CAT Governance


CUNY CAT Executive Committee


The Executive Committee (EC) of the CUNY Center for Advanced Technology in Photonics Applications (CUNY CAT) provides oversight of CAT operations and management for the CAT Director and the CUNY Vice Chancellor of Research.

EC members are selected by the CAT Director and the Vice Chancellor.

The CAT Director meets with the EC two times each year to plan and/or review the CAT budget, including project cost share, laboratory costs, and other programs, and proposed activities, staffing, etc.  The EC makes final decisions on the project cost share and match rate for each project.

The following process is used by the EC to exercise its oversight responsibilities for match rates used when it determines project cost share:

  • The CAT Director will provide the EC with an explanation and detailed information on the traditional relationship between allocation of project cost share funds and the performance metrics used for CAT assessment by our funding agency, NYSTAR, the NY State Department of Economic Development, Division of Science, Technology and Innovation.  The Director and EC will develop guidelines for project cost share for the year that are expected to allow the CAT to meet its main objectives of creating economic impact for New York State and serving the CUNY Photonics research community.  The EC will vote and approve the final version of the guidelines as well as the final  match rate for each project.  These guidelines are published on the CAT website, and may include different matching rates for large companies versus small companies, continuing projects versus new projects, projects that are expected to, or have yielded large economic impact, etc.
  • Upon commencement of discussions between the CAT, a company and a proposed PI/CoPI, the CAT Deputy Director will email a request to the PI/CoPI to certify that the project complies with the University’s Conflict of Interest (COI) policy and that a plan for addressing any COI issues has been approved by the appropriate research compliance officer (RCO).  At the start of each FY, each PI/CoPI of a continuing project will be requested to provide the same certification.  No cost sharing funds will be disbursed to a new CAT project subaccount until the CAT has received this certification from the PI/CoPI.
  • In accordance with the CUNY Conflict of Interest Policy, if any member of the CAT Executive Committee is a PI for a CAT project or is a principal of a company with a CAT Sponsored Research Agreement, that member will be recused from participating in any decisions concerning that particular project.

CUNY CAT Executive Committee 

Brooklyn College:

Dr. Lesley Davenport
Professor, Chemistry


Dr. Lucas Parra
Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Alan Lyons
Professor, Chemistry

Hunter College:

Dr. Sean Ahearn
Professor, Dept. of Geography
Director – Center for Advanced Research of spatial Information (CARSI)

Lehman College:

Dr. Edward J. Kennelly
Professor, Biology

NYC College of Technology:

Dr. Pamela Brown
Associate Provost

Queens College:

Dr. Igor Kuskovsky
Professor, Physics

York College:

Dr. Deb Chakravarti
Professor, Chemistry
Director – FDA/York College Partnership


Dr.Vinod Menon
Professor, Physics
Director – CUNY CAT

Dr. Myron Wecker
Deputy Director – CUNY CAT

CUNY CAT Industry Advisory Board

The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) consists of scientists, engineers and executive management with senior level industry experience in areas of technology related to the mission of the CUNY CAT.  Members are appointed by the CAT Director, and serve for a renewable term of two years.  The IAB meets once per year.

The IAB has a critical role in assuring the effectiveness of the CUNY CAT.  Members of the Board, collectively and individually, provide the CAT leadership with current, real-world perspectives on industry’s needs for advanced technology to meet emerging and future requirements for new products and applications.

The Board contributes to the effectiveness of the CAT by identifying new areas for collaboration and by promoting the capabilities of the CAT through corporate communications and at industry events.

In addition, the IAB reviews on-going programs of the CAT to ensure that they contribute to the fulfillment of our mission statement.

Board members provide the CAT with insights and assistance in many areas of planning and operations, such as:
For their industry sector(s):
Identify new research thrusts and applications
Identify forecasted science and engineering workforce requirements
Identify industry trends and challenges
For their company:
Identify opportunities for collaborative R&D
Identify opportunities for employee training (on site and on campus)
Identify opportunities for pre-doctoral student internships
Identify support available for specific research projects and/or technology start-ups
For the University:
Identify job opportunities for graduates
Identify sources of funding for joint research projects
Identify surplus equipment which may enhance our laboratory facilities

The IAB provides perspective and advice and does not make final decisions concerning CAT operations, management or match rates.  Because of this, there is no potential conflict of interest and no recusal process for the IAB.

Membership - Industry Advisory Board 2014-15
Adrian Devasahayam, Ph.D.
V.P. Optical products
Veeco Corp.
Supratik Guha, Ph.D.
Director, Physical Sciences
Thomas J. Watson Research Center
IBM Corp.

Bruce Lincoln
Executive Co-Producer
Silicon Harlem

Dan Nolan, Ph.D.
Executive Research Fellow
Corning, Inc.

Francesco Pellegrino, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist
Maritime Systems and Sensors
Lockheed Martin Corp.

Kinda Younes
Executive Director
ITAC (Industrial + Technology Assistance Corp.) 

Ex-Officio Members:
Vinod Menon, Ph.D.
Director, CUNY CAT
Myron Wecker, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, CUNY CAT


All CUNY CAT personnel, including CAT staff and PI/CoPIs of CAT projects, are expected to comply with the University’s Conflict of Interest policy and associated Research Compliance policies, procedures and documents.

Current policies, procedures and documents can be accessed below:

CUNY Research Compliance Policy and Information

CUNY Conflict of Interest Policy and Information

Initiating a New CAT Project

Qualifying a Project to Receive Support from the CUNY CAT  

Companies wanting to fund research and development projects at CUNY must negotiate a Sponsored Research Agreement with the Research Foundation of CUNY (RFCUNY).

To be eligible for CAT support, R&D projects must be funded by a for-profit company with a presence in New York State, and must result in Economic Impact within the State.  For further information about Economic Impact, see below.

Prior to receiving approval for a CAT project, the PI must submit a completed Project Summary Template, with project title, company contact information, statement of work, and quantified estimate of anticipated economic impact (EI).

All approved CAT projects will be eligible for reduced F&A charges of 15%.  CAT projects with significant EI will be eligible to receive cost sharing funds from the CAT (“CAT match”).

Before receiving cost sharing funds from the CAT, the PI must certify that he/she has read and is in compliance with CUNY’s Conflict of Interest policy.

The CAT Executive Committee will be advised of each proposed new CAT project.  If any member of the Committee is a PI for a CAT project or is a principal of a company with a CAT project, that member will be recused from participating in any decisions concerning that particular project.

Economic Impact

NY State requires that the CAT report annually on economic impact for the duration of each project, plus five years after the completion of the project. Thus, in preparing an economic impact projection, if, for example, the planned project is a two-year effort, provide the economic impact projection for a seven-year period. After a project begins, CUNY CAT staff will contact the company in July of each year to request a letter updating and documenting the economic impact for the fiscal year just concluded. Continued CAT funding of an active multi-year project may be dependent on the company reporting economic impact consistent with the forecast submitted in the Project Summary Template.

New York State economic impact is defined as benefits accruing to one or more locations of the company domiciled in New York State. If the company has locations in other states or countries, benefits to those locations do not count toward the project’s economic impact projections or reporting. New York recognizes the following categories of economic impact:

  • New Jobs (#)
  • Jobs Retained (#)
  • Increased Revenues ($)
  • Cost Savings ($)
  • Funds Acquired ($)
  • Capital Expenditures ($)

These categories are defined as follows:

New Jobs

Newly-created positions at the company’s New York State locations which have resulted from the CAT project.

Jobs Retained

Jobs that otherwise would have been eliminated either through staff reductions or relocation of operations out of New York State, but which were retained as a consequence of the availability of the CAT program and the results of the CAT project.

Increased Revenues

New revenues from increased sales of a new or improved product or service that resulted from a CAT project. For economic impact projections on new projects, provide data on the anticipated market for the product or service, projected rate of market penetration by the company, and information on the methodology for arriving at these estimates.

Cost Savings

Savings realized by the company as a result of working with the PI and CUNY CAT. Possible sources of cost savings include, but are not limited to: cost reductions resulting from performing R&D through at CUNY, as compared to expenditures that would be necessary for in-house R&D efforts; cost savings from implementation of improved processes that were developed during the project (e.g., reduced manufacturing costs, lower incidence of workplace injuries and worker’s compensation claims, etc.); reduced training costs by hiring former CUNY students with experience on the project; reduced costs from labor performed by CUNY students participating in an internship or co-op program at a company location. For economic impact projections on new projects, these and similar cost saving factors should be estimated.

Funds Acquired

This may include Federal funds acquired by the company through grants and contracts sponsored by Federal agencies, and private capital invested in the company from a variety of sources (e.g., VC funds, angel investors), as a consequence of the sponsored project at CUNY. In preparing the economic impact projection, cite specific projected sources of funding (e.g., “CUNY researchers will help the company prepare an SBIR proposal, with potential funding of $150K,” or “VC firm [so-and-so] has expressed interest in investing $4-6M in the company, but has made this funding contingent on a successful proof-of-concept demonstration.”).

Capital Expenditures

This category represents expenditures by the company that will be made in New York State. If successful implementation of the results of a project will enable the company to acquire or build a new facility in New York State, or to renovate, upgrade and/or purchase capital equipment for an existing facility in New York State, this counts as economic impact under this category. For economic impact projections, an estimate of such capital expenditures is sufficient.

Methodology for Assigning CAT Project Cost Sharing (“CAT Match”)

 The Center for Advanced Technology is funded by New York State on a fiscal year basis (July 1 – June 30).  Project Cost Sharing funds are distributed to the PI’s “match account” during the fiscal year in proportion to the expenditure of corporate sponsor funds, with an initial distribution equal to the lesser of $5,000 or 10% of sponsor’s project budget. 

For project expenditures in FY 2014/15 (July 2014 – June 2015), a 20% Match Rate for Project Cost Sharing has been established.  For projects anticipating EI greater than 100x the company contribution, this match rate may be increased.

In addition, projects sponsored by small business (<500 employees) will receive an additional 5% match for the first two years of support.

At the start of each fiscal year, total funding available for project cost sharing (“CAT match”) will be determined, and baseline match rates may be adjusted from those shown.  As new projects are accepted throughout the year, match rates for projects initiated after the start of the current fiscal year may be subject to budget constraints due to commitments to on-going projects and timing of new projects.