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Upstate Medical, area SUNY schools share $18M grant to create job-training consortium

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Five area SUNY schools will share an $18 million state grant to provide students and businesses access to labs and simulation centers.

The facilities would be available in the areas of health, biomedical services and biosciences, advanced manufacturing, and agribusiness and food processing, SUNY Upstate Medical University said in a news release.

Besides Upstate Medical, Onondaga Community College (OCC), Morrisville State College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), and SUNY Oswego will work to establish the SUNY “Labs to Jobs” consortium, according to the release.


The funding, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sept. 30, is from the governor’s NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program.

Launched in 2011, NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program seeks to “elevate SUNY as a catalyst for regional economic development and affordable education,” according to the SUNY website.

The consortium will use the funding, “in part, to build or enhance” facilities that include Upstate’s medical-simulation center.

The funding will also target the “Smart Health” biomedical health-information research lab, and the biomedical-instrumentation lab and bioinformatics wireless-network development at SUNY Oswego.

The facilities also include OCC’s food science and culinary lab, business-simulation classrooms, and training and entrepreneurial lab.

In addition, the funding will target ESF’s biomimicry computer and field labs, along with the production sciences/advanced-manufacturing lab and allied-health lab at SUNY Morrisville.

SUNY expects each lab will be open by the summer of 2017, according to the news release.

It’s not the first time that area SUNY schools will share in a funding award from this program.

Upstate Medical, ESF, OCC, and SUNY Oswego used a $15 million award to create the SUNY Institute of Environmental Health & Environmental Medicine, according to a June 2013 news release on the Upstate website.


Labs’ purpose

Each lab will allow students the opportunity for applied learning, a chance to “learn, refine and enhance their skills in a simulated environment before entering the workforce,” according to the release.

The facilities will support existing and new educational programs that will provide “even more relevant workforce preparedness.”

The labs can also serve as a training facility for further education or for credentialing in a “variety” of fields.

In addition, faculty and business partners can use the facilities to “perform advance research or test and incubate business ideas.”

The labs at Upstate and SUNY Oswego will teach skills that range from the application of big data to the “improvement in population health and quality and the development of personalized medicine,” Dr. David Duggan, dean of the College of Medicine at Upstate, said in the release.

The labs can also serve as “resources” for economic development, he said.

“There is the potential that these labs will also be starting points for business collaborations, perhaps in our case the development of new instrumentation for the surgical suite,” Duggan said.


Contact Reinhardt at


PHOTO CAPTION: (L to R) Pam Caraccioloi, SUNY Oswego’s deputy to the president for economic development and external partnerships; SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley; and Isabelle Bichindaritz, the school’s director of biomedical sciences listen to an explanation from Peter Calvert, an Upstate Medical professor who conducts vision research. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sept. 30 announced an $18 million award from the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program. SUNY Oswego and Upstate Medical University met recently to discuss research collaborations, including the SUNY “Labs to Jobs” consortium, which the grant will fund. (Photo credit: Upstate Medical University website)




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