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Collaborative Spirit

The University’s Information Technology Services (ITS) received a Best of New York award for a collaboration tool designed to share health disparities related research and scholarship with SUNY Downstate Medical Center. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 16, 2014) — The University’s Information Technology Services (ITS) received a Best of New York award today for a collaboration tool designed to share health disparities-related research and scholarship with SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Vice President and Chief Information Officer Simeon Ananou accepted the award, which was presented by the Center for Digital Government at a reception at the Hilton in Albany.

The award, Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations, recognized the University’s Health Disparities and Inequalities Collaboration Platform (HDIC), a virtual research community. HDIC enables faculty, researchers and clinicians at UAlbany and SUNY Downstate to communicate, access real-time information and share ideas and resources to strengthen research and funding pursuits focused on health disparities.

“This initiative is a demonstration of the University’s commitment to apply our resources to support teaching, learning and research to solve real life problems,” Ananou said. “The collaboration platform presents an opportunity to participate in the identification, reduction — and hopefully someday, the eradication — of health disparities for minorities.”

The collaboration platform is a one-stop destination to develop scientific and research proposals and to access resources and information. It includes federal funding opportunity announcements; faculty, researcher and clinician profiles; publications and papers; federal awards databases; national data analytic resources and a communications and notification portal.

While the HDIC platform is still in its infancy, it has tremendous potential to be replicated for other research communities in the future, including atmospheric and environmental sciences, life sciences and biomedical research, advanced data analytics, forensics and cybersecurity — opening doors to advanced research and scientific collaboration.

“This transformational platform is for the first time providing our faculties with access to real-time information, searchable researcher profiles, funding opportunity announcements, a synchronous communications portal, a collaborative online working environment, a library of disciplinary-relevant resources, and a range of other tools and applications — all located and integrated in one, cloud-based community,” said James Dias, UAlbany’s vice president for research.

Dias thanked Ananou and the ITS team, SUNY Downstate Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice Dean for Research Mark Stewart, and the UAlbany and SUNY Downstate health disparities teams, led by Lawrence Schell and Dr. Moro Salifu.

“The combined exemplary service, creativity, hard work and commitment to building the Health Disparities and Inequalities Collaboration Platform will no doubt enhance the research collaborative environment for our faculties and scholars across our universities, while striving to eliminate health disparities and inequality which is afflicting millions of minority and underserved individuals every day,” he said.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.