|CATS Driving Innovation and Economic Growth With Advanced Manufacturing
US. Representative Paul Tonko delivered the keynote address April 27 at the Rensselaer Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) 2011 Technology Showcase and Conference. The event, which took place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, N.Y., highlighted the many successes of CATS and its partner companies and state agencies.
“The [CATS] is a great example of how the private and public sectors can partner with academia to push technology forward and have a positive impact on job creation.” Congressman Paul Tonko
For 20 years, CATS has worked with partner companies to leverage the knowledge and expertise of Rensselaer faculty and students toward solving real-world advanced manufacturing challenges. The center receives annual funding of $1 million from the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). Over the past five years, CATS has leveraged this investment to help its industrial partners deliver upward of $213 million in non-job economic impact and create or retain more than 650 jobs. The vast majority of this growth has been within small or start-up companies.
“At Rensselaer, we are resolutely focused on helping revitalize the U.S. manufacturing economy, which is a critical facet of the national innovation ecosystem. Through the work of CATS and others on campus, we are making a direct impact to the economic growth of the Capital Region, New York, and our country. Perhaps more importantly, our students go on to develop new technologies and found businesses that seed and generate further job creation. Rensselaer is committed to continuing its leadership role in this profound and important mission,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson.
“The Center for Automation Technologies and Systems is a great example of how the private and public sectors can partner with academia to push technology forward and have a positive impact on job creation,” said Congressman Tonko. “It’s also proof that investments in research and development pay off exponentially for our economy.”
“We are extremely proud of the role of the Rensselaer Center for Automation Technologies and Systems in working with its many industry partners to bring new products and processes to market. It is an exciting example of the type of results-oriented industry-university partnership that Governor Cuomo is encouraging throughout the state,” said NYSTAR Director Edward Reinfurt.
CATS is focused on the future of all aspects of manufacturing, from both a theoretical and practica perspective. Of particular emphasis is the manufacturing of energy-related systems, including fuel cell, battery, and other areas of green manufacturing such as energy-saving advanced composite parts and structures. Through partnership with leading fuel cell companies, the center is innovating new methods for manufacturing fuel cell membranes, automating membrane electrode assemblies, and advancing the robotic assembly of fuel cell stacks.
“Manufacturing is what turns a concept, a demonstration, or a prototype into a product,” said John Wen, CATS director and a professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering. “CATS helps our industrial partners achieve competitive advantage in manufacturing through innovative design, new capabilities, and superior performance.”
CATS’ interdisciplinary team of researchers includes 32 Rensselaer faculty from nine different academic departments in the School of Engineering, School of Science, and School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. More than 40 Rensselaer students participate in CATS research, and the center employs five full-time research technical staff and three postdoctoral researchers.
CATS was founded in 1988 as a designated NYSTAR Center for Advanced Technology.
For more information on the CATS at Rensselaer, visit www.cats.rpi.edu and www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/rpi/2010spring/index.php#/28.