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UR and High Tech Rochester Announce Affiliation

Friday, October 12, 2007

This new affiliation will bridge the gap between academic innovation and entrepreneurship and promote local growth in critical technology sectors such as optics, biotechnology, photonics, alternative energy, and others.

In a move that will strengthen commercialization of academic research and regional economic development, the University of Rochester today announced a new partnership with High Tech Rochester (HTR).  HTR is a non-profit organization that promotes the creation and growth of technology companies through support services and incubation facilities and provides consulting services for manufacturers. 

“University research is one of the keys to the region’s knowledge-based economic future,” said University of Rochester president Joel Seligman.  “This new affiliation will bridge the gap between academic innovation and entrepreneurship and promote local growth in critical technology sectors such as optics, biotechnology, photonics, alternative energy, and others.”

Under the agreement, the University of Rochester will be the sole member of HTR, meaning that HTR will become a subsidiary of the University.  The other current members of HTR – City of Rochester, Monroe County, Nixon Peabody LLC, Rochester Business Alliance, Rochester Gas & Electric, and the Finger Lakes Manufacturers Council – will continue to appoint members to serve on the organization’s board of directors. The board will be expanded by adding regional economic development stakeholders including academic institutions, entrepreneurs, and other private sector leaders.

“In the twenty years since the Chamber, RIT, and the University created HTR, it has helped hundreds of companies from all nine regional counties become more successful,” said Sandra Parker, a HTR board member and Rochester Business Alliance CEO. “HTR is the region’s expert resource for innovation, technology entrepreneurship, and manufacturing consulting.”

The new arrangement will create an integrated system of technology commercialization services within the University of Rochester by bringing legal and intellectual property services, financial assistance, business support, and incubation facilities for technology start-ups all under one roof. 

“This consolidation of services places the University of Rochester in the vanguard of institutions nationwide in terms of our efforts to harness and accelerate the commercialization of university research,” said Peter Robinson, chief operating officer of the University of Rochester Medical Center and a member of HTR’s board of directors.  “The University has essentially created a system of one-stop shopping for early stage technology companies that will benefit our researchers and the region’s most innovative companies.”

The agreement is also unique in that the organization’s commercialization activities will serve both University and community needs. HTR provides a wide array of support services for technology companies such as market assessment, business plan development, management coaching, capital access, and resource connections.  HTR also operates two technology incubators, including the region’s only biotechnology incubator on behalf of the University of Rochester. These services and facilities will continue to be available to any eligible company regardless of their affiliation with the University of Rochester

HTR, the NYSTAR Regional Technology Development Center for the Finger Lakes region, also provides services to manufacturers through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a national program supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce and New York State.  These services – which include consulting in the areas of corporate strategy, innovation, marketing, factory operations and human resources – will continue to be a focus of HTR’s economic development mission.

“High Tech Rochester’s affiliation with the University of Rochester will strengthen collaborations between the University and its inventors and the region’s entrepreneurs, investors, and institutions,” said Paul Wetenhall, president of HTR.  “We believe that HTR’s practical business expertise will enhance the University’s technology commercialization efforts resulting in more new ventures and greater economic benefit for the Greater Rochester region.”

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