News Release: Matching Investment Program (MIP) leverages $395K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.53M in Matching Commitments from Industry and Other Partners

News Release: Matching Investment Program (MIP) leverages $395K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.53M in Matching Commitments from Industry and Other Partners

Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 12:10
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For Release:           Immediate – May 7, 2020
Contact:                  Steve Ference, Director of University Communications
| (518) 956-7319 |

Latest Round of MIP Funding Supports Clean Energy, Power Electronics,
Quantum Computing, and Gene Therapy-Centered Faculty Research

ALBANY, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) announced that faculty-led research projects focused on areas from clean energy and quantum computing to power electronics, among others, have earned a total of $1.1 million in funding from five companies with operations in New York State. Part of the third round of the Matching Investment Program (MIP) by the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics (CATN2), this funding seeks to enable pioneering faculty research in areas that are both advancing academic knowledge and industry collaborations.

“I am proud of our SUNY Poly faculty-led research teams for their steadfast work which has led to their selection for the third round of CATN2 MIP funding,” said SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Grace Wang. “This program will now advance research which is not only important for supporting a more sustainable environment, improved healthcare, and technological progress, but also for this nation’s international competitiveness, covering topics from power electronics packaging and photovoltaics to gene therapy and quantum computing. It serves as yet another testament to the high-quality research being undertaken by our faculty, in collaboration with our industry partners, which provides exciting educational experiences for our students while driving an ever-strengthening innovation ecosystem here in New York State.”

The CATN2 completed the third-round funding competition under the CATN2 MIP to support faculty-led projects and expand SUNY Poly’s R&D and commercialization capabilities in collaboration with New York State-based companies. Awards under this round totaled $395,000, with industry and other partners providing $1,534,896 in additional resource commitments for a total project investment of $1,929,896. The MIP funding represents a portion of a $900,000 grant from Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) to support SUNY Poly’s CATN2’s operations.

Empire State Development Senior Vice President and NYSTAR Executive Director Matt Watson said, “SUNY Poly’s distinguished faculty members are moving the needle forward on a variety of projects with potential commercial applications, and NYSTAR is proud to support the institution’s efforts to benefit the life sciences and tech industries, among others, in New York State.”

“As a result of this funding, we look forward to these research projects further enabling valuable hands-on educational opportunities for SUNY Poly students while concurrently solidifying public-private research partnerships that leverage SUNY Poly’s world-class resources and high-tech expertise in support of New York State’s growing role as an innovation leader on the global stage,” said SUNY Poly Interim Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik.

“This MIP funding can help make an important impact on these research efforts by supporting critical faculty and staff investigations in areas that not only build upon SUNY Poly’s globally recognized capabilities, but also continue to shine a light on New York State as the place for innovative partnerships that can power game-changing RD&D,” said Michael Fancher, Director of the New York State CATN2.


The CATN2 MIP awards, including primary investigators, total amount of the award with industry match, and summary of the research to be undertaken as part of the 2019–2020 grants, include:

Project Title (capability): Nanostructured Antireflective Coatings for Optoelectronic Applications

PI: Dr. Harry Efstathiadis

Budget: $389,209

Summary: This work is focused on highly scalable, low-cost, manufactured nanostructured anti-reflective coatings (ARC) for a variety of optoelectronic applications. Two applications will be investigated: sensors with Magnolia Optical Technologies and low-cost photovoltaics with SAVD Solar. This process is expected to provide a dramatic efficiency improvement to both technologies and could be applied to many other applications.

Impact: The funds requested will be used to repair and upgrade critical tools needed for these two technologies. They will also be used to support a scientist who will assist in the repair and upgrade of tools and also perform manufacturing runs for other SUNY Poly faculty members who may have a need for nanostructured films. These repairs and upgrades will also enhance the technical capabilities of SUNY Poly.


Project Title (capability): Discrete Power Packaging and Dynamic Characterization of WBG Power Devices Using Advanced Packaging Materials

PI: Dr. Adam Morgan with Dr. Woongje Sung

Budget:  $300,000

Summary:  Power semiconductor technology is enabling electrification across a wide range of applications, from transportation to power generation. At the heart of this technology advancement, wide-bandgap (WBG) power semiconductors, silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), are replacing their silicon (Si)-based counterparts as the power device of choice at higher power levels. Consequently, power conversion systems (PCS) within the transportation sector, for example, benefit from power electronics composed of packaged WBG devices, such as SiC junction barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes and metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) or GaN high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs).

In order for WBG-based power electronics to harness the full capability of the WBG semiconductors, in terms of operating temperatures and system voltages, the surrounding packaging materials and power electronic components also must be rated for the same, if not higher, operating conditions. In collaboration with Indium Corp., this project will further advance critical research, development, and deployment (RD&D) capabilities at SUNY Poly by developing (1) WBG power packaging design and fabrication processes; (2) a HV double-pulse test (DPT) setup, and (3) a power cycling test setup, where the RD&D flow for WBG power devices and power packaging can be established.

Impact: The funds will support a discrete device packaging capability and partnership within SUNY Poly’s high-tech ecosystem that enables full power testing of WBG devices needed for complete RD&D of the technology. It will establish a power electronics test platform for other researchers at SUNY Poly, Indium, and other institutions and companies, while allowing the sharing and comparing of test data between SUNY Poly, Indium, and other institutions or companies to accelerate development and commercialization of WBG devices and packaging materials to meet growing power electronics demand, potentially resulting in a new revenue stream. The effort can also lead to the development of novel advanced power packaging to meet the requirements of next-generation WBG devices.


Project Title (capability): Advancing the state-of-the-art of quantum computing devices

PI: Dr. Satyavolu S. Papa Rao

Budget: $941,000

Summary: SUNY and the New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology, Engineering, and Science (NY CREATES) are partnering with NY based companies to establish a first-of-its-kind capability that will lead towards scalable quantum computing devices.  This project seeks to develop new technologies using quantum computing devices with higher performance characteristics. The added capability under this project will allow SUNY Poly and NY CREATES to be the host for multiple quantum-related funding opportunities from several federal agencies. 

Impact:  Upon success, this project will enable Quantum Technology start-ups in New York and make New York the hub for Quantum Information Science companies. This new technology, which falls within a key strategic area for the partnering organizations as well as the federal and New York State governments, would be accessible to faculty and researchers across the entire SUNY system, other academic institutions, and industry, and could lead toward scalable quantum computing devices. 


Project Title (capability): High-Content Screening Platform to Advance Gene Therapy

PI: Dr. Yubing Xie

Budget: $300,000

Summary: To address the emerging need for non-clinical human-based gene screening platforms from federal agencies and the pharmaceutical industry, this project will expand an established 3D human cell-based model to a gene-screening platform that allows for the identification of target genes for gene therapy. Specifically, the project will 1) validate high-efficiency gene transfection, or the delivery of pure nucleic acids, to human cell-scaffold constructs; 2) develop a nonclinical human cell-based gene screening platform; and in particular, 3) establish joint-use of CATN2 MIP equipment and revitalize existing cleanroom facilities for the micro-/nanofabrication of scaffolds with Glauconix Biosciences, a SUNY Poly alumni-led spinoff, that can be offered as integrated resources to prospective pharmaceutical industry partners in need of the gene screening platform. 

Impact: The ongoing collaboration between Drs. Xie and Susan Sharfstein at SUNY Poly and Dr. Karen Torrejon at Glauconix Biosciences has resulted in issued and licensed patents, company growth, and a pipeline of student opportunities in research, as well as the hiring of students to work for Glauconix, which now seeks to expand from drug testing and contract research to the rapidly emerging area of gene therapy. 


For more information about the program and the previous rounds of funding, please visit:


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit

About SUNY Poly’s CATN2
The mission of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics (CATN2) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) and its College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is to drive systematic progression in technology transitions, market adoption, skills attainment, and entrepreneurial growth by aligning SUNY Poly’s Applied Research Capabilities (SPARC) with industry cooperation partners through each phase in the research, development, & deployment (RD&D) commercialization continuum.

Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) advances technology innovation and commercialization in New York State. Its 70+ funded centers provide direct assistance to companies from start-up through maturity, leveraging the state’s unparalleled investment in world-class technology assets and expertise.