A Destination for the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs and Innovators
For decades, universities and industries have worked to foster symbiotic relationships. Industries rely on universities to deliver a pipeline of skilled workers, and as funding and resources tighten, universities are looking to industries to partner with them to help prepare students to seize their jobs. Thriving university/industry partnerships like this can generate massive opportunities for success: it can drive economic growth for a region, stabilize an entire generation of skilled workers, and fuel innovative breakthroughs and foster a spirit of entrepreneurship. The Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex (ETEC) at SUNY Albany is a testament to how design can play an influential role in this mission.
To accommodate the combined needs of fast-growing new academic programs and innovative entrepreneurial resources, the ETEC is programmed and designed with flexibility, shared space, and various opportunities for industry collaboration. It will house several academic programs with a specific focus on issues related to weather, climate, resilience, emergencies and disasters. By bringing academia and the business sector together, the building will enable the industries vital to preparedness efforts to grow and thrive in New York.
Once completed in 2021, ETEC will have the capacity to house more than 200 full-time faculty and researchers, 100 research and industry partners and as many as 800 students. It will include classroom and office space; research labs; specialty instrumentation facilities; an emergency preparedness situation room; weather research and instruction map rooms; business and technology transfer services offices; and conference facilities. Two central atriums sit at the core of the building ringed with collaboration space including team rooms and conferencing rooms. Programmed spaces are visible in the atriums and showcase instructional spaces to the community.
Already, seven corporations and private spin‐off companies have expressed interest in co‐locating, collaborating and contracting with researchers at ETEC, further adding to job growth projections (https://www.albany.edu/nysuny2020/).
What’s on the horizon for university/industry partnerships?
In order to realize the true potential of university/industry partnerships, how can design help break down barriers and challenge what has been done in the past?