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Developers, faculty connect at Polytechnic’s ATIC


April 08, 2008

The newly named Advanced Technology Innovation Center (ATIC) at the Polytechnic campus continues to engage developers looking for ways to test ideas or create functional prototypes. With a sizeable list of partners already, ATIC recently acquired further funding to develop special three-dimensional software for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Formerly known as the Advanced Technology Innovation Collaboratory (the Arizona Board of Regents gave the project “center status” last January), ATIC works as a university center, in existence for less than two years, that connects faculty with research and development needs outside of ASU.

While ATIC helps facilitate connections between university and outside researchers, one of the most exciting services this new center provides is prototyping.

“Prototype phase is an important element of the design and manufacturing cycle, whether it is electronics, mechanical systems or computer software,” says Anshuman Razdan, ATIC’s director. “Prototypes help detect potential problems, give early performance evaluations and also allow customer feedback whether it is the form or function.”

DHS is one partner that has invested significant funds to ensure that its ideas come to life. DHS granted $500,000 to ASU and its partner Kutta Inc. to develop Archi-Up and three-dimenional building visualization software (3DBVT) that aids first responders to identify the structure and layout, in three dimensions, of a building in emergency situations. At ASU, it is a joint collaboration between the I3DEA lab at Poly and PRISM on Tempe campus. It also showcases ATIC’s ability to create collaborations across departments and campuses to respond to the external partners.

ATIC is seeking an additional $500,000 in funding from Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) to help commercialize the program.

Razdan says prototype development is just one of several research possibilities at ATIC.

“Becoming a center allows for more visibility to do more projects, small and large,” Razdan says. “Hopefully, it will motivate more faculty to see ATIC as an avenue to help them engage with external partners, and immerse undergraduate and graduate students in research enterprise, internships and exposure to real-world projects. These are all essential elements to get our students and faculty to be competitive in the fast-changing world of technology.”

ATIC has several sponsors and partners, including the National Science Foundation, the Army, In-Q-Tel, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and ACME Electric Corp.

Projects at the center include the development of an image-guided surgical toolkit, in collaboration with Georgetown University, sponsored by NIH, and super performing nanostructured components for fuel cells, sponsored by Oceanit corporation.

For more information on ATIC, visit the Web site http://atic.asu.edu.