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Kodak Funds Research at UMass, URochester

Photonics.com
Oct 2006
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 10, 2006 -- Eastman Kodak Co. has announced new research partnerships with the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) and the University of Rochester (U Rochester).

UMass has signed a collaborative research agreement with Kodak to further develop new imaging technologies and rapidly bring them to market, and a collaboration between  Kodak and the University of Rochester (U Rochester) will bring a national leader in artificial intelligence research to the area.

At UMass Amherst, Kodak will fund specific research projects and provide support to promising students working in related areas under a five-year, renewable research agreement.

Kodak has a long-standing relationship with the polymer science research group at UMass Amherst. The university is one of only a handful Kodak has targeted for investment as it seeks opportunities to develop technologies to enhance “infoimaging,” a hundred-billion dollar industry created by the convergence of images and information technology.

The company is already funding two research endeavors at UMass Amherst, both in the department of polymer science and engineering. One of these projects aims to enhance the color and quality of digital printing through the use of nanoparticles. Another explores the use of self-arranging polymer molecules to improve visual displays, such as camera backs.

Paul Kostecki, UMass Amherst’s vice provost for research, said, “This agreement encourages a fruitful interaction between industry and academia without the bureaucratic constraints that often encumber such relationships.”

He said the agreement should allow promising technologies to be quickly identified, developed and delivered to the public. He added that bringing the benefits of university research to society is much in line with the mission of the land grant universities. “The tradition began with agriculture and it continues today with technology,” Kostecki said.

Jim Capistran, a professor in the department of polymer science and engineering and director of the Center for UMass/Industry Research on Polymers, said, “Today’s technological pace is incredibly fast. Waiting six months to get started on something can mean that it passes you by. These sorts of relationships with industry make it easier to quickly identify promising ideas and act on them.”

AI Center Planned

At the University of Rochester, alumnus Henry Kautz will be director of Kodak’s Intelligent Systems Research Center, where he will spearhead Kodak’s drive to make the capturing, editing and storage of digital images more effective by employing artificial intelligence to make the process more intuitive for users.

He will also serve as a professor in the University of Rochester’s Department of Computer Science, where he earned his doctorate in 1987. He will continue his path-breaking research in the field of computational cognition science and will help the university establish a new center for artificial intelligence, concentrating computer science and neuroscience in the University's medical center.

Kautz comes to Rochester from the University of Washington, where he was a professor of computer science and engineering and led research into sensor-based ubiquitous computing and automated reasoning. He initiated the Assisted Cognition project, an interdisciplinary effort of the University of Washington's School of Medicine and the Department of Computer Science, which is developing assistive technology for people with cognitive disabilities. He is a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and winner of the Computers & Thought Award. He has 13 years of industrial experience at AT&T Bell Laboratories and AT&T Labs.

U Rochester announced today that the National Institutes of Health has selected its School of Medicine and Dentistry as one of 12 institutions to lead the emerging field of clinical and translational research by producing technology and methods that more efficiently and more quickly advance treatments to patients. The School of Medicine will receive $40 million from NIH over five years and will establish a Clinical and Translational Science Institute. "Translational science" refers to the steps that must be taken to move or "translate" a new detection or diagnostic method or treatment from the laboratory bench to its ultimate clinical use.

Kodak  said it will release its third quarter financial results on Oct. 31. For more information, visit: www.kodak.com


GLOSSARY
artificial intelligence
The ability of a machine to perform certain complex functions normally associated with human intelligence, such as judgment, pattern recognition, understanding, learning, planning and problem solving.
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