This week, dozens of SUNY presidents joined Governor Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Duffy, and Chancellor Zimpher at a forum on the Governor’s Tax Free New York proposal. The plan, introduced in May by Governor Cuomo on a flash tour across New York, utilizes SUNY campuses to provide a tax-free zone for new businesses, which will spur investment while taking advantage of SUNY’s higher education for human capital and business development.
The day started off with Lieutenant Governor Duffy introducing Cornell President Dr. Skorton and CNSE CEO Dr. Kaloyeros, who both expressed support for the initiative. President Skorton in part justified his support by saying, “There is much more that we can do — and we must do — for economic development and tech transfer” in New York.
Chancellor Zimpher then took to the stage, announcing “Governor, SUNY is committed to moving this forward.” The Chancellor noted that Tax Free New York is an initiative “changing the way people see higher education across New York.” Later that day, Chancellor Zimpher told the Albany Business Review that SUNY is already fielding interest from businesses around the state, which is both surprising in its timing and encouraging in its nature.
Governor Cuomo took to the podium to reintroduce his Tax Free New York plan to higher education officials at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s NanoFab X. He used the opportunity to lay the groundwork for conversation throughout the campus leaders’ regional economic development councils and with state officials.
These conversations persisted all day, like at an open-discussion forum that featured representatives from the New York Division of the Budget fielding questions from college and business leaders. Breakout sessions, led by the SUNY Research Foundation’s Dr. Tim Killeen and CNSE’s Dr. Kaloyeros among others, focused on topics such as “Culture Change: Creating the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Higher Education” and “Successful Examples of Entrepreneurial Academics: Commercializing Research”.
The event was a welcoming gesture by Governor Cuomo to help grow relationships between he and college leaders, who are the driving forces of his plan for “Upstate New York to lead the new economy.” The Governor , with Chancellor Zimpher’s support, will continue the conversation with New Yorkers on the Tax Free New York proposal.
For more information, visit the Governor’s website for the plan here.
UPDATE: The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering put together a great video: