“An innovation hub is a place that inspires and fosters open, cross-disciplinary, collaborative interactions, as well as connections to local industry,” SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said on October 31 when leaders in government, business and higher education converged on the SUNY New Paltz to campus to break ground on a new Engineering Innovation Hub, a state-of-the-art facility that will help support and diversify the College’s rapidly growing engineering programs and support collaboration between the College and local industry.
The planned 19,500-square-foot state-of-the-art facility at SUNY New Paltz is slated for completion by 2019. It will house the new bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering and the college’s 3D design and printing program, plus space for businesses participating in the economic development incentive program START-UP NY. The college is already working with local high-tech businesses like D-Shape, which is aiming to design and build the world’s first 3-D-printed estate on land in Gardiner.
SUNY New Paltz was awarded $11 million in state funding to finance the construction of this forward-looking center. The Hub embraces the future economy of the Hudson Valley, responding to the increasing demand for expertise in manufacturing, digital design, and engineering and preparing the next generation of innovators. “This expansion continues our focus on growing high-tech industries in the Mid-Hudson Valley, while providing quality jobs for men and women throughout the region,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “The Engineering Innovation Hub is a perfect example of investments in academia that help foster business and industry partnerships, create new jobs, and ensure the next generation of leaders continue moving New York forward.”
The college estimates that the hub will have a significant impact on the regional economy, generating a return of more than $75 million and creating 195 jobs over a 10-year period. There is a wonderful parallelism to this project, which builds on SUNY New Paltz’s legacy of engineering programs that launched 1984 under then-Governor Mario Cuomo endorsed the creation of an undergraduate engineering program at New Paltz.