Press Release

Gillibrand Announces $3 Million For The Griffiss Institute & CNY Defense Alliance In Federal Bipartisan Funding Package

Feb 11, 2023

Continuing her fierce advocacy for the Mohawk Valley and Central New York’s ascent as a cutting-edge tech hub, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the groundbreaking Innovare Advancement Center in Rome to announce the $3 million she helped secure in the FY2023 spending package. This federal funding was awarded to the Griffiss Institute, in collaboration with the Central New York Defense Alliance – non-profit partners of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, also known as Rome Lab – to build a new Smart-X “Internet of Things” collaborative lab. The Smart-X IoT Living Lab will be an open and collaborative environment where vendors and developers can integrate, test, experiment and demonstrate their smart technology capabilities.

“For years I have fought for this community and industry as part of my steadfast commitment to making New York a worldwide leader in technological innovation, and I am thrilled to bring $3 million home to Rome, said Senator Gillibrand. “This federal investment in the Smart-X laboratory will give the community at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park the resources needed to continue their groundbreaking work in information science research and advanced technology and attract great jobs to the Mohawk Valley. I am thrilled to be standing here in Rome to deliver this funding – it’s been a long road, but I will always work to make sure the innovators at the Griffiss Institute and CNY Defense Alliance have the federal dollars needed to keep New York at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.”

“The Griffiss Institute has shown time and time again they are leading the pack in the global race for innovation, and this major federal boost will accelerate their cutting-edge technology and further cement the Mohawk Valley as a blossoming center of next-generation technology and the great jobs that come with it,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud to deliver this $3 million with Senator Gillibrand to bolster the groundbreaking discoveries being made in the Smart-X Laboratory. Now more than ever this infusion of funding will ensure that the world-class innovators at the Griffiss Intitute have the resources they need to ensure that our nation stays ahead of our international competitors – including China – and brings these industries back to America.”  

“With this investment, we can continue to ensure New York remains a leader when it comes to technological innovation,” said Lt. Gov. Delgado. “We are supporting cutting edge science and technology breakthroughs, all while bringing good paying jobs to Central New York. This investment is helping to create a bright future for our state.”

“The Griffiss Institute is grateful to Senator Gillibrand and our Congressional delegation for this federal investment to expand our region’s capacity for autonomous systems innovation. We look forward to expanding access to Innovare Advancement Center’s testbeds, where we welcome diverse innovators to converge on the challenge to deliver trustworthy technologies to the American economy,” said Heather Hage, CEO of the Griffiss Institute

“In 2022, Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand supported this community project, to look at how the Mohawk Valley region could capitalize on the power of the evolving Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, including Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) that are critical to the protection and safety of our citizens and community resources,” said MC Chruscicki Central New York Defense Alliance Executive Director. “Thank you Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for being strong advocates of the Central New York Defense Alliance mission and for securing 2023 funds to initiate the development of the Smart-X IoT Living Lab that will connect the community to the Innovare Advancement Center and Skydome, a one of a kind UAS indoor flying facility. I look forward to working with the region’s strategic partners including, the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Oneida County, City of Rome, Griffiss Institute, NYSTEC and MV EDGE, to ensure the Smart IoT Living Lab will connect and engage the community in IoT innovation.”

Senator Gillibrand has long advocated for and pushed to secure significant federal investments for Rome Lab, which is connected to the work being done at the Griffiss Institute. In the FY2023 spending package, Senator Gillibrand also secured $4.2 million to upgrade communications infrastructure at Rome Lab. Additionally, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer brought home $293,248,000 in federal funding for Rome Lab in the FY2022 spending package. In 2021, Gillibrand and Schumer played a leading role in having Rome Lab designated as the Quantum Information Science Research Center for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.