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Clarkson University Receives $4.5 Million From New York State For Biotechnology Research

New York State Governor George E. Pataki and Senator Raymond A. Meier today announced a $4.5-million grant to PatakiClarkson University for biotechnology research. The grant, part of the Senate’s Gen*NY*sis program, will fund Clarkson’s Center for Assistive and Adaptive Technologies, with a focus on rehabilitation engineering and biomaterials.

Governor Pataki said, "This state-of-the-art research center will provide a tremendous boost for the North Country economy and contribute greatly to the biotech successes at Clarkson University. This biotech initiative at Clarkson, coupled with our Centers of Excellence across the State, will have a major impact and bring many good, high paying jobs to New Yorkers. The investment we are making today is another example of how New York State is not waiting for the future — we are creating it today in northern New York."

“This generous support from New York State will enable Clarkson to expand our biotechnology research capabilities,” said Clarkson President Denny Brown. “We are combining our emerging strengths in health sciences with our longstanding excellence in materials science and fine particle engineering. The opportunities for job creation as a result of bringing biotechnology innovations to the marketplace are tremendous.”

"Clarkson University is building a strong base in biotechnology research,” said Senator Meier. “This funding will assist the University in making new advances to help individuals live longer, healthier lives. In addition, bioscience is a field that will continue to grow for many years to come and will make New York State a leader in job creation.”

The Center for Assistive and Adaptive Technologies will research and develop assistive and adaptive technologies, and work with the commercial sector for the creation of jobs in New York State.

The Gen*NY*sis funding will support the creation of 11,000 square feet of laboratory and project workspace as well as advanced instrumentation. The new facility is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary research and technology transfer.

New developments in biotechnology frequently require collaboration between traditionally separate disciplines, such as electrical engineering and physical therapy, or mechanical engineering and chemical engineering. Likewise, the facility will include space dedicated to business development activities, in order to encourage the transfer of research innovations to commercial applications.

“Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding industry,” said Clarkson Provost Tony Collins. “Enhancing our capabilities to develop new and valuable materials and devices, and to bring these products to market, will help to attract businesses to New York State and the North Country.”

Clarkson combines expertise in rehabilitation engineering and biomaterials to develop methods and materials that enhance rehabilitation, occupational health and new medical technologies. The Gen*NY*sis funding will advance work such as development of artificial heart valves, artificial veins, non-reactive coatings for medical implants, drug delivery systems relying on controlled particle size and shape, and biologically active surfaces.

Clarkson’s rehabilitation engineering activities include numerous student teams that design prototypes over the course of one or two years. These prototypes incorporate universal design principles that address the needs of individuals with a specific disability or allow for use by a wide range of individuals with various abilities.

Current projects include a virtual reality wheelchair to train individuals how to use a power wheelchair, an off-road power wheelchair to enable wheelchair-bound individuals to enjoy outdoor activities, design of a handicapped accessible miniature golf course, a leg-powered canoe, and adaptations to a dog sled so that a paraplegic can compete in dog sled races.

Clarkson’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), a state-funded Center for Advanced Technology, focuses on the development of submicron to nanoscale advanced materials, the building blocks of large complex systems such as computers, aircraft and aerospace vehicles, telecommunication networks, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, and advanced chemical and industrial products. CAMP scientists work closely with industry, particularly New York-based companies, on their research and development needs. Some key corporate partners include Corning, Ferro, GE, IBM, Kodak and Xerox.

Clarkson’s Center for Health Sciences includes research on motion, balance, pain, and adaptive and assistive technologies. Through collaboration between health, engineering and science faculty, research and projects in rehabilitation engineering are growing. To support these efforts and encourage the transfer of research developments to the marketplace, Clarkson is working in consultation with Dean Kamen, entrepreneur, inventor and CEO of DEKA, and with Peter Rieke, CEO of Mobility Engineering, a company that develops innovative equipment for people with disabilities.

Clarkson University, founded in 1896, is an independent technological university in Potsdam, New York, offering majors in the sciences, engineering, liberal arts, health sciences and business. At Clarkson 2,700 undergraduates and 350 graduate students learn in an academically rigorous, collaborative culture that emphasizes hands-on team projects and real-world multidisciplinary challenges. Many faculty members achieve international recognition for their scholarship and research, and teaching is a priority at every level. As a result, Clarkson has earned a reputation for developing innovative leaders in technology-based fields. For more information, visit

Photo caption for pataki2.jpg: New York State Governor George E. Pataki and Senator Raymond A. Meier today announced a $4.5-million grant to Clarkson University for biotechnology research. Among those present at the presentation were (left to right) Clarkson Provost Anthony G. Collins, Member of Assembly Dede Scozzafava, Senator Meier, Governor Pataki, State Senator Jim Wright, and Clarkson student Angela Stay.


[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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