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Impacting the Region's Future  
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a major positive force in the economy of New York’s Capital Region.
* Growing a Major Regional Enterprise
New Knowledge for a New Century
Translating New Ideas into New Business
Partnering for Success in an Ever-Changing Economy
Full Report: “The Impact of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the Economy of the Capital Region and New York State” (PDF format)
Shirley Ann Jackson
A message from Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

The history of the Institute is, and always has been, inextricably tied to that of the City of Troy and of the region — from the 19th century Industrial Revolution, to the late 20th century high technology boom, to the biotechnology and nanotechnology revolution in this young century. In order to measure and evaluate Rensselaer’s current economic impact, we engaged the services of Appleseed Inc., a New York City-based consulting firm with expertise in higher education and economic growth issues. I am pleased to present to you a summary of Appleseed’s report, which delineates the ways Rensselaer is a key participant in the economy of the region, as well as the dollar and cents investments being made by the Institute.

After extensive study and analysis of Rensselaer’s human, intellectual, and capital resources, Appleseed found that the Institute is a “major regional enterprise.” In 2001, the Institute’s overall economic impact on the Capital Region totaled $397 million and more than 3,100 jobs. Appleseed estimates that, in the same year, the impact of Rensselaer’s operations on the New York state economy was $435 million and more than 3,250 jobs. This is a substantial impact on the local, regional, and state economies. As the report points out, this impact is likely to grow in the coming years, as Rensselaer’s investment in its people, programs, and platforms inevitably will benefit the surrounding region.

Rensselaer’s investment in the region comprises construction expenditures, academic research enterprises, employee and student spending, support for entrepreneurship and new businesses, and neighborhood renewal initiatives. With more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students in Troy and almost 2,000 full-time and part-time faculty and staff, the earning and spending power of Rensselaer and its people in the Capital Region is substantial. For example, the report estimates that the impact of student off-campus spending totaled $30.6 million in the Capital Region, and $31.6 million in New York state.

Our research enterprise is growing with a level of funding that is unprecedented in Rensselaer history. Our research is enhancing the area’s knowledge base as well as creating a safer, more secure, and more prosperous future for all, by supporting discovery in the focal areas of biotechnology and information technology, as well as cross-disciplinary enterprises. As the report points out, the impact of the research renaissance at Rensselaer is likely to increase in the coming years, as the Institute grows in prominence and prestige.

The region also is benefiting from Rensselaer’s construction spending, as we build and renovate the platforms necessary to advance the research and education enterprise. The report estimates that between 2003 and 2006, construction spending at Rensselaer will average approximately $65 million a year. We already can see the results of this spending in the construction of the Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Center on the South Campus, as well as a nearby 510-car garage. These structures will be complemented in the coming years by the exciting Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, which will propel the region to the global stage of experimental arts programming and research.

This report shows that Rensselaer’s investment in people, programs, and platforms is paying off for the Capital Region as well as for the Institute. As we move forward to realize further the promise of The Rensselaer Plan, we can be confident that our work is not only changing the world, it is changing the Capital Region.

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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