Picente Announces Open Innovation Campus at Griffiss

Oneida County Partners with AFRL, GI and SUNY Poly in $12 Million Research Center

ROME — Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today announced the development of the Open Innovation Campus, a partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, the Griffiss Institute and SUNY Polytechnic Institute that will create a $12 million research center at Griffiss International Airport.

“The Open Innovation Campus will provide a collaborative hub that will produce revolutionary research from those on the forefront of cutting-edge technology,” Picente 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 and spur economic development around it.”

The goal of the Open Innovation Campus will be to connect global technology leaders from the likes of Google, IBM and QCWare to collaborate and solve intricate Air Force computing challenges. 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 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,” said Col. Timothy J. Lawrence, Director of the AFRL Information Directorate. “We want to use this new infrastructure to grow a Quantum Information Science and Artificial Intelligence hub for the Air Force, our partners and the region. This collaborative environment and business construct is one of tools we have decided to pursue that I think will aid our researchers in developing future transformational strategic capabilities for the nation’s defense.”

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.

“The Griffiss Institute is excited in this new endeavor with Oneida County and the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate,” said William Wolf, President of the Griffiss Institute. “We look forward to being able to expand our capabilities and support to the Information Directorate with new research laboratories and modern designed software research facilities. This new partnership will also enable the Griffiss Institute to expand our missions in technology transfer, commercialization, and STEM outreach; while opening up opportunities for the Research Lab to partner with world-wide leaders in basic research.”

“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,” said SUNY Polytechnic Institute Interim President Dr. Grace Wang. “It will advance Artificial Intelligence 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.”

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.

“The Open Innovation Campus will continue to build upon the great work that is being achieved at Griffiss Institute and strengthen New York State’s position as a leader in the growing fields of drone technology, cyber security and AI research,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky.

“This project will transform Building 100 into something truly remarkable,” said Oneida County Aviation Commissioner Chad Lawrence. “It will not only provide a state-of-the-art space for the Open Innovation Campus, but also revamp our world-renowned UAS Test Site facility. When complete, Griffiss International Airport will be the epicenter for two emerging and transcendent technologies: UAS and quantum computing.”

Construction is slated to begin this fall and expected to be completed in April 2020.