Sloan Printing Industry Center to be Established at RIT
Monday, December 17, 2001
Rochester Institute of Technology joins an elite membership of universities through a new partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Through this affiliation, RIT will launch the Sloan Printing Industry Center, announces RIT President Albert Simone. "This innovative think tank for the printing industry marks a crowning moment for our printing school," states Simone. "We’re grateful that the Sloan Foundation has chosen RIT to foster cutting edge analysis and idea exchange with industry partners, an historic focus of RIT’s mission." RIT becomes the second university in New York state to host a Sloan Industry Center and the 13th nationwide. The Sloan Foundation chooses an academic community for an Industry Center based on its expertise in a particular discipline. The center generates a pipeline of data and observations that flows between researchers and industry representatives. The resulting analysis helps to target what customers want and how companies can deliver upon those demands. "Together with their partners in industry, Sloan Industry Center researchers work to increase knowledge of the complex influences that shape business enterprises, from new technologies to workforce issues, to the impact of globalization," explains Ralph E. Gomory, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation president. "At RIT, our focus will be on the concerns of the printing industry, particularly in reference to workforce and training issues, and addressing them through aggressive educational outreach and research initiatives," says Joan Stone, RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences dean."We cannot minimize the significance of the printed word on civilization, and our mission will emphasize the long-term relevance of the printing industry," Stone continues. Under the direction of Frank Cost, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences associate dean, and Patricia Sorce, professor of marketing and former associate dean at RIT’s College of Business, the new center will create a forum for printing companies and associations nationwide and help build the partnerships needed to sustain growth and profitability in a rapidly changing market. Faculty and graduate students will examine such issues related to the growth of digital technology and the impact of new electronic media—including DVD, e-books and the Internet. The center will disseminate its findings by publishing, teaching and sponsoring conferences, workshops and symposiums. "The printing industry has an acute need for a center dedicated to developing a rational understanding of opportunities for business expansion, technology adoption and cost reduction," states Cost. "In some cases, new technology is key." RIT is a world leader in graphic communications education and applied research. Through its School of Printing Management and Sciences, RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences offers expertise in graphic media, printing systems, and traditional and electronic publishing. The new center will partner with RIT’s College of Business, emphasizing Sloan’s long-standing tradition of applying a broad multidisciplinary approach to industry investigations and findings. "The strategic challenge of coping with technological change and the globalization of markets in the printing industry can be an exemplar for other industries facing similar issues," explains Sorce. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded RIT $500,000 over three years for the creation of the Sloan Printing Industry Center. RIT has committed $2 million to the center’s operation, and 16 charter industry members have each pledged $25,000 for year one. The center becomes the latest example of RIT’s First in Class initiative, enhancing the university’s commitment toward collaborative opportunities with industry and government. The Sloan Industry Centers program began in 1990. Since then, well over 500 faculty members and hundreds of graduate students have taken part. Other universities hosting Sloan Industry Centers include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon Univiversity, Columbia University, the University of Minnesota, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the University of Texas at Austin, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of California at Berkeley.