October 20, 2011
By: Larry Rulison, Business Writer
Source: Times Union
ALBANY -- The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has been so adept at attracting federal and corporate funding in addition to state money that it now ranks as the top research institution in the SUNY system, above the rest of the University at Albany and even research-focused Stony Brook University on Long Island.
The NanoCollege, which was made financially independent from UAlbany in 2008 with its own budget, spent $228 million on research during fiscal 2011, which ended June 30.
That's nearly 25 percent of the research spending throughout the entire SUNY system, which had $940 million in research spending in fiscal 2011. As a comparison, Stony Brook spent $184 million and the University of Buffalo spent $151 million in 2011, according to The Research Foundation, SUNY's research arm.
The NanoCollege leapfrogged Stony Brook, which was the top research institution in the state in fiscal 2010 with $200 million. That year, the NanoCollege was at $167 million in research spending.
Alain Kaloyeros, who as chief executive of the NanoCollege reports directly to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, says the increase has been due to a surge in federal grants and corporate activities at the Albany NanoTech campus on Fuller Road. Every year, the school has organized new research programs in the semiconductor industry that bring in funding to the school as companies like IBM and GlobalFoundries share spending on billion-dollar projects.
"It has been continuously increasing because of the nature of what we do," Kaloyeros said.
And the 2011 data don't include the $4.4 billion computer chip consortium recently announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The amount included a $400 million state investment in the school and a new solar manufacturing research center that is expected to net another $400 million, he said.
And they don't include corporate money that flows through Fuller Road Management Corp., the nonprofit entity that manages the college's real estate, which accounts for $50 million to $150 million in additional spending each year.
Cornell University is the top research institution in the state, with roughly $650 million in research spending annually. Kaloyeros says the NanoCollege will likely reach that level in the near future.
By itself, UAlbany spent $109 million in 2011, which is up $6 million over 2010 spending. The university held a conference Wednesday that focused on funding from the National Science Foundation.
UAlbany spokeswoman Kristin Marshall said UAlbany has been placing more emphasis on research and winning grants, which is reflected in its rising research spending.