Beginning today, teams of students and faculty across SUNY campuses producing life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE) and other innovative solutions to COVID-19 through student applied learning and research experience can apply for grant funding from the SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship Program. Initially announced late August by Chancellor Jim Malatras with $100,000 in seed funding, and kicked off today at SUNY Polytechnic Institute with Interim President Grace Wang, the program will provide up to $10,000 for students and faculty working with innovative technology to improve the design and accelerate the production of PPE. The program is designed to provide real life, hands-on applied learning experiences for students, which involves them in the creation of pandemic related solutions.
“SUNY students and faculty have been among New York’s leaders in the production of lifesaving PPE and other technologies—keeping essential frontline workers protected through this pandemic,” said Chancellor Malatras. “Now that we are in the fall and seeing what is happening across the nation and in certain hot spots across New York with a higher number of COVID cases, PPE and other innovations to combat COVID-19 continue to be in high demand. These innovations will help not only with combating COVID, but other future infectious diseases. We are proud to open up applications today for the SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship Program, which provides a financial boost to students and faculty who are teaming up to use cutting-edge technology to improve and produce PPE and other technologies. These innovations will help save lives.”
SUNY Poly Interim President Wang said, “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for Chancellor Malatras’ steadfast leadership and support to further our students’ applied learning and research experience. I am proud that Chancellor Malatras can witness first-hand how SUNY Poly faculty, staff, and students are leveraging our technological capabilities to protect frontline workers by 3D printing thousands of face shields that have been distributed to-date. As part of our multipronged approach to minimize the impact of this unprecedented pandemic to our community, SUNY Poly strongly supports the Chancellor’s SUNY-wide PPE development initiative to address critical needs across New York State.”
New York State Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon said, “Constructing a grant that will allow students to produce lifesaving equipment and experiment with new technology that will help fight infectious disease during an unprecedented moment, such as this, demonstrates the prevailing way that administrators and students are working together during this challenging time. This funding will help ensure students receive a unique opportunity that will enrich and strengthen their college studies, while strengthening the families and workforce in our region. I am proud to stand beside SUNY as they continue to show how colleges can offer solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic in real time, while guiding their students and offering them training and skills that will attract future employers.”
SUNY teams of faculty and staff may submit proposals. The resulting projects will focus on exploring and creating solutions, including but not limited to: novel and alternative PPE; creative devices, technologies, or designs to reduce the use of high-touch areas; environmentally sustainable sanitization; and arts, messages, and technologies for effective implementation of social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitizing. Non-technological solutions for behavioral interventions and deployable strategies for raising awareness of public health protective measures are encouraged.
During the first wave of the pandemic in New York State this year, SUNY campuses were producing 2,100 face shields a day amongst 19 SUNY college and university campuses, including University at Albany, Alfred State, Binghamton University, Broome Community College, University at Buffalo, Canton, Cobleskill, SUNY’s Cornell colleges, Delhi, Hudson Valley Community College, Jefferson Community College, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Stony Brook University, and Sullivan Community College. Face shield manufacturing has remained steady as campuses received materials for 3D production.
SUNY campuses have also focused on face masks, with over 30 SUNY campuses producing and donating masks to hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, other healthcare organizations, and essential businesses throughout New York State. Alumni and students from SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology are among those continuing these efforts, including the alumni-led volunteer group Sew4Lives, which has to date donated over 20,000 masks.
While at SUNY Poly, Chancellor Malatras toured the labs in the Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing, which houses the 3D Printing Lab. Chancellor and Interim President Wang also discussed COVID protocols and testing on campus, which conducted another round of pooled surveillance testing today.
Since the semester began, SUNY Poly has tested 3,423 students, faculty, and staff, with one positive case. SUNY campuses have conducted 179,808 COVID-19 tests, with a positivity rate of 0.62 percent. The rolling 14-day positivity rate is 0.46 percent. Thanks to major breakthroughs at SUNY Upstate Medical University, SUNY has the capacity to test 120,000 students each week. To contact SUNY Poly, email email@example.com.