ROME — Construction is slated to begin this fall on a $12 million research center at Griffiss International Airport.
Oneida County is partnering with Rome Lab, the Griffiss Institute, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute to create the center, which should be ready in April 2020.
Officials are referring to the research center as the “open innovation campus,” per an Aug. 26 news release.
“The Open Innovation Campus will provide a collaborative hub that will produce revolutionary research from those on the forefront of cutting-edge technology,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. said. “This transformative ecosystem will help solve complex computing problems for the Air Force and ultimately strengthen our national defense. Oneida County is proud to invest in this forward-thinking partnership with Rome Lab, Griffiss Institute and SUNY Poly that will establish us as a trailblazer in the emerging field of quantum information science [QIS] and spur economic development around it.”
The campus will be housed in Building 100 at the Griffiss International Airport. The 40,000-square-foot, three-floor facility will be renovated to include two quantum labs and two neuromorphic/electronic labs, event space, and training and classrooms.
Oneida County is contributing $5.6 million toward the project, and Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Transportation Aviation Bureau are providing $1.4 million and $1.5 million respectively. Additional funding will also come from Griffiss Institute.
“On behalf of SUNY Poly, we are thrilled to strengthen our collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory-Information Directorate, Oneida County, and the Griffiss Institute, along with other key stakeholders, to enable this open innovation campus,” Grace Wang, interim president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, said in the Oneida County release. “It will advance artificial intelligence [AI] and quantum information science research and development while providing exciting experiential educational opportunities to our students. We are grateful to work closely with our partners as we leverage our expertise and unique research capabilities to develop the next generation of AI and QIS-based talent and technological solutions to enhance national security and economic competitiveness.”
The goal of the “open innovation campus” will be to connect global technology leaders — including Google, IBM, and QCWare — to “collaborate and solve intricate Air Force computing challenges,” per the release. It will link researchers from government, industry, and academia to share top minds, ideas, and facilities, “virtually and in person,” and expand upon the $2 billion annual federal investment in Rome Lab — the common local name for the AFRL, or the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate.
The campus’s collaborators will look to use quantum information processing to analyze and improve such things as computer hardware and software, data protection, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.
“With our new open innovation campus we have set up an environment that will allow us to bring together the best and brightest minds in the world to work on some very difficult and exciting technical challenge problems,” Col. Timothy Lawrence, director of the AFRL Information Directorate, said in the Oneida County release.