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10-16-2008

Clarkson University Dedicates Technology Advancement Center

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/tac-dedication.jpg]

Clarkson University dedicated the school's new Technology Advancement Center today.

Trustee Chair Everett G. Foster and President Tony Collins joined Empire State Development Upstate President Dennis M. Mullen and NYSTAR Executive Director Edward Reinfurt, along with trustees, honored guests, faculty, staff and students, and members of New York's public and private sector for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. tac-dedication

The 16,000-square-foot Technology Advancement Center (TAC) connects the main library and computing space with the University's largest academic teaching building, providing critical laboratory and collaboration space for accelerating the development of research, especially in the fields of renewable energy and clean manufacturing technology.

"Clarkson is an institution full of enterprising and talented people with the resolve to make a difference and the intentions to define that future brightly by applying the skills and experience of our faculty and staff, our students, our alumni and our greater community for the betterment of our neighbors in the North Country, in the state and around the nation," said Collins.

"World-class facilities are critical to defining the educational experience we offer and critical to our ability to compete. We are grateful for those who share in our vision and who encourage us to do more to bring research and innovation to the marketplace and more importantly, to develop the graduates who are prepared on day one to meet the needs of the global economy that is powered by scientific discovery, new technology and professional expertise."

TAC was constructed with a $5 million grant from Empire State Development (ESD), the State of New York's economic development leader and a development partner with the University on its the Downtown Campus technology and business incubator project.

"It's crystal clear to me that this University has leadership that understands the needs of this community," said ESD Upstate President Dennis M. Mullen. "You need to be able to understand President Collins' message, which is 'we need to help you create personal wealth that you need to give back to this community."

"If we had more of that across this country and around the world, we'd be in a much better place than we are today. When we can invest in universities like this, and in leadership like [Pres. Collins], that's what this state needs to continue to do. He gets it."

Serving in his first month as Upstate President of ESD, Mullen selected Potsdam as one of his first destinations to assess what is being done by university/industry partnerships to promote economic growth. Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency, encompassing business, workforce and community development.

The partnership with ESD is complemented by Clarkson's longstanding relationship with the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), which designated Clarkson's Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) a NYSTAR Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in 1988 and renewed in June 2008 its third decade of funding.

"This is an exciting day for Clarkson. This is an exciting day for this region. It is an exciting day for New York State," said NYSTAR Executive Director Edward Reinfurt. "In today's world that is so much driven by technology, the key is to pick your partners very carefully. And we are so proud -- we at NYSTAR, at Empire State Development, and all of New York State -- to call you a true partner."

"We are pleased that this [CAMP] partnership has brought to this state so much, in terms of technology and in growth. CAMP itself is more than a Clarkson asset. It's more than a regional asset. It is a state asset. It is the Center for Advanced Materials Processing for the State of New York. And we're proud of that partnership. From chips, to drugs, to solar, to almost anything we make, the applications that you are involved with that enhance our products, and are increasingly transforming products and transforming industries, and what you bring about in that effort is the creation of what is most important to us, to the entire state -- jobs.

"The most important thing you see here at Clarkson' that distinguishes you, is technology leadership. Yes, the State has invested $1.5 billion plus in technology, but more than investing in technology, we've invested in technology leadership. Because it is that leadership that is bringing about a culture change on this campus and elsewhere in this state. It's a culture change that asks the students, the faculty and the industry to defy convention. And you have done that."

The TAC laboratories will be the northern satellite of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (CoE). This entity, a public/private research and development partnership, was established by NYSTAR to promote the creation of jobs and wealth by developing technologies to improve health, productivity, security, and sustainability in built and urban environments. The Clarkson project will enable CoE to apply its mission to rural environments, which create significant renewable energy resource opportunities.

In addition to research laboratories, work areas supporting K-12 outreach programming will be provided to encourage college bound students into technological careers through the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program. This activity is both critical and integral to the long term success of the mission of Clarkson's Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems.

State funding will include meeting and training rooms for faculty/student research teams to collaborate with industrial researchers on energy projects currently funded by the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, NYSTAR, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and related agencies and industries.

The University is aiming to achieve LEED Gold Certification for the Technology Advancement Center, which is designed and constructed in accordance with Clarkson's commitment to the environment. TAC's heating, air conditioning, and electrical power requirements will be met not by a central power plant and high voltage transmission lines, but by three small microturbine units. The system is 80- to 90-percent efficient, versus the 30-percent efficiency of a central power system.

The building also features solar panels, providing supplemental heating for domestic water within the building; a rainwater harvesting system that will be used to collect roof runoff and use it to flush plumbing appliances; significant south facing window systems for daylight harvesting; sensors measuring the natural light entering the building to adjust the use of electrically produced lighting; HVAC systems engineered to facilitate individual room temperature control with variable air valves; a white roofing system to greatly reduce the building's heat island; high-efficiency air filtration systems to decrease the electrical requirements and improve the building's air quality; recycled materials, such as Potsdam sandstone; and motion sensors and daylight sensors to curtail energy usage when no one is in a room or when daylight is sufficiently adequate.

See video of the TAC dedication at http://media.clarkson.edu.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Empire State Development Upstate President Dennis M. Mullen uses shears to cut the organic, compostable, natural "ribbon" at the dedication of Clarkson University's new Technology Advancement Center as NYSTAR Executive Director Edward Reinfurt (left of Mullen), President Tony Collins (right of Mullen), trustees, honored guests and faculty assist.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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