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ConocoPhillips' gift of up to $2M creates OSU sensor facility, boosts Ponca City

Monday, February 6, 2006

Oklahoma State University and the City of Ponca City announced Monday a far-reaching gift of a research building and up to $2 million from ConocoPhillips to create a national sensor testing center and provide a significant economic boost to north-central Oklahoma.

With this leadership gift of funding and facilities, OSU will establish the University Multispectral Laboratory in a 70,000-square-foot building at the ConocoPhillips complex in Ponca City. The laboratory will provide services to federal, state, local, and commercial organizations.

“We’re delighted to contribute to this important OSU testing facility, which will also provide significant economic benefits to the community,” said George Paczkowski, ConocoPhillips vice president of Downstream Technology. “This laboratory will not only benefit OSU and support our nation’s defense and security efforts but will also have a significant economic development impact on Ponca City and north-central Oklahoma.” 

OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly said, “ConocoPhillips continues to raise the bar with this gift that will strengthen OSU’s position as a leader in the critical area of sensor and sensor-related technology research. This is a tremendous boost to our efforts as a research institution, as well as the regional and statewide economy. ConocoPhillips is OSU’s largest corporate donor, and we appreciate all they have done for our university.”

“Ponca City is elated about this latest partnership with our city, ConocoPhillips and Oklahoma State University,” Ponca City Mayor Dick Stone said. “This is an incredible opportunity that will have a significant impact not only on our community but our entire region.”

When fully operational, UML will employ 80 scientists, engineers and support personnel with an annual payroll of approximately $13.8 million. According to the Ponca City Development Authority, the projected economic impact on the surrounding area will be $120 million over 10 years.

“This is an extraordinary gift that will elevate our work and opportunities,” said Stephen McKeever, OSU vice president for research and technology transfer. “The UML will fulfill a national need for a single sensor testing and evaluation facility by enabling the rapid transfer of innovative technologies from the laboratory to the end user. And, it opens the door to secure future federal funding.”

OSU’s leading-edge researchers already collaborate with government, industry and other universities to develop innovative sensor and sensor-related technologies for commercialization. 

OSU's developments include bacterial sensors, biomedical sensors, environmental sensors, optical sensors, and sensors for homeland security and defense applications. UML will create additional interdisciplinary opportunities for faculty and students working on sensor and sensor-related research projects.

UML will be managed by AMTI, a government contractor based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with offices in Ponca City since 2003 and a leading supplier of professional and technical services. AMTI has unique capabilities and an outstanding track record in defense, homeland security and intelligence analysis. 

“AMTI offers the technical, tactical and management expertise needed to organize and operate the UML,” McKeever said. “AMTI personnel have managed many programs related to sensor and detector system development, and we look forward to what we can accomplish together.”

Tim Reynolds, AMTI's director of government affairs, said, “We want to commend ConocoPhillips for this tremendous leadership gift, for its confidence in our company and Oklahoma State University, and for its longstanding commitment to Ponca City.”

Norm Carley, president, CEO and founder of AMTI, said, “We are proud the technology developed by UML will benefit the war-fighter and our national security as a whole. OSU maintains a talented staff, which we are pleased to augment with our corporate personnel and expertise. This partnership will positively impact the Oklahoma economy and the safety of the nation. Needless to say, AMTI is very excited about this opportunity.”

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