Good news for Rochester techies ? at a press conference at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics last Thursday, Gov. George Pataki (R) announced a $2.6 million grant to be awarded to the Rochester Center for Advanced Technology, a collaborative venture between UR and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The money will be used to expand CAT?s research and development activities and to create a state-of-the-art ?virtual? research center in Rochester.

?Today?s announcement is great news for the Rochester area and marks another tremendous step in our efforts to create a comprehensive and long-term plan that will foster the growth of high-tech and biotech industries across the state,? Pataki said.

The award to the Rochester CAT will be granted through NYSTAR?s $10 million CAT Development Program, an initiative to create prominent research centers and bring high-technology innovations to the marketplace.

Other notables at the conference included State Sen. Mike Nozzolio (R-53rd) and Assemblywoman Susan John (D-Rochester).

?Under Gov. Pataki?s leadership, New York has become a national leader in the high-tech industry,? Nozzolio said. ?This major funding award for the Rochester Center for Advanced Technology is a significant investment in the future of the Rochester community and represents the governor?s continued commitment to making the greater Rochester region a magnet for high-tech business growth and job creation.?

The Rochester CAT?s mission is to increase research in the field of electronic imaging and to leverage these results for an economic advantage for both New York state and the nation.

Funding will be used to create a Virtual Microelectronics Design Research Center aiming to being on the cutting edge of technological breakthroughs. The center will include some of the top scientists and researchers in the world.

?The great belief in this state is that the cornerstone to our success is education. Partnerships are key to this success. This new partnership will drive the economic engine for high-tech job growth,? John said.

In January, Pataki announced a $1 billion high-technology and biotechnology plan for New York, which stipulated the creation of several ?Centers of Excellence,? including one specializing in photonics and optoelectronics.

This Center of Excellence would link Corning, Kodak, Xerox and other companies in collaboration with UR, RIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and SUNY Albany to stabilize New York state as the leader in photonics, optics and fiber optics.

?The university is pleased to be selected for this important CAT funding award,? UR President Thomas Jackson said in a press release. ?This interaction will enhance what we?ve been working to build throughout the university, including not only our traditional strengths in such areas as electronic imaging, but also in new and exciting areas such as photonics and biomedical technologies ? areas emphasized by Governor Pataki?s new statewide initiatives.?

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