Message from the Founding Director
SPIR: University-Industry partnership!
The success of Stony Brook University's SPIR program is the direct outcome of the professionalism and dedication of engineering student interns who have worked on the overwhelming majority of the SPIR projects and the quality of mentoring and guidance they have received from both company engineers and professors.
SPIR has sponsored industrial internships in software & IT, electronics, microprocessor design, medical devices and instrumentation, mechanical design, rapid prototyping, financial engineering, materials development and evaluation as well as biomedical engineering. Since the SPIR program's inception in July 1994, Stony Brook University's SPIR program has worked with more than 490 companies, and conducted more than 3,110 projects, creating more than 3,000 internship opportunities for our students. Our industrial partners estimate that this has resulted in approximately 14,419 jobs being created or retained. Since 2001 SPIR has leveraged $10.2M of New York State cost sharing to help companies win $105.9M in federal research funding from SBIR and STTR small business programs.
The high technology market place is extremely competitive and is served well by many new start up companies that have developed cutting edge technology that needs further development. These companies often seek to develop partnerships with research universities in order to access costly research facilities and to recruit new employees. Engineering interns offer a company a low cost source of highly skilled professionals, capable of very valuable work and who can draw upon the advice of their professors when needed, as well as university research facilities. Not surprisingly, the best student interns are often retained for full time employment after graduation. New York State greatly benefits from retention of our graduates that have taken advantage of the cost effective SUNY experience. Students benefit from SPIR supported internships by learning to overcome the technical challenges they have faced working on industrial problems as well as by learning to accommodate to the rigors of the industrial environment.
Future employers are growing to expect the best graduates to have successfully completed an industrial internship or summer engineering job during their student years at an ABET accredited institution. We are convinced that the New York State SPIR program has for the last 21 years served well both small companies and engineering students and in the process contributed significantly to economic development in New York State.