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SUNY Research Foundation Reaches 60th Anniversary

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SUNYResearchFoundationLogoThe Research Foundation of the State University of New York marked 60 years of supporting SUNY research on February 15. Established in 1951, “to assist in developing and increasing the facilities of the State University of New York to provide more extensive educational opportunities for and service to its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and to the people of the State of New York,” the Research Foundation has advanced to become the largest most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country.

“Congratulations to the Research Foundation on reaching this milestone of longevity and success,” said SUNY Chancellor and Research Foundation Board of Directors Chair Nancy L. Zimpher. “Innovation is the foundation for the 21st-century jobs New York State needs to be the economic leader it must be. The Research Foundation’s role in supporting SUNY in our mission to revitalize the Empire State is more critical than ever. With the RF, we will continue to assemble the assets needed to move New York forward. With the RF and SUNY strategic goals clearly aligned, the Research Foundation serves as a key driver of the economic engine that is SUNY.”

“60 years ago the Research Foundation was established to serve SUNY, and 60 years later we’re doing just that,” said John J. O’Connor, President and CEO of the Research Foundation and Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation for SUNY. “With challenges and opportunities having increased at an exponential rate, we remain true to our mission to receive, hold, and administer grants, and to finance the conduct of studies and research in any and all fields of the arts and sciences in keeping with the educational purposes of SUNY.”

In 1951, the Research Foundation signed its first contract for $32,000 to support research on wood processing and paper making at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Today, the Research Foundation supports more than $1 billion in SUNY research activity annually and is a major player in the development of entrepreneurial activity and economic development across New York State. The RF has announced the creation of a Technology Accelerator Fund to initiate more entrepreneurial activity across the state.

At the core of this activity and the SUNY research community are the research sponsors and the SUNY faculty and students who translate their expert research into innovation and invention. Examples of familiar SUNY discovery and invention include nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the supermarket bar code scanner, timelapse photography of forestry subjects, isolation of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, the first implantable heart pacemaker, and many others.

“The Research Foundation’s customers are the sponsoring agencies of the research grants we receive,” said John H. Marburger III, Vice President for Research and Professor of Physics at Stony Brook. “They demand accountability and expensive and detailed regulatory compliance. The RF helps SUNY research faculty effectively serve sponsors by providing an infrastructure of support that allows researchers to dedicate their time to research.”

For more information about the SUNY Research Foundation, visit

The Research Foundation’s Web site now highlights a SUNY research fact of the day. Stories will also be posted on the RF’s Facebook page.

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