George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation

George M. Low Center For Industrial Innovation

George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation

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The George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation, otherwise known as the Low Center or CII, is a major industry-funded research center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


The center is named after George M. Low, who was an important administrator at NASA and President of the institute during the time of construction. With the support of Eastman Kodak, IBM, Colt Industries and General Electric, a proposal was made to Governor Hugh Carey to jointly sponsor a research and teaching center to promote industrial innovation. In July 1982, the State of New York agreed to use Rensselaer as the site for the new center. President Low stated that the State had "taken a giant step in its efforts to attract, nurture and keep advanced technology business in the state, a step that is certain to make a substantial impact on New York's economy." Construction began during the summer of 1984 and the center was dedicated on May 14, 1987.

The CII building is notorious for its tall, hollow center stairwells. In 1992 the self-declared Rensselaer Drop Squad spent most of a semester dropping a series of ever more bizarre items down the 7-story stairwell before they were eventually apprehended. The items included typewriters, 150 McDonald's hamburgers, tennis balls and a Christmas tree.

On 29 March 2007, RPI graduate Anson Tripp committed suicide by jumping from the top of one of the stairwells after traveling to RPI from Massachusetts.Body Found in CII Stairwell at......
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