A new venture between college, business, and even government, is expected to have a big payoff for future jobs in the region. Just how big is anyone's guess.
It's a rapidly growing business. The high-tech printing apparatus at RIT's Brinkman Lab offers just a glimpse of the possibilities.
"I'm really excited to welcome you here today to share some exciting news."
RIT has acquired new state-of-the-art equipment, for making printed electronic devices, which it showed off Friday.
"If you replace toner powder with nanomaterials, that's where you get your devices from, and that's how you make printing into a manufacturing process," said Denis Cormier, RIT professor of Manufacturing and Machining.
RIT students get hands-on experience in the rapidly-growing 3-D printed electronics technology. Researchers help advance the industry.
"RIT has a reputation for teaching students the real stuff they can use when they go out into industry to help grow our economy and this lab's a very important part of it,” said RIT president Bill Destler.
RIT has paired up with several local high-tech firms, and the effort means once students graduate they are more than ready to enter a high-tech workforce.
"You know, the days when you graduate an engineer and he'd spend two years being trained by the company are gone. The companies can't afford that,” Destler said.
“The industry partners are directing what we do, and what the students are doing in the lab,” Cormier said.
The benefit to that, say experts, is that a trained, highly skilled workforce and innovative research base can attract new business.
"It is becoming clearer and clearer that the wave of the future is going to be a lot of academic, government and private collaborations to really maximize not only technology, but also job creation,” said State Sen. Joe Robach, (R).
"It's important for us to train our students to do the real thing on the latest equipment so they can hit the ground running and support these companies when they graduate," Destler said.