By Whitney Hipolite | 3DPrint
Many people believe that 3D printing is the future of manufacturing. The additive nature of the technology is both quick and efficient in creating precise parts, molds, and prototypes. It allows for complete customization of products on a one-to-one basis. 3D printing has the ability to cut the need for large inventories, prevent waste, and speed up a product’s time to market.
Back in 2011, the State University of New York (SUNY) and the New York Office of the Governor announced a partnership to establish the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program. It was an initiative that set out to create economic growth all around the state, as well as help strengthen academics in NY’s public universities/colleges. That year, $140 million was awarded to SUNY University Centers which included four different schools. There has been a continued commitment toward the cause since then.
Just today, in what could be a major push for 3D printing within the state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an additional $55 million in funding for five different innovative economic development projects. This is the third round of funding for the NYSUNY 2020 Grant Program.
Most importantly though, at least for those of us interested in the expansion and more mainstream use of 3D printing, is the $10 million that will go towards the creation of the Engineering Innovation Hub. It will provide instructional and research space on campus at SUNY New Paltz, while at the same time addressing the shortage of mechanical engineers in the area. In addition to this, the funding will also provide 10,000 square feet of lab and office space which will be used for the support of new businesses looking to participate in START-UP NY.
“Interested firms active in advanced manufacturing, 3D printing, and other related industry sectors have expressed interest in collaborating and co-locating on available space upon campus,” said the Governor’s Press Office. “In response, the Engineering Hub will create exciting synergies by partnering with area community colleges linking 3D printing courses to Engineering programs to advanced manufacturing and technologically innovative companies.”
The funding, will allow for the construction of a new 20,000 square foot innovation hub, which is expected to generate $75 million in new economic impact, as well as create 195 full time jobs, and allow for the graduation of 300 engineers in the Mid-Hudson region, within a 10-year period.
SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian said, “We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo for his support of our efforts at SUNY New Paltz to educate more engineering students, support workforce development and enhance economic development in the Hudson Valley. We’re excited about this opportunity to strengthen our role in SUNY’s mission to be an economic driver in New York.”
Governor Cuomo and other state officials obviously see the potential that 3D printing can provide to a state looking to become one of the more innovative regions in the country. Those students interested in 3D printing may now more strongly consider attending some of New York’s public colleges and universities, knowing that the state is so supportive of the technology. It should be interesting to watch the development of the Engineering Innovation Hub over the next few years to see how much 3D printing is integrated into it.
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