The revitalization of Upstate New York continues, as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that $2.25 billion in economic and community development funding will be allocated through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Additionally, the four Upstate regions not selected as “URI Best Plan Awardees” will receive an additional $50 million — this money shall be used to fund priority projects and further implement the regions’ strategic plans for economic growth.
Controlled Environments featured some of New York’s science and nanotechnology revitalization efforts earlier this year: Is Upstate NY the New Silicon Valley?
The URI (Upstate Revitalization Initiative) — referred to by some as the “Upstate Hunger Games” for pitting NY regions against each other for cash — was set up in order to award a total of $1.5 billion to three regions in New York, to help stimulate local economies by providing $500 million over the next five years to support projects and strategies that create jobs, strengthen and diversify economies, and generate economic opportunity within the region.
Click here for a full list of funded projects: https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/REDCAwardsBooklet2015.pdf
Here are some highlights that relate to science and nanotechnology:
Central New York has received $122.4 million to support over 90 projects and strategies, including assisting lighting and LED technology company Soraa in its relocation to Onondaga County. Felix Schoeller North America Inc. has been awarded $1.2 million for the purchase and installation of a silicone coating production line in its Oswego County facility, enabling a shift in manufacturing from a foreign location.
The Finger Lakes region will get $120.1 million. The Rochester area has been selected as the location for a national Institute for Manufacturing Innovation, concentrating on integrated photonics. A total of $2 million has been allotted for the Energy Storage Ecosystem Resources – Safety Testing and Cylindrical Cell Prototyping project, to purchase and installation equipment required to perform safety testing and certification for energy storage devices and to provide cylindrical cell prototyping capabilities. The BEST Test Commercialization Center will be modified to accommodate an additional 4, 000 sw. ft. of laboratory space and more equipment.
As part of the Round V Regional Economic Development Council Awards, the Mohawk Valley has been awarded $100.3 million for, among other projects, STEM intensive industries — this includes the Nano Utica initiative, with semiconductor manufacturer AMS as an anchor tenant. Other participating companies include FAGE and General Electric. The Innovation Network for Technology Convergence Facility and Workforce Innovation Center will get $6.1 million to construct a 100,000 sq. ft. nano-cyber Innovation Accelerator Center near the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy. The Workforce Innovation Center will be used as an education and training center for advanced manufacturing in semiconductor, PV, MEMS, mixed signal, IT, and power electronics.
Local residents are already gearing up for an influx of new workers and what will be needed to accommodate them. For example, first responders in Marcy — close to SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s facilities in Utica — are updating their safety plans as the area develops into a computer chip fabrication/nanotech hub. Hazmat emergencies are more of an issue than fires, in this case.
Finally, the Capital Region, a Top Performer Awardee with $98.1 million to spend, is looking to transform itself into a global center for nanotechnology research, development, and manufacturing. The NYCAP Research Alliance Investment Fund at Albany Medical College will get over $2.2 million as part of this award, to create jobs and attract additional federal funding.