Coffee and concept brewing at Griffiss Business and Technology Park


ROME – Whether for professional collaboration or simple camaraderie, Innovare Advancement Center at 592 Hangar Road, and its Innovare Elevation series, hosts the Coffee & Concepts event every first and third Thursday of the month from 10-11am, which is also open to the public.

The event is designed as a networking opportunity for scientists, engineers, business representatives and other professionals from the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, as well as neighboring businesses in the community and academia. who wish to work in cooperation with GBTP companies, or who would simply like to find out more about what is happening at the former airbase.

Meetings are held at Innovare’s first floor cafe and feature Utica coffee and pastries.

Griffiss Institute community manager Melissa Tallman said attendees are encouraged to grab a cup of coffee and chat.

About what?

“Anything related to technology; how something works, the new quantum lab inside the Innovare Advancement Center, events in the Mohawk Valley, cybersecurity, any idea you have, what is an SBIR/STTR (Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Research), you can just talk about technology concepts over coffee,” she said.

And while the event lasts one hour, attendees can stay as long as they wish.

Chad Lawrence, facility test flight manager for Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation, said NASC’s Rome site has been a major test flight facility for drones for the past seven years and continues to expand. its operations.

In February 2020, NASC successfully conducted a test flight of the NASC TEROS UAV, technology demonstrator at the NASC Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Operations and Training Center at Griffiss International Airport.

NASC, headquartered in Warminster, Pennsylvania, has provided engineering and technical services in support of the Department of Defense and industry since 1977.

Today, NASC’s specialized products and services are used in multiple theaters of operations around the world.

As for the Coffee & Concepts event, “It’s great to all meet in person”,
he said. “NASC is a huge community organization and anything we can do to support our
community, and Oneida County, we do.

Even though attendees only have time for a cup of coffee and staying for five minutes, “It’s a great place to share ideas and network with like-minded people,” Tallman said. Participants can discuss “how they can collaborate, work together and connect to achieve their goals. You never know who you might meet here.

For companies under contract with the Department of Defense who might want to learn how to work together to improve each other, “it helps break down barriers,” the community manager added. The atmosphere is one of “casual conversation, and those in the industry can even discuss how to address workforce development issues” and other challenges.

“We had young entrepreneurs from Syracuse looking to grow a business and we were here last month to get a feel for what the area has to offer,” Tallman said. “They said they would return to their hometown to compare options, but plan to return here next month.”

Dawn Rava-Crofoot, VICEROY Project Manager, spoke about the VICEROY (Virtual Institutes for Cyber ​​and Electromagnetic Spectrum Research and Employee) program.

Authorized by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, and with funding provided by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and contract management performed by the Griffiss Institute, the VICEROY program aims to increase the quantity and quality of U.S. students who have Department of Defense cybersecurity skills ready for use upon graduation. The approach is to augment traditional college degree programs by providing hands-on, experiential learning and internship opportunities that are specifically designed to meet the workforce demands of armed forces, DoD, and US partners. the defense industrial base.

“Over the past year,” the VICEROY program, “featured 36 projects,” and posters featuring those projects, “are on display at Innovare,” Rava-Crofoot said. VICEROY also collaborates with professors in the field. Dr. Hong Zhao, a professor of electrical engineering at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ, is a VICEROY Visiting Professor, and his university’s project appears on a third-floor wall at Innovare. She also participated in the Coffee & Concepts event. Zhao works directly with GBTP engineers through the scholarship program.

Dr. John Salerno, an AI/ML subject matter expert and deputy program director at the Information Institute, said the program averages 65 faculty per year and 12 students. And Tiffany DeLuca, Intern Program Manager and Assistant Facilities Security Officer (AFSO), spoke about her role as Intern Coordinator for major internship programs this summer at AFRL/RI. Research topics will include efficient data machine learning, artificial intelligence, IoT, small unmanned aircraft systems, neuromorphic computing, trust software, and quantum information science.

The AFRL/RI STEM outreach program, powered by the Griffiss Institute and the Innovare Advancement Center, will also host the 2022 AFRL Challenge competition beginning April 11 and continuing through Spring Break week, again to be held in person. for high school teams. The intent of the competition is to provide a more realistic view of the kinds of high-tech problems facing the country today, and how engineers and researchers go about dissecting and solving these problems.


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