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Innovare Advancement Center in Rome operates as accelerator for AI, cyber, UAS

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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The Innovare Advancement Center (IAC) in Rome on July 8 formally opened to the public. IAC is a talent and technology accelerator for artificial intelligence/machine learning, cyber, quantum, and unmanned-aircraft systems (or UAS). It’s a partnership between the Griffiss Institute, the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), New York State, Oneida County, the City of Rome, NYSTEC, and SUNY. (PHOTO CREDIT: GRIFFISS INSTITUTE)

ROME, N.Y. — A facility that’s described as an “open innovation hub” is now open to the public.

Innovare Advancement Center (IAC) in Rome is a talent and technology accelerator for artificial intelligence/machine learning, cyber, quantum, and unmanned-aircraft systems (UAS). 

The IAC is a partnership between the Griffiss Institute, the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), which is also known locally as Rome Lab, New York State, Oneida County, the City of Rome, NYSTEC, and SUNY. 

The facility at the Griffiss International Airport will bring together scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs from academia, industry, and the U.S. Department of Defense to collaborate on technology projects.

“I am thrilled to finally unveil Innovare Advancement Center to the public. We have been the Mohawk Valley’s best kept secret since the Griffiss Institute quietly moved into this innovative space this winter, working in close partnership with Oneida County and Rome Lab to prepare to welcome international scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to collaborate with us as soon as it became safe,” Heather Hage, president and CEO of Griffiss Institute, said in a release. “Today, with over 300 collaborators in service with the GI, we finally get to show off all that Innovare has to offer the tech community. I am so excited to be a part of this great organization and team, and the GI is committed to do all we can to grow Innovare as a global destination for scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to collaborate as we educate, innovate, integrate and elevate the next generation of technology leaders, right here in the Mohawk Valley.”

The IAC on July 8 held a formal-opening ceremony. The day’s activities included an Invest NY program that focused on entrepreneurs in aerospace and defense. 

“All across the world, innovation and collaboration are becoming synonymous with Oneida County,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. said. “The investment the county and its partners have made in the Griffiss Business & Technology Park is paying off huge dividends for the City of Rome and the region at large, and the Innovare Advancement Center is the epitome of that success. This facility will serve as hub to produce revolutionary research from those on the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Together with Rome Lab, Griffiss Institute and SUNY Poly, we will entrench ourselves as a trailblazer in the emerging field of Quantum Information Science and spur economic development that will feed our robust high-tech economy.”

Described as a 150,000-square-foot “open innovation hub,” IAC’s capabilities include highly specialized laboratories for experimentation in quantum and neuromorphic computing; 40,000 square feet, across two floors, of collaboration spaces; an auditorium with capacity for more than 250 people; and a “first in the nation,” New York State funded 50-mile drone corridor for advanced unmanned aircraft operations.

In addition — coming in the spring of 2022 — an indoor sUAS research and testing facility with a 22,500-square-foot indoor flight-testing area, which will be the “largest in the United States.” 

“I’m delighted to represent AFRL in celebrating this milestone of how vision, persistent leadership and teamwork have created a new engine for growing talent, catalyzing partnerships, and delivering solutions that will benefit not just the Air Force and Space Force but the nation as a whole,” Timothy Sakulich, executive director of the  Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, said. He provided the keynote address during the formal-opening ceremony. 

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