AFRL-RI Deputy Director Michael Hayduk on the Open Innovation Campus

Dr. Michael Hayduk, speaking on behalf of Col. Timothy Lawrence of the Air Force Research Lab – Information Directorate in Rome, spoke about the exciting potential of the Open Innovation Campus, which will open its doors in the Spring of 2020. The full text of his speech is below:

“On behalf of Col Tim Lawrence I am honored to speak here this morning and I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Picente for this opportunity.  Unfortunately Col Lawrence has another commitment and could not be here today but he sends his best and asked that I take a few minutes to discuss the Information Directorate’s commitment to the development of the ‘Open Innovation Campus’.

With our new Open Innovation Campus we have set up an environment that will allow us to bring together the best and brightest minds in the world to work on some very difficult and exciting technical challenge problems. We want to use this new infrastructure to grow a ‘Quantum Information Science and Artificial Intelligence’ hub for the Air Force, our partners, and the region. This collaborative environment and business construct is one of the strategies that we have decided to pursue and will aid our scientists and engineers in developing future transformational strategic capabilities for the Nation’s defense.

The idea for this Open Innovation Campus at AFRL was first conceived about 5 years ago.  The concept has morphed since these early discussions and gained momentum about three years ago. It would not be possible and we would not be standing here today without the strong partnership between AFRL, Oneida County, the Central NY Defense Alliance and the Griffiss Institute.  Partnering is a word that you are going to hear over and over today from all of the speakers. This is truly a great day and we thank all of our partners for turning this early vision into a reality.

I would also like to thank Dr. Grace Wang and her team at SUNY Poly and the Research Foundation for their collaboration with the Information Directorate and their partnership in the Open Innovation Campus.  AFRL and SUNY signed an ‘Educational Partnership Agreement’ this past December for the development of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Information Science Technology.  This agreement is accelerating the development of game changing technologies in quantum computing, quantum communications and machine learning.  The benefits will be numerous to the Air Force but will also greatly benefit society as a whole.  As we embrace these new technologies we will have to think differently how we educate and train the next generation of our workforce.  This agreement is setting this in motion and the Open Innovation Campus will play a major role in the development and acceleration of our talent base.  As Grace likes to say, “Not only do our respective institutions collaborate very well together but we also have a lot of fun in the process”.  I couldn’t agree more and we are very thankful for Dr. Wang’s leadership and vision.

I would like to acknowledge the AFRL team who over these past three years have persevered and overcome several obstacles in the development of the Open Innovation Campus.  In addition to Col Lawrence who has provided amazing leadership in his short time in Rome this includes our Chief Scientist Dr. Paul Antonik, Dr. Bryant Wysocki, Associate Director and Technical Advisor and Ms. Karen Roth, Chief Engineer of the Information Directorate.”