Ask the Expert: 2022 Recap

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When it comes to featured experts, 2022 was the year of the woman.

Over the last several months, we introduced you to eight of the many women who play key roles in New York State’s manufacturing ecosystem, helping companies large and small handle challenges ranging from marketing to national security. From them, we learned a lot about how manufacturers can leverage the state’s public and private resources at every stage of growth.

Not sure what material is right for your product? Both Elisabeth Cain, former Business Development Manager at Clarkson University’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), and Donna Howell, Industrial Outreach Director for the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) taught us how partnering on advanced materials research has led to better sunscreens, apparel, medical devices, even sports drinks. Beth Bornick, Business Development Lead for Lithoz America LLC in Troy, told us about the benefits of one advanced material—technical ceramics—and how you can use 3D printing to create ceramic parts as small as half a millimeter.

In need of money to get your high-growth potential startup going? Or want to invest in startups? Meet Marnie Lavigne, Co-founder, and CEO of Launch NY, a Buffalo-based venture development organization that marked its 10th anniversary this year as the state’s most active seed fund.

Developing technology that could play a role in national security? Heather Hage is President & CEO of the Griffiss Institute, a Rome nonprofit that links the U.S. Department of Defense with academic institutions and industry. Since Hage came on board in 2021, Griffiss has opened the Innovare Advancement Center as a destination space for scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs and launched the HUSTLE Defense Accelerator for startups pursuing national security technologies.

Have a whole range of needs, including marketing, R&D, grant funding, and help with Industry 4.0? You may want to contact FuzeHub, your regional Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center, or one of the four Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) programs at the state universities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook.

Aviva Gold, Director of Marketing and Communications at CITEC, the MEP center serving the North Country, told us about the particular challenges faced by small, rural manufacturers and how she has helped them with marketing plans. Amanda Jackson is a Six Sigma Black Belt who leads the Industry 4.0 initiative at the Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology, the MEP Center for the Southern Tier, helping small and midsized manufacturers implement the latest technologies and digital services to improve their efficiency, address workforce issues and gain competitiveness.

We learned about SPIR from Lisa Chichura, who heads the program at Stony Brook. The SPIR mission is to make the resources of the four state university engineering programs available to industry, helping companies solve engineering and technical problems to create and retain jobs in the high-tech workforce. Chichura explained how her program has grown to leverage all the resources of Stony Brook, including two Centers for Advanced Technology and several specialized research facilities and labs.


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