About Us

As the premier STEM Talent and Technology Accelerator for the United States Department of Defense, Griffiss Institute (GI) is also comprised of an elite international network of academic, government, and industry partners. Together with our team of expert professionals we bridge the gap bringing these three unique sectors together into one collaborative space known as the Innovare Advancement Center (IAC) in Rome, NY.

Located in the picturesque Mohawk Valley Region of New York State, GI has served the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) and the United States since 2002. GI empowers diverse teams with talent and technology development programs that lead the nation in technical and economic impact.

Our Mission

The Griffiss Institute aims to develop the next generation of STEM talent and defense technologies that will strengthen U.S. national security and create economic opportunity for our region, state and nation.

We Elevate TALENT

Partnership Intermediary with Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI)

The Griffiss Institute supports AFRL/RI through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA). A PIA is an agreement, (contract or memorandum of understanding), between the government and an intermediary organization, (state or local governmental agency or nonprofit entity). As a Partnership Intermediary the GI performs services for the AFRL/RI that increase the likelihood of success in the conduct of cooperative or joint activities with small business firms, institutions of higher education, and industry. 

Our Story

As we reflect on our journey, one thing remains constant – our unwavering commitment to fostering innovation, collaboration, and excellence in the ever-evolving landscape of defense technology for our nation’s security, and economic development. 

2002 - 2005
Pioneering Collaboration

In the early years, Griffiss Institute emerged as a beacon of collaboration, spearheaded by the vision of the New York State (NYS). With a mission to unite Government, Industry, and Academia, our institute became the nexus for addressing critical issues in information security and technology.

2006 - 2008
Redefining Boundaries

A period of transformation ensued as Griffiss Institute embarked on redefining its mission. Our focus sharpened, extending greater support to the Air Force Research Laboratory/Rome Research Site (AFRL/RI) while also nurturing a certified NYS business incubation hub.

Charting New Horizons

In a landmark moment, Griffiss Institute was entrusted with a monumental task - to expand its open campus model. The birth of the Innovare Advancement Center marked a paradigm shift, offering 'World Class' laboratory facilities and expansive open collaborative research spaces.

Innovative Progression

In the 2020s, Griffiss Institute continues to evolve in response to emerging technological trends. Its collaborations with government agencies, industry partners, and academic institutions position it as a key player in managing the Innovare Advancement Center, where several entities can collaborate in a basic, open research and development landscape.

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SOURCE: Local NY History

Our Values

I am deeply committed to our mission and do whatever it takes to get the job done. I understand that I am responsible not only for tasks under my direct control, but also for helping others on whom I rely on to ensure our mission is successful.

I work collaboratively, I communicate constantly, and I have the back of my teammates under all circumstances.

I am infinitely motivated to learn, search, and solve challenges in service to all those who rely on me. I have the courage to ask questions, with an open mind and open heart, until I understand the opportunity or challenge presented.

I understand the GI’s role as a nonprofit STEM talent and technology accelerator, and I actively seek knowledge, tools and resources to deliver our mission effectively.

I rely on and hold others accountable to deliver results that move our mission forward. I trust in my abilities, and our team’s collective abilities and experience.

Griffiss Institute Governing Leadership

2023 Board Officers

Patricia Baskinger
Director, Board Chair
CEO of AX Enterprize LLC

William Gray, Jr.
Director, Board Vice Chair
Volunteer, Emritus Corp for AFRL & Retired Air Force Officer

Mark Gastin
Director, Board Treasurer
Partner & CPA

Bowers & Company CPAS PLLC


Peter Baildon
Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking
M&T Bank

Tim Butcher
Executive Director of Operations
White Management Corporation

Charles Green
President & CEO
AIS (Assured Information Security, Inc.)

Dr. Richard Joseph
USAF, Retired

Laurel McAdoo
Director of Talent, Culture & Inclusion
SUNY Research Foundation

William VanShufflin, Jr.
Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
Mohawk Valley EDGE

Remembering Steven J. DiMeo:

A Lifetime of Achievement

Steven J. DiMeo
Former Director, Former Treasurer
Former President of Mohawk Valley EDGE

Early Years and Career:

Born in 1954, Steven J. DiMeo embarked on a remarkable journey marked by dedication and vision. A graduate of the University at Albany with a degree in political science, he later earned a Master’s in Urban Planning from Georgia State University. His passion for urban and economic development led him to serve as Commissioner for the city of Utica in 1984, laying the foundation for a lifetime of service and leadership.

A Legacy of Transformation:

Steven’s impact was felt far and wide, particularly in his role as the first president of Mohawk Valley EDGE, where he dedicated over 30 years to serving the region. His leadership was instrumental in overseeing transformative projects, including the revitalization of the Griffiss Business and Technology Park and the establishment of operations at Marcy Nanocenter.

Cherished Board Treasurer:

In addition to his role as president of Mohawk Valley EDGE, Steven served as the cherished Board Treasurer of Griffiss Institute, bringing his expertise and dedication to furthering the organization’s mission.

Honors and Recognition:

May 26, 2016 – Robert T. Dormer Economic Developer of the Year Award from NYSEDC (New York State Economic Development Council)

Oct 19, 2021 Business Person of the Year Award from the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce

Nov. 2023 – Steven was honored with the New York State Commendation Award from Senator Griffo, a testament to his enduring contributions to enriching the social, religious, and educational well-being of his fellow neighbors.

May 16, 2024 – Community Leadership Award from the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce 

A Community in Mourning:

Steven’s passing on March 6, 2024 left a void in the hearts of those who knew him, from colleagues and friends to community leaders and elected officials. His legacy of service and commitment to creating a brighter future for the Mohawk Valley will forever be cherished and remembered.

In honor of Steven’s memory, let us continue to strive for excellence and carry forward his vision of a thriving and prosperous community for generations to come.

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Due to the severe weather conditions and state of emergency declared by the City of Rome, Rome Labs & Innovare Advancement Center will be closed on Wednesday, July 17, 2024. This closure affects all Griffiss Institute staff, residents, guests, and program participants, including STEM campers, interns, visiting faculty, fellows, and incubator clients. We will resume normal business hours of operation on July 18, 2024.

If you are impacted by the tornado and need assistance please call 211 or text 898-211, the United Way of Mohawk Valley can assist you with proper resources during this time. www.211midyork.com