I attended the Rogers Corporation ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the company’s new Innovation Center in Burlington, Massachusetts last week. More than 125 government officials, community leaders, technology company representatives and other guests were on hand to celebrate and tour the Center located in Northeastern University’s George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security. I live in Burlington and proud that our town has so many leading edge companies and research centers located here.
As described in their release, Rogers’ Innovation Center is a unique academic-industry partnership focused on building closer linkages between academic research, industry know-how, and commercialization of research.The Center’s goal is to develop breakthrough innovations in advanced materials to address global challenges for clean energy, safety and security, and internet connectivity. Rogers’ expertise closely aligns with Northeastern’s focus on use-inspired research in health, security and sustainability. It is great to see this kind of collaboration between companies and academia as I think the benefits are typically underestimated. Keynote speakers for the dedication event included Rogers’ President and CEO, Bruce Hoechner and Northeastern University’s President, Dr. Joseph Aoun.?The celebration also honored special guest, Dr. George Kostas, the benefactor who brought the Kostas Institute to life through his vision and financial support.
Rogers choose to work with Northeastern because they bring to the partnership a broad range of materials research expertise in areas as diverse as super strong carbon fibers and metamaterials designed for invisibility cloaking. "The partnership between Northeastern and Rogers Corporation is truly innovative," said Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun."By housing a corporation’s research center within a university facility, we’ve created an unprecedented opportunity for symbiosis, collaboration, and the cross-pollination of ideas. Partnerships like these are a linchpin to maximizing the impact of use-inspired research on society."
The space occupies 4,000-square-feet of the 70,000 square-foot Kostas Institute, Rogers’ Innovation Center includes shared laboratories, conference rooms, and office space designed to connect Rogers’ team of R&D and marketing professionals with Northeastern researchersand students.?The Center has an open collaboration approach while providing security and restricted access to protect intellectual property and confidentiality of new products. The partnership will also provide educational opportunities through student research co-ops, sponsored R&D programs, and other industry-classroom interactions. I met a friend of mine from the Macom days who had recently signed on with Rogers to work in the facility. We got a tour of the facility which is full of glass walls and windows to promote the open atmosphere.
The mission of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security is to advance resilience in the face of 21st century risks. The institute will foster collaborative, use-inspired research aimed at expanding the capacity of the nation and its communities, critical systems, and infrastructure to withstand, respond to, and recover from manmade and natural catastrophes. For more information, visit www.northeastern.edu/kostas. I hope to make some follow up visits to see how their research efforts pay off.