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New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer Performs Convention-defying Groundbreaking for Clarkson University Technology Advancement Center

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New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer today broke ground for Clarkson University's Technology Advancement Center. The $5 million capital project has been funded by the State of New York to support the construction of an incubator facility to support information exchange and technology transfer, as well as renewable energy research and development laboratories.

The governor performed the convention-defying groundbreaking with a student-built robot, assisted by the school's FIRST Robotics team, comprising Clarkson students, and Massena and Salmon River high school students. tad

"To see the next generation thinking, being creative, coming up with ideas, able to build a robot... this is what persuades me that the optimism I feel every time I travel to a town, a village, a city across the state-- that that optimism is warranted," said Governor Spitzer. "And I want everybody to be infused with that optimism.

"I go to colleges wherever I can, because that is our economic future. And those of you who have been listening to me over the last number of months, know that I have been stressing the need to invest in our educational infrastructure -- not only K through 12, but our public and private higher educational system -- our SUNY system, our private higher educational system must be the backbone of our economic growth.

"And so, I'm thrilled to be here... I want everybody to understand the future is ours... We are confident that we will succeed as we go forward, based upon the wisdom of the next generation. Tell us what you need and we will make sure that you get the resources you need to build for the future, because that's what we all care about."

Joining Collins and Spitzer for the groundbreaking ceremony were New York State Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine, New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo, New York State Foundation for Science, Technology & Innovation Executive Director Ed Reinfurt, Clarkson University Board of Trustees Chair Rett Foster (managing partner of RBC Dain Rausher in Watertown), Clarkson Board of Trustees Academic Affairs and Research Committees Chair Charlie Craig (vice president of Corning Inc.), Karen Collins, Clarkson student Tim Delles of Port Leyden, N.Y., and students Katie Hans of Massena High School and Steve Bigness of Salmon River High School

The new laboratories of the Technology Advancement Center will be the northern satellite of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (COEES). This entity, a public/private research and development partnership, was established by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (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 the Syracuse Center of Excellence to apply its mission to rural environments, which create significant renewable energy resource opportunities.

The new incubator facility will bring the University's Division of Research and Technology Transfer personnel to the center of campus in the new structure. The building will link the Andrew S. Schuler Educational Resources Center (ERC), the University's computing center and library, directly with the Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center. Eventually it will link with the Center for Advanced Materials Processing building, bringing together the two major science and engineering facilities on campus.

Division personnel will be strategically located to assist faculty, students, and private sector research staff to accelerate the commercialization of high-potential renewable energy research, advanced materials processing research, and other advanced technology research projects. The co-location of the facilities adjacent to the Educational Resources Center is a deliberate action, intended to provide information exchange and technology support for renewable energy research.

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

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) team is part of Clarkson University's SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program, one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives exemplifying Clarkson's boundary-spanning approach to education.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty members achieve international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

Photo caption: New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer performs a convention-defying groundbreaking for Clarkson University's Technology Advancement Center as University President Tony Collins and others guests look on. The governor broke ground with a student-built robot, assisted by the school's FIRST Robotics team, comprising Clarkson students, and Massena and Salmon River high school students.

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

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