Governor Tours Sites To See Progress of Capital Region
Economic Development Projects
Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the Rensselaer campus Oct. 23 as part of his statewide Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Progress Tour. President Jackson and Albany Medical Center CEO James Barba, Co-Chairs of the Capital Region Economic Development Council, joined the Governor at an event reviewing some of the Council’s work of the past year.
The governor also toured a laboratory in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) to highlight the work being done by the NYCAP Research Alliance, a partnership between Rensselaer, Albany Medical Center, and the University at Albany. The Alliance was awarded $950,000 to establish a regional initiative to leverage world-class intellectual capital and an unparalleled biomedical research and development infrastructure to attract both private sector investment and federal sponsored funding. The Alliance announced its first grants—10 awards totaling $745,000 in seed funding—in early October.
After departing the campus, the co-chairs led the governor on a tour through Troy, Green Island, and Albany , to view the progress made on projects throughout the Capital Region. In Green Island, they met with Eben Bayer ’07 and toured Ecovative Design, LLC, a bio-based materials manufacturer co-founded by Bayer and Gavin McIntyre ’07 and launched in the Rensselaer incubator program. Ecovative was awarded $250,000 for the purchase of machinery and equipment as part of an expansion project that increased efficiency to meet customer demand. It has created 10 new full-time jobs and has helped leverage $2 million in private investment.
Following the tour, President Jackson and CEO Barba provided a formal presentation outlining the progress the Capital Region Council has made in advancing last year’s strategic plans and projects, as well as their endorsed priority projects for the coming year to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team at the Albany Medical Center.
“Through this regional economic development process, we are successfully collaborating across sectors and regions to strengthen the Capital Region economic ecosystem, thereby maintaining and creating jobs, preparing and retaining the workforce, and celebrating and strengthening our communities.”—President Jackson
“Under the Regional Council process which has given individual regions the power to shape their own economic trajectory, New York State no longer has a top-down approach when it comes to economic development,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Capital Region is putting their own strategic plan to action and growing jobs and businesses in their communities.”
“Today Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Duffy, and the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team saw first-hand that, through this regional economic development process, we are successfully collaborating across sectors and regions to strengthen the Capital Region economic ecosystem, thereby maintaining and creating jobs, preparing and retaining the workforce, and celebrating and strengthening our communities,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson. “Guided by our strategic plan, the Council is engaging with business, education, government, and other community leaders across our eight-county region, working together to lay the foundation for long-term economic security.”
In the first round of the Regional Council initiative, the Capital Region was awarded $62.7 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for some 88 projects across the region. Seventy-five percent of the projects have already executed contracts with state funding agencies and 80 percent are now under way as a result of funding they received, with ninety percent of the total projects awarded funding in 2011 on target for a timely completion.