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What are SMARTT Labs and SMARTT Pods?

Lisa Anderson, Tukatech operator, at The Accelerator’s New Windsor SMARTT Pod as she confers with Jim Melo on a bag design.

SMARTT Labs

 

T-SEC’s recent focus has been on exploring innovative partnerships with entrepreneurs and regional manufacturers, as well as with regional community colleges and economic development agencies, principally The Orange County Accelerator.

 

The goal of these labs is twofold: to enable manufacturers and entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs and to overcome the current skills gap in high-tech manufacturing. We want to help create a workforce pipeline equipped with the skills that are in demand in Hudson Valley high-tech manufacturing companies.

 

Our other goal is to extend support to startup entrepreneurs, especially in the area of textiles, food and beverage, software development, and creative maker businesses, such as the type found selling their wares on Etsy.

 

To meet these goals T-SEC has accessed a New York State SUNY 2020 grant, as well as capital funding from Empire State Development to create the unique concept of  SMARTT Labs. The acronym stands for SUNY Manufacturing Alliance for Research and Technology Transfer.

 

Essentially, T-SEC created a lab network distributed among both community colleges and manufacturers ( facilitated by economic development agencies, principally NYS Empire State Development and The Accelerator) to help both schools and manufacturers overcome the current skills gap in manufacturing.

 

By offering access to costly technology, skills training, and the nurturing of relationships between employers and future employees -the students- we believe we can truly be innovation partners.

 

Veterans and back-to-work candidates are also encouraged to participate in the many programs and opportunities associated with SMARTT Labs.

 

We locate sophisticated tech equipment at partner community colleges as well as at businesses throughout the Hudson Valley. The equipment we provide is usually used to test and measure the design of an assembly engineers created, and are also useful to teach engineering students, apprentices, and technicians.  For example, we provided a coordinate measuring machine, a CMM, and housed it onsite at Fala Technologies, a T-SEC Featured Partner. It is used, in part, to teach classes offered through SUNY Ulster community college.

 

Our equipment is available for all Hudson Valley regional manufacturers, entrepreneurs, faculty, students to use in product testing and research, as well as workforce development-centered education.

 

 

Entry of Haverstraw 3D printing center

Entry way at our 3D Printing Center SMARTT Lab at the Haverstraw Center, a SUNY Rockland mini campus.

 

SMARTT PODs

 

Complementary to SMARTT Labs, the SMARTT PODs are “production on demand centers” where startups and small businesses can locate their production facilities in fitted-up, co-working spaces available at below-market, affordable rates.

 

The spaces also offer access to equipment that an entrepreneur would likely not be able to afford, such as commercial kitchen canning and cookware equipment, or sewing machines and pattern-making technology.

 

SMARTT PODS are currently located at two main sites throughout Orange County: The Orange County Accelerator’s Middletown Campus and its New Windsor Campus. A third campus focused on textiles is currently in development in Newburgh.