Research & Entrepreneurship Week to Highlight UAlbany's Innovation and Creativity

Three women in in green lab coats stand surround by green plants in a greenhouse, with the one in the center pointing with a pen in hand to something in the foreground.
Professor Rabi Musah of the Chemistry Department, center, works with graduate students. Some of Musah's work focuses on the forensic chemistry of psychoactive plants. (UAlbany Digital Media)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 28, 2023) — The University at Albany will host a weeklong celebration of research, creative expression and start-up culture Oct. 16-20 with UAlbany’s inaugural Research & Entrepreneurship Week.

Five days of events, beginning with the inaugural SUNY AI Symposium on Monday, Oct. 16, will highlight the impactful work happening across UAlbany’s campuses as well as the extraordinary facilities and staff available to support research faculty, staff and students.

A logo that says UAlbany Research & Entrepreneurship Week with a large icon of a lightbulb and several smaller icons depicting scientific, creative and technological items like computers and a painter's palette.

The second day will feature a Research and Creative Excellence Open House anchored by tours of UAlbany labs and creative spaces as well as a keynote by Professor Daniel Goodwin of the Department of Art & Art History titled “Art Across and Between Disciplines: Teaching & Learning with Museum Exhibitions.”

“At UAlbany, scholarly excellence is routine, but that means we risk losing perspective on the groundbreaking scientific and creative activity happening on our campus every day,” said Thenkurussi “Kesh” Kesavadas, UAlbany vice president for research and economic development. “That’s why it’s imperative that we pause once a year to reflect on the innovative scholarship of our faculty and staff as well as the work we need to do to strengthen and expand our scholarly output even further.”

Registration is required for many R&E Week events, and a full agenda is available on the R&E Week website.

People that Make Innovation Possible  

Two students in silver heat protective silver suits and face shields work with molten metal in a sculpture studio foundry.
Two students pour molten metal into a form in a foundry in the Boor Sculpture Studio. (UAlbany Digital Media)

R&E Week will highlight not just researchers but the administrative staff at UAlbany and the SUNY Research Foundation who play crucial roles in helping secure and manage grants and who help faculty navigate the complex process of protecting and commercializing intellectual property.

“Commercialization is a key link in the chain that connects publicly funded research to the public good,” Kesavadas said. “Top-tier science is not enough if the discoveries never leave the lab to help people in the real world.”

Other marquee events scheduled for R&E Week include:

  • BioInnovation Forum 2023, Wednesday, Oct. 18 in partnership with Innovate 518
  • A Research Resources Fair, Thursday, Oct. 19 highlighting the facilities and other resources available to faculty and staff to advance their research

The week will conclude on Friday, Oct. 20 with an Innovation & Entrepreneurship Fair, including an elevator pitch competition, a panel discussion on obtaining start-up funding and a recognition ceremony for faculty, staff and student inventors.

UAlbany faculty and staff, backed by the Division for Research and Economic Development, have increased the University’s Research Foundation expenditures by 21 percent, or $18.9 million, over the last three fiscal years, answering Gov. Hochul’s challenge to double SUNY’s research and cement its reputation as the premier public university system in the nation.

With more than 40 percent of its undergraduates identifying as Black or Latino, UAlbany is among the most diverse public R1 institutions in the nation.

A SUNY-wide Focus on AI

Monday’s Inaugural SUNY AI Symposium will convene researchers from across SUNY and will feature a panel discussion examining the role of state government in developing policies around artificial intelligence.

That discussion will be followed by a series of lightning talks on AI research from UAlbany, Binghamton University, Stony Brook University, Upstate Medical University, Downstate Health Sciences University, and the University at Buffalo.

UAlbany was chosen to host the inaugural SUNY AI Symposium as the University’s AI Plus initiative continues to gain steam and national attention.

Last month, the University welcomed 40 new faculty members, including 18 in disciplines related to artificial intelligence. Those 18 faculty members are among 27 total in AI-related disciplines that the University expects to hire this year, including an inaugural director of a soon-to-be-launched AI research Institute — the largest such cluster hire in UAlbany history.

The University’s efforts to integrate foundational and applied learning about artificial intelligence across all academic disciplines is an institution-wide push to ensure every graduate is prepared to live and work in a world radically changed by technology in the coming decades regardless of their major.