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Alan Doctor- CUNY Center for Advanced Technology

March 20, 2009 @ 12:00 am EDT


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Alan Doctor was our speaker at LIMBA this morning. Alan is the Director for Business Development at CUNY Center for Advanced Technology. The unit assists businesses that are developing new techniques.


Mr. Doctor outlined the requirements that allow a business to get assistance. The economic impact is what is important. If it can be shown that a large economic impact can be made, than the chances of getting help is increased. For each $1 provided the return has been $30.


There are 15 separate units of CUNY-CAT around the state. Each one has a separate focus. The one that Alan Doctor is affiliated specializes in photonics. Projects range from the mundane to the exotic. He mentioned a project that is developing “laser tissue welding,” a process the promises plastic surgery without scars.


When CUNY-CAT works with a client company they find an appropriate university to work with. The level of assistance they give a company can be substantial. It usually is about 50%. For small companies it may be as high as 80% while a very large company may only get 20%


CUNY is the 3rd largest university in the country and the largest city university.


SPIR (Small Business Innovative Research) when providing funds does so in phases. In phase I provides $100,000 to flesh out a good idea. Phase II provides $1,000,000 for product development. The third phase is commercialization. To be selected for Phase I, a panel rates the idea. Because there are usually more requests than money to fund them, the most promising technologies will survive, and be funded. Having successfully shown the viability of an idea, getting Phase II is a lot easier.