University of Rochester Professor Mark F. Bocko has become the new director of the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences (CEIS), a New York State-funded center that stimulates high-tech business growth by providing support for research collaboration between university researchers and area businesses.
Paul Ballentine, a clean energy business consultant, will become the associate director for business development.
CEIS is one of 15 Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs) funded by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). The center works to stimulate business growth and strengthen the economy by matching researchers at the University of Rochester and other New York institutions with regional businesses, including smaller companies that seek to expand their product and service offerings by partnering in innovation with CEIS academic institutions.
The businesses benefit by receiving access to cutting-edge research and technology, while the academic faculty are given the chance to transfer their technologies to industry creating a direct economic impact in the real world.
Over the past five years, CEIS has reported a $484 million impact on the state's economy through increasing revenue, creating new jobs, saving companies money, and spurring spending on new equipment and infrastructure.
In addition to being a professor of electrical and computer engineering, Bocko is an entrepreneur. He is the founder of ADVIS Inc., a rapidly growing high-tech startup company located in downtown Rochester, and also has served as a consultant for several sensor companies.
As a principal investigator on multiple projects sponsored by CEIS, Bocko's projects have had more than $7 million in documented economic impact with New York State companies in the past four years. He is the author of more than 100 technical papers and has eight patents granted and five pending.
Ballentine joins CEIS from Austin, Texas, where he has been helping new companies get started in the clean energy market. He is the founder and principal in Solennium, a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart grid. He is also the co-founder of the Solar Energy Entrepreneurs Network, an organization with more than 1,500 members. Ballentine earned his doctorate at the University of Rochester and was one of the founding members of CVC Partners.
Bocko and Ballentine succeed CEIS's past director and associate director, Gaurav Sharma and Barry Watkins.