaching partners to elevate the future of the Mohawk Valley and the Air Force.”

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “SUNY’s partnership with Griffiss Institute, the Air Force Research Laboratory, Oneida County, the city of Rome, and NYSTEC at the brand new, state-of-the-art Innovare Advancement Center is a model for research and development, commercialization, and regional economic opportunity for our SUNY students and the Mohawk Valley. Right here in Oneida County, our best and brightest in science, engineering, and entrepreneurship are making major contributions to research and development in artificial intelligence, quantum, and cyber — work that will both power the Mohawk Valley economy while also reshaping our world. This is all happening at a pivotal moment. When this level of synergy exists between the public and private sectors, there is simply no limit to what we can accomplish.”

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, “Empire State Development is proud of our significant investment in the UAS and cyber industries in the Mohawk Valley, especially at the Griffiss Institute, where government research, industry and academia are combined to find solutions to real word, national security issues. The Innovare Advancement Center will continue the positive transformation of the Griffiss Technology and Business Park into a center for cutting-edge advancements in technology that are drawing top talent, new business and additional investment into the Mohawk Valley.” 

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, is the start of Invest NY: Future of Aerospace and Defense, presented by Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (​NYSTAR) and Upstate Capital Association of New York. The event will begin with an invitation-only CEO Roundtable for startup founders, followed by the public-facing portion of the event that will include startup pitches, roundtable and panel discussions featuring Mohawk Valley entrepreneurs like Charles Green and Dan Kalil of Assured Information Security and Mary Carol “MC” Chruscicki and Pat Baskinger of AX Enterprize. A highlight of the day is a keynote by Mr. Timothy Sakulich, Executive Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory, in from Dayton, Ohio. The day is also full of opportunities for networking among investors, CEOs and industry professionals in aerospace and defense.

“We are excited to provide investors, entrepreneurs, and startups in the aerospace and defense industries the opportunity to engage with each other in-person and online,” says Noa Simons, President and CEO of Upstate Capital. “The Invest NY Series events connect innovators, business leaders and investors with opportunities to work together. This hybrid format enables us to do so in an intimate setting while reaching a broad audience of entrepreneurs and investors outside New York.”

The day will conclude with a gathering of invited guests for the Innovare Summer Soirée, in the Innovare East Hangar. Attendees of the Invest NY event, Innovare strategic partners, local dignitaries, and businesses within the Griffiss Business & Technology Park, will network and connect while enjoying cuisine from local food trucks and beverages, and checking out drones and aircraft. The Soirée will also feature an appearance from local, celebrity chef Matthew Read of Spatchock Funk, who will be mixing up a special surprise for those in attendance. Spatchcock Funk has its own show WSTM-TV in Syracuse where Matt combines, as he likes to put it, “dope food, strong drinks and great stories.”

“The quantum computing innovation race is a great scientific race of the 21st century – and with the help of the Innovare Advancement Center, Rome Lab and the Mohawk Valley will ensure the U.S. is a quantum leap ahead of the competition,” U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “I have worked very hard to secure tens of millions of dollars to supercharge Rome Lab and help launch Innovare, which will attract the best and brightest across the globe to the Mohawk Valley for game-changing R&D in quantum computing, artificial intelligence and so much more.”

“I am pleased to congratulate the Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate and the Griffiss Institute on the opening of the Innovare Advancement Center,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This center represents an important investment in the Mohawk Valley economy and in New York ingenuity, and I look forward to their work as they continue to make America a worldwide leader in technological innovation.”

“Rome Lab is already a world-class hub of innovation and advanced research. The formal launch of Innovare will only drive this high-tech ecosystem toward even greater heights,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “I will continue to fight tirelessly in Congress to support Innovare’s work and increase investments in the Air Force Research Lab. Investing in Rome advances our national security and strengthens our region’s economic prosperity. I wish the team at Innovare nothing but success as they embark on this vitally important mission.”

"The Innovare Advancement Center in Rome is a global leader in innovation, development and technology and brings together partners and experts from a variety of backgrounds to address complex challenges related to national security and economic competitiveness,” said New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo. “I am looking forward to watching the center’s cutting edge and important work in the areas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, quantum, unmanned aerial systems and other tech-related fields continue well into the future.”

"The Griffiss Business and Technology Park is a critical economic engine that continues to drive scientific advancement, innovative research and vital economic opportunities to the Mohawk Valley. Innovare Advancement Center’s new state-of-the-art facility will fuel Griffiss Park's legacy and serve as an important asset for the Rome Lab, continued academia collaborations and groundbreaking research. I'll continue working with stakeholders and my fellow elected officials to support these endeavors and help make the Mohawk Valley the center of the emerging technology and drone industry," said Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon.

"I'm thrilled to help welcome the Innovare Advancement Center to the Mohawk Valley. This facility will undoubtedly become the hub for scientific advancement throughout all of New York, as well as offering economic opportunity to many as research progresses. I wish those conducting the hard work in propelling us to the future, well. The state, and indeed the nation, is in full support of your endeavors," said Assemblyman Brian D. Miller.

“The ribbon cutting of the Innovare Advancement Center ushers in a new era of technological growth at Griffiss Business and Technology Park,” said Steven J. DiMeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE. “Griffiss has a rich history of technology innovation, and the Innovare Advancement Center will continue that tradition with their game-changing work.” 

“Today’s ribbon cutting of the Innovare Advancement Center is a testament of the true community collaboration in the Mohawk Valley between Rome Lab, Oneida County, State and Federal partners,” said CNY Defense Alliance Executive Director, Mary C. Chruscicki. “Innovare is shaping up to be the epicenter of an international science and technology eco-system where researchers from the Air Force, DoD, government, industry, and academia from around the world can collaborate on new algorithms and tools.”

(Photo by Griffiss Institute: Pictured left to right; Bill VanShufflin, Mohawk Valley EDGE; Assemblyman Brian Miller; Chancellor Jim Malatras, SUNY; NY Senator Joseph Griffo; Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr.; Heather Hage, Griffiss Institute; Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon; Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo; Timothy Sakulich, Air Force Research Laboratory; Colonel Fred E. Garcia II, Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate; John Calabrese, Rome Area Chamber of Commerce; Tod Laursen, SUNY Polytechnic Institute; Joe Nehme, Senator Charles E. Schumer Office; Dr. Michael Hayduk, Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate and Ken Stewart, NUAIR)

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