“We are developing new products that can change the world,” said Oleg Mukhanov, senior vice president and general manager of Hypres, a manufacturer of digital superconductors on Clearbrook Road.

Among those products is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit that is not only more sensitive than the conventional product but also more compact, which makes it suitable for real time treatment of wounded soldiers.

“It’s so sensitive that it can detect brain veins,” Mukhanov said.

Not by coincidence, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been visiting high-tech companies around the state and touting her legislation to bolster advanced manufacturing, chose Hypres as her Westchester stage.

Friday morning, Hypres CEO Richard Hitt showed Gillibrand and Rep. Nita Lowey some of the company’s prototypes.

“This one maps the whole heart,” he said, pointing to a screen where colorful images reproduced the heartbeats of a rabbit, recorded during an experiment at Vanderbilt University.

“It’s amazing,” Gillibrand kept repeating.

Hypres was created in 1983 by a group of former IBM engineers who worked on the Big Blue supercomputing project. Originally conceived as a manufacturer of instruments like oscilloscopes, the company later migrated to digital superconductor technology.

Mukhanov, who joined Hypres in 1991, was part of a group of high-specialized engineers allowed to leave Russia after the Perestroika, Hitt said.

“As soon as he arrived here he started designing those chips,” Hitt said, referring to Hypres’s niobium superconductor chips, which work faster and at a lower power than the purely silicon ones used in today’s computers.

“That’s the key to everything,” Mukhanov said, holding a transparent cube with a nail-size, gilded chip inside.

Hitt said only Japan can make chips as complex as Hypres’s. Affected by April’s Fukushima earthquake, the Japanese foundry asked Hypres to make chips for them, Hitt said. 

He also mentioned that the company, which already received federal funds, is applying to $5 million more in government grants to commercialize the portable MRI unit.

“It’s not only for us,” Hitt said. “There’s something for the Harvard researchers that are part of it.”

Today, the company has 35 employees, but will need much more if it gets the resources to develop its products, Mukhanov said.

“That will create a lot of manufacturing jobs,” he said.


ELMSFORD, N.Y. — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited Elmsford Friday to announce her "advancement manufacturing agenda," three bills she has written to increase manufacturing jobs in the state and the country.

To promote the legislation, she has visited high-tech and clean-energy companies around New York, such as transportation systems manufacturer Bombardier, in Plattsburgh, and industrial battery charges maker Applied Energy Solutions, in Caledonia.

On Friday morning it was Elmsford's turn. Gillibrand and Congresswoman Nita Lowey stopped at Hypres, a developer of digital superconductors on Clearbrook Road. Gillibrand told the audience, which included the company's executives, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti and assorted Westchester officials, that, while traditional manufacturing jobs took the hardest hits in the state this century, high-tech and advanced manufacturing are actually thriving.

“Computer and electronic manufacturing industries increased employment by 9 percent from 2004 to 2008,” she said, adding that, out of the 250,000 jobs these industries have at upstate New York, 44 percent are in the most advanced technology areas.

“Today I am announcing three pieces of legislation that I hope will increase our opportunities in this arena,” Gillibrand said.

The first piece of legislation that she discussed is called the "Made In America" grants, meant to help small-and-medium-size manufacturers in communities with high unemployment to retool their operations and retrain their employees for advanced manufacturing.

The senator then said that she is working to pass the Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act., a 30 percent tax credit for companies investing in clean-energy manufacturing projects.

“It’s a very effective tool to leverage private investments in these industries,” Gillibrand said.

Finally, the senator mentioned that she is also pushing for the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act, an extension of an already-in-place 39 percent tax credit to help revitalizing distressed communities.

Gillibrand pointed out that since 2007 the tax credit has been extended on a year-to-year basis.

“My proposal will give it a long term extension, so that the community can make long-term, strategic investments, attract more businesses and create more jobs,” she said.

Feiner welcomed the senator’s initiatives.

“It’s really a relief that the federal government is doing something to address these major problems,” he said, referring to unemployment.

Gillibrand plans to propose the Made In America amendment as part of president Obama’s jobs bill once senate takes it up, according to Angie Hu, the senator’s press secretary.