The following press release popped up in my mailbox this afternoon. SIEMENS AND RIT ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP Collaboration Will Enhance Research and Education in Safety Based Manufacturing ATLANTA & ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 24, 2008 -- Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. today announced a new research and education partnership, which seeks to enhance real world training for engineering students, while also improving the safety and design of automated systems used in manufacturing. As part of the agreement, Siemens is donating $250,000 in hardware, software and monetary contributions to RIT's Advanced Systems Integration Laboratory within the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. "Siemens is a worldwide leader in the development of automation controls and we are very proud to be selected to assist them in advancing their technology," notes Sudhakar Paidy, RIT professor of industrial and systems engineering and director of the Advanced Systems Integration Lab. "This partnership will also enable us to greatly enhance the education and research opportunities for RIT's engineering students both in the class room and the lab." "Education has always been a priority at Siemens in the United States and across the globe, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Dennis Sadlowski, president and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. "This partnership with RIT is an opportunity for Siemens to not only support an outstanding educational program, but also benefit from the knowledge and innovation of the students and faculty at RIT." Paidy's multi-disciplinary team is utilizing the Siemens donation to build four experimental manufacturing set-ups, which will be incorporated into two courses, Machine Design within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Advanced System Integration in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering. The team is also working to improve the integration of safety controls into automated systems, in an effort to enhance industrial safety and reduce costs associated with the equipment. "Ultimately, we hope to create a series of undergraduate senior design projects and master's research efforts that will not only enhance RIT's educational mission, but also assist Siemens in improving the design and performance of its manufacturing systems," said Paidy. Way to go, Siemens! American manufacturing innovation is dead only when we say it is and give up.