Innovation Trail

Innovation Economy & Technology news

Innovation Trail

Every year colleges send a representative group of students to compete to be the most effective cyber-security team in the United States. Playing the part of network defenders students must prove they can safe guard a pretend business from cyber attacks.

After the competition students meet with recruitment managers from Amazon, Raytheon, and the Department of Homeland Security. They discuss job openings based on the students performance in the competition. (Video after the jump)

Center for Disability Rights

One of the things that the Obama Whitehouse and the First Lady Michelle Obama jumped on was the challenge of getting more Women and Girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM. Less than 2 percent of women make it into the IT workforce, despite the fact that about 12 percent graduate with IT degrees.

Minority communities are also underrepresented in science fields according to the National Science Foundation. In our first hour we’ll talk with a graduate of the StepITUpAmerica initiative, a Rochester woman who’s out to make waves in the IT field.


Business owner, Richard Deys, and his roughly 20-person staff are breathing easier these days.

Deys is the founder and co-owner of Sandman’s Sandblasting and Coatings. The Manchester, New York company specializes in blasting, spray coating, and fabrication. Blasting is a general term used to describe the act of propelling very fine bits of material at a high speed to clean or etch a surface.

And it’s dirty work. Sand used to be the most commonly used material, but since that causes the incurable lung disease silicosis, blasters like the Sandman’s team are now using other materials in its place.


Proponents of the optics and photonics institute that Vice President Joe Biden will formally announce during a visit to Rochester Monday have been working for years to achieve this result.

They can be forgiven then, if they sometimes get into the weeds when it comes to explaining what optics and photonics are all about. So here's a quick elevator speech to help.

Optic and photonics technologies drive computer and smartphone displays and are used in virtually every sector including medical research, engineering, aerospace and the automotive industry.

(Watch the great video explainer after the jump.)

Over two million American workers are exposed to silica dust in industries like construction, mining, road repair and sand blasting. WXXI’s Michelle Faust reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA - is now pushing for tougher limits on how much silica dust they can be exposed to in the workplace. But the proposed rules will come too late for many workers who’ve already contracted the potentially fatal lung disease, silicosis. 

When President Obama named Michelle Lee as Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, she became the first woman to hold that position in the agency’s 225-year history.

Lee, is working to make sure she’s not an anomaly and bring more women and minorities into STEM careers.

The Innovation Trail’s Jenna Flanagan recently met up with Director Lee in New York City.

“Any goal of the United States Patent and Trademark office at the highest level is to promote innovation. That’s in men women, boys and girls.”

Ryan Delaney/WRVO

It takes several tries for the medical transport van to back up the snow-covered driveway and onto the frozen front yard. The tires spin in the snow, which crunches in the cold air. The van has to get close enough for the ramp that slides out the back to bridge the gap from the van to the porch, rising over the three steps to the door.


“There aren’t many accessible homes for people with disabilities. And when they are accessible, they’re usually too expensive or segregated,” says 24-year-old wheelchair user, Jensen Caraballo.

It’s been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act established a mandate that five percent of all federally assisted housing developments must be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities.

Reporting in upstate New York from Innovation Trail reporters indicates that many New Yorkers living with disabilities still face challenges accessing services and difficult choices balancing quality of life and affordability.

(Videos after the jump)

One big health care challenge, and two days to solve it

Mar 22, 2015
Spynalign presentation_Katelyn Block

The engineering and design students on stage presenting their concept have been working on this prototype for a grand total of two days. The whirlwind workshop, requires student teams to comprehensively understand medical problems, come up with viable ideas, and create real solutions, all in less than 36 hours.

“This is a deep dive,” says Amos Scully, a professor in the Industrial Design program at RIT who is serving as the team’s faculty coach.



Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and New York State Fair officials have Gov. Andrew Cuomo squarely in their corner as they advance plans to make dramatic changes at the fairgrounds in Geddes.