Griffo, Brindisi secure $1 million to strengthen Griffiss defense & research assets in Rome

ROME – State Senator Joseph Griffo and State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi on Monday announced $1 million in state funding they have secured that will significantly enhance several research and defense assets within the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome.

The following organizations will each receive a share of this funding, which will ultimately help the region strengthen and safeguard its military, technology and cyber-security presence by solidifying its public-private partnerships and fostering job growth.

  • Cyber Research Institute: $650,000
  • Central New York Defense Alliance: $350,000

Senator Griffo, R-Rome, said: “As we remain vigilant against an array of security threats we currently witness across the globe, we cannot overemphasize the need for cyber-security and the role it plays in the defense of New York State and our nation. Our region is on the forefront of the battle to ensure that we have the best talents and technology to defend our borders, and I am pleased that this funding will be instrumental in continuing the important work of strengthening our national security, while preserving the defense assets that are located at Griffiss. Our community is proud to host these standalone military assets and research partners, and with that support we continue to do everything we can to sustain this important presence in the Mohawk Valley.”

Assemblyman Brindisi, D-Utica, said: “This funding helps solidify the very significant work that takes place at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park strengthening cyber security. Both organizations thrive because they continue valuable collaborations that help our nation’s defense system and businesses respond to cyber threats. This funding also will significantly boost efforts to protect the Mohawk Valley’s federal employers, which have long been a very important part of our economy. The future structure of the federal Defense Department is always an unknown, but with these organizations working on our behalf, we can be assured that the Air Force Research Lab, DFAS, EADS and the Unmanned Aerial Systems test site at Griffiss continue to be in a strong position.”

CYBER RESEARCH INSTITUTE: A non-profit organization established in 2012 to provide multi-disciplinary scientific research for government and industry with an emphasis on cyber-security, as well as research that benefits the public. Its goal is also to help Central New York attract new industries, while retaining and developing the cyber-security industry that currently exists in Rome and surrounding communities.

What this funding will do: The funding secured by Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi will be used to support the Cyber Research Institute (CRI) as it helps public and private organizations confront cyber challenges so they can remain competitive, increase productivity and reduce risk. This funding is critical to supporting work in the cyber arena that ultimately maximizes public benefit, and it will allow the CRI to quickly respond to newly-identified challenges. The CRI will work directly with these organizations to understand the obstacles they face in managing their operations in ever-increasing technology environments, as well as facilitating solutions for research and development needs. CRI will accomplish this by fostering partnerships and collaborations with the exceptional cyber resources that we have, both locally and throughout New York State, in the academic, government and industry sectors.

CENTRAL NEW YORK DEFENSE ALLIANCE: A not-for-profit corporation established in 2011 to promote and leverage the significant defense ecosystem that exists in New York State, with emphasis on protecting, enhancing and strengthening the presence of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Rome Research Site (AFRL Rome) at Griffiss Business and Technology Park. This ecosystem includes public and private colleges and universities, a strong network of defense and aerospace contractors,  and technology companies. The Alliance is also the only not-for-profit corporation in the region that is positioned to legally engage in lobbying to strengthen and expand the defense industry and technology base of Central New York.

What this funding will do: This funding will be critical to the Alliance’s efforts to continue its collaboration with AFRL Rome, and to develop strategies that will support the promotion and strengthening of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the Eastern Area Defense Sector (EADS) and the FAA-designated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Test Site, each located at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. To accomplish this, the CNY Defense Alliance – together with Mohawk Valley EDGE, Griffiss Local Development Corporation, Griffiss Institute, Cyber Research Institute and CenterState CEO – proactively engages with our federal, state and local elected officials to maintain a robust advocacy effort for the region’s assets, as well as to ensure that these strategies are focused on enhancing Upstate New York’s high-tech ecosystem while creating job growth in Central New York.

Griffiss Institute President Bill Wolf said: “With the support and continued efforts of Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi, the Cyber Research Institute will be able to continue and grow the public benefit mission of protecting the cyber-based infrastructure through work with public and private organizations. Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi’s support in fostering these capabilities that accentuate our local and state cyber resources, which include universities and government-research laboratories, will help us reach our vision in promoting New York State as the leader in cyber-based research and protection.”

Central New York Defense Alliance Executive Director Mary Carol Chruscicki said: “The state funding secured by Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi for the CNY Defense Alliance recognizes the importance of the Alliance’s mission to both retain and strengthen the region’s military assets, as well as the FAA-designated New York UAS Test Site. I commend Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi’s vision and focus on the UAS, nano, cyber and information technology developments that are enabled by these organizations, and that which are essential to Central New York’s job growth and the continued development of our high-tech ecosystem.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said: “I’m pleased with the funding secured to protect, strengthen and enhance Griffiss research and cyber assets. AFRL, EADS and DFAS provide an ecosystem at Griffiss that has contributed to the growth of the Technology Park that includes colleges, technology companies, defense and aerospace contractors and more.”