When the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) were created in 2011, they were seen as a way to bring economic development in New York to a more local level that is community-driven and performance based. We’ve seen investment plans in these regions deliver projects like the Buffalo Billion and Nano-Utica that have brought positive outlooks to regions where SUNY campuses are key contributors to the workforce and economy. All of the strategic plans use a region’s strengths and resources, which include SUNY campuses, to boost the overall well-being and development potential of its area and population.
Early in 2015, Governor Cuomo introduced a new competition titled the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) to award a total of $1.5 billion to three regions to help transform local economies. The award winners were announced this week for the URI and Regional Economic Development Council Competition, and as in past economic development initiatives, our campuses were involved in large numbers. $23 million in investment is slated to go to SUNY campuses for future projects. It shows that SUNY will continue to be a key player in the developments that push our state into the future.
A roundup of these campus based awards are shown below. The full awards recap can be found in PDF format.
$1,500,000 – A collaboration among Alfred State College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) and Applied Biorefinery Sciences, LLC, the project is a multi-functional shared facility to enable private firms to scale the production of biorenewable materials and sustainable energy from lab-bench to commercial volumes using a Hot Water Extraction process developed at SUNY ESF.
$2,000,000 – SUNY Binghamton will acquire and renovate 48 Corliss Avenue in Johnson City for establishment of a new Pharmacy School, which will anchor a new Health Sciences and Technology Innovation Park. The Park will bring together the University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Decker School of Nursing, SUNY Broome Community College, Wilson Memorial and Lourdes Hospitals, and their clinicians, life scientists, engineers, healthcare providers and educators, to deliver a regional approach to educating our future healthcare workforce.
$600,000 – Binghamton University, a leader in energy storage RD and technology transfer, will purchase and install a dry room at the Binghamton University Center of Excellence to create a testing facility for new materials and devices related to the energy storage industry.
$100,000 – Research Foundation for SUNY on behalf of Buffalo State College will train 24 unemployed workers in advanced manufacturing, including orientation to manufacturing industry, computers in manufacturing, shop math, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10 hour, wellness/conditioning, tools, blueprint reading, lean manufacturing, materials properties, precision machining processes, and numeric control systems.
$125,000 – The Cobleskill Farm and Food System Incubator (FFBI) will provide assistance to agricultural entrprenuers seeking access sohisticated supply chains and meet the challenges of the various legal requirements selling food at scale.
$3,500,000 – Corning Community College will partner with Guthrie Hospital and key development partners to redevelop the former Corning Hospital site into a downtown center for healthy living and health-based education, including construction of 85 residential units and a 21,000 sf workforce development complex to provide training and development programs in the healthcare industry.
$60,300 – Erie Community College of Buffalo will train 48 unemployed workers as bus operators, and in mechanics, hydraulics, pneumatics, electricity, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10 hour.
$2,250,000 – Farmingdale State College, Nassau Community College, START-UP NY firm Codagenix, Inc. and Broad Hollow Bioscience Park will establish a biotech research consortium by creating laboratory space and adding new equipment.
$22,000 – Finger Lakes Community College of Canandaigua will train 7 workers in special populations as certified nurse assistants, home health aides, and in mechatronics.
$76,500 – Finger Lakes Community College of Canandaigua will train 26 unemployed workers as certified nurse aides, home health aides, and in advanced manufacturing machinery, and mechatronics.
$350,000 – In collaboration with Hudson Valley Community College, UAlbany, the Albany Police Department and the Capital District Transportation Authority, the Central Avenue Business Improvement District will redevelop a vacant building into innovative space that aggregates entrepreneurs, technology professionals, students and arts organizations in a hybrid facility, bringing science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education and career pathways to an underserved neighborhood.
$1,000,000 – Expansion of Hudson Valley Community College’s Lang Hall, lab fit up and equipment purchases to increase student participation in the College’s Advance Manufacturing Technology Training Program.
$980,000 – The new Manufacturing Technology Institute will help Jamestown Community College expand its advanced manufacturing courses currently offered only at JCC Main Campus in Jamestown by providing additional classroom equipment and technology infrastructure for both the Olean and Jamestown campuses.
$99,560 – Mohawk Valley Community College of Utica will train 76 unemployed workers as certified nursing assistants.
$1,800,000 – MVCC will create the Mohawk Valley Advanced Manufacturing Institute on the Utica campus, adding a fully-functional cleanroom for nanotechnology and a lab for mechatronics.
$57,000 – Renovate space in the Applied Technologies Center for automotive specialty and automotive generalist certificate programs.
$57,119 – Niagara County Community College of Sanborn will train 56 unemployed workers as front desk representatives, restaurant servers, and machinists, and in customer service, training for intervention procedures (TIPS), and ServSafe food and beverage safety.
$711,000 – The Onondaga Community College Green Gateway and Living Lab Project will transform the Mawhinney Hall Gateway Plaza and West Quad into a showcase for green infrastructure practices that contribute to regional sustainability initiatives. GIGP funds will support the construction of porous pavement and pavers, bioretention, storm water planters, storm water tree pits, and rainwater harvesting and use to reduce runoff and pollution flowing into the Onondaga Lake Watershed from existing buildings, parking lots and hardscapes. GIGP funding will also support water quality monitoring and educational signage.
$700,000 – TSEC plans to purchase additional equipment for SMARTT Labs it has installed at all of the community colleges in the Mid-Hudson as well as at the Newburgh Armory. A portion of the CFA funding will also be used to introduce its SMARTT “Pod” concept in the Mid-Hudson. SMARTT Pods are a natural outgrowth of the SMARTT Lab concept. Also known as “maker space”, SMART Pods provide pilot manufacturing capability for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
$800,000 – UAlbany will design and construct the NYS Mesonet xCITE Laboratory, a state-of-the-art visualization and computational platform that will enhance emergency management and meteorologists’ understanding of severe weather conditions. The Mesonet xCITE Lab will support advanced global research and development, spur new public-private partnerships and provide novel, educational and outreach opportunities, particularly for underserved K-12 students and teachers.
$25,000 – The Hudson Valley Educational Consortium will conduct a gap analyses to measure how well each of its educational institutions align with the regional labor market and meet the demand of industry sectors.
$300,000 – The Mohonasen Central School District will construct a Center for Advanced Technology including high-tech classroom space and labs to deliver workforce training to high school and adult students. The Center, designed through collaboration by the Mohonasen Central School District, Schenectady County Community College and Capital Region BOCES, will provide a pipeline of skilled employees for the manufacturing and high tech sectors, currently in short supply.
$330,000 – In collaboration with Schenectady County Community College, the Arts Center and Theatre of Schenectady would construct ArtsLab, a multi-use education space to be located on the third floor of the Proctors Theater. The ArtsLab would include a black box theatre, classrooms, a media lab and a dance studio.
$17,787 – Stony Brook University of Nesconset will train 10 workers in special populations in project planning and control/foundations of project management, and determining business requirements and elicitation.
$80,043 – Stony Brook University of Nesconset will train 44 unemployed workers in project planning and control/foundations of project management, and determining business requirements and elicitation.
$505,658 – This project will consist of eelgrass and bivalve planting in regions of Shinnecock Bay on Long Island. The project will include water quality monitoring and biological surveys of fish, shellfish and eelgrass. This project will help improve the Bay, which has deteriorated significantly over the last two decades.
$241,396 – Great South Bay, New York, was once one of the most productive estuaries in the nation, but has experienced a collapses in the shellfish population. This restoration project will create approximately 6,700 m2 of shellfish beds using Crepidula fornicata and clams in area affected by persistent brown tides. The project includes monitoring animal health and both water quality and sediment quality condition before and after construction of the beds.
$500,000 – Stony Brook University will create shared wet lab space for new biotechnology start up companies at the Long Island High Tech Incubator on campus.
$400,000 – Stony Brook University will establish an additives and 3D printing research center focused on assisting manufacturers.
$500,000 – Stony Brook University will expand the Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Laboratory to support clinical research and drug discovery.
$500,000 – Stony Brook University will renovate laboratory space and add Cryo Electron microscope to speed drug discovery and develop advanced therapeutics.
$203,708 – The Campus Green Roofs Initiative Project will use GIGP funds to convert conventional roofs into green roofs on a portion of three college buildings: The William J. Lindsay Life Sciences Building (Ammerman Campus), the Learning Resource Center (Michael J. Grant Campus), and the Peconic Building (Eastern Campus).
$1,600,000 – Acquisition of property and construction of a workforce training and educational facility in Rensselaer by Fuller Road Management Corporation on behalf of SUNY Polytechnic Institute to support the attraction of clean energy companies seeking commercial office and systems assembly space and further clean energy employment opportunities.
$99,660 – Research Foundation for SUNY on behalf of University at Buffalo will train 50 unemployed workers as manufacturing production technicians, including safety, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness.
$1,000,000- UB will move the graduate schools of Social Work and Education from the Amherst Campus to the Main Street Campus, restoring two historic buildings, constructing a new building, and transferring graduate students and employees.
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.