II.  Invest in University and
Industry Partnerships

Technology-based companies that are exploiting new scientific discoveries are leading the transformation of the U.S. economy.

  • In partnership with our colleges, universities, research institutions, and industry associations, New York should pursue a course that will support new scientific discovery in those areas in which the state has a competitive advantage.
  • Through a strategy of investing in basic and applied research in those areas of strength, we can facilitate the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.
  • We can create business opportunities for high-tech entrepreneurs and high wage employment and training opportunities for our workers.
The Assembly Majority recognizes that technology development and commercialization is most often the product of collaboration between small business entrepreneurs and university-based regional research institutions who forge strategic partnerships within their industries in order to grow and prosper in regional economies.

The Assembly Majority’s proposal would:

  • support the establishment of university and research institution-based technology centers that build industrial partnerships, establish educational and training modules, and conduct basic and applied research; and,
  • support the development of business facilities that offer affordable, flexible space for new companies and the growth of industry associations that nurture the growth of small firms.
  1. Biotechnology and Biomedicine
One of the largest and most important biomedical research complexes in the world is the network of health care and educational institutions located throughout New York State.
  • Biomedical research and biotechnology development is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy, and New York is home to some of the most prestigious academic research institutions in the world.
  • Over the past two decades, however, while the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation budgets have increased dramatically, New York’s share has decreased sharply, with the state slipping from its once preeminent position.
  • We should move aggressively to compete with other states that have invested heavily in biomedical research and technology.
  • In order to regain the State’s competitive edge in this critical sector, we should invest in the personnel and facilities necessary to attract a substantially larger proportion of federal research dollars, commercialize technologies spawned by such research, and nurture the growth of emerging biomed/biotech companies.
The following initiatives will support this goal:

  1. New York State Biomedical Research Fund
    $10 million

This fund would be administered by the New York Academy of Medicine and would support the recruitment of new researchers/investigators at our leading research institutions and medical schools.

  1. New York State Biotechnology Development Fund
    $10 million

This fund would be administered by the Academic Medicine Development Company (AMDeC) and would provide state support for equipment necessary for institution-based and regional or statewide shared core facilities for basic research and large-scale, collaborative, leading edge biomed research projects.

  1. New York State Biotechnology Commercialization Capital Fund
    $125 million
This fund would provide for investments in applied and commercial research facilities and the development of incubator space to commercialize biomed/biotech innovations and nurture start-up companies.

Proposals would be subject to a peer review process conducted by an independent panel of scientists appointed by the New York State Economic Development Commission. Among the projects submitted for approval are:

  1. East River Science Park Project/NYU School of Medicine
  2. New York Presbyterian/Cornell Medical School/Columbia Medical School
  3. Mount Sinai School of Medicine – Institute for Translational Research
  4. Columbia University Audubon Research Park
  5. Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Biotechnology Education and Training

The Assembly anticipates that other projects from research institutions around the State will also be submitted.

  1. Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence are university-based collaborations of research and academic institutions, industry associations, and private sector technology-based companies whose purpose is to conduct basic and applied research, develop and commercialize new technologies, and roll-out new products. The Assembly Majority’s plan would create five Centers of Excellence to stimulate regional economies and create good-paying jobs in the new economy. Each Center of Excellence would have a specific technological focus.


The rapidly growing interdependence of the life sciences and information technology, exemplified by the highly publicized completion of the Human Genome Project, will create new opportunities in many emerging industries including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, software, and information technology.

  1. The Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics
    $34.1 million; $71 million over five years
The UB Center for Computational Research is working with Roswell Park, the Hauptman Research Institute, Praxair, Advanced Refractory Technologies and others in collaborative efforts to foster academic and industrial partnerships in bioinformatics.

Photonics and Optoelectronics

Photonics is referred to as the next generation of electronics. It is a technology by which photons, rather than electrons, carry energy and information. This allows for faster, safer, more efficient, and less expensive devices and systems.

Photonics is particularly important in the areas of medical diagnostics and monitoring devices where non-invasive techniques are desirable. It has already had an enormous impact in fiber-optic telecommunications and laser technologies.

New York is home to several pioneering photonics companies, most notably Corning and Kodak, and thus has a competitive advantage in this emerging high-tech industry.

  1. The Rochester Center of Excellence in Photonics
    $34.1 million; $71 million over five years
The Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Rochester, Alfred University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will collaborate with companies like Kodak and Corning to attract significant amounts of federal and private sector dollars to conduct cutting edge research.


The federal government has recently announced a major nanotechnology initiative that has the potential to revolutionize emerging technology industries, as well as the traditional manufacturing sector.

This would be accomplished by developing the capacity to fabricate materials and devices atom by atom, thus enabling products to be made cheaper and faster with less impact on the environment.

  1. The Albany Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics
    $34.1 million; $71 million over five years

This Center will focus on the nanoelectronics industry including the collaboration of the University at Albany and IBM in the establishment of a computer chip workforce development facility.

Information Technology

The software industry has become an increasingly important segment of New York’s economy, doubling in size over the past five years. The industry employs more that 40,000 people in over 4,000 firms ranging from IBM and DoubleClick to thousands of small, start-up firms.

  • The industry is currently growing at a rate of 15% annually. Many key sectors of the State’s economy — e.g., banking, securities, advertising, publishing, and hospitals — are increasingly dependent on the software industry.
  • By strengthening the software sector, the State can increase the ability of these and other industries to compete in the global economy.

  1. The Metropolitan Area Center of Excellence in Software and Information Technology
    $34.1 million; $71 million over five years
The Assembly proposes to have CUNY, NYU, Polytechnic, Columbia and Stony Brook collaborate with the New York Software Industry Association and several corporate partners, including telecommunications, media, and financial services firms, to chart the future growth of the software industry. The involvement of venture capital fund managers will ensure that the project is focused on growing new high-tech start-ups.

Environmental Technology

New developments in research and business operations acknowledge the economic benefits of applying environmental principles to business operations. These include minimizing the ecological impact of industrial activity, improving business performance, and promoting job growth, particularly in economically depressed areas.

State government has been slow to recognize the economic potential of environmental technologies that promote pollution prevention, environmental quality, remediation, waste stream reduction, and environmental information systems.

  1. The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental Quality Systems
    $7 million; $35 million over five years
The Assembly proposes to have the Metropolitan Development Authority, Syracuse University, the New York State Environmental Technology Institute at Rome, SUNY Upstate Medical University, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the University at Albany and other institutions and corporate partners such as Carrier, Welch Allyn, Telergy and Niagara Mohawk collaborate in the development of environmental technologies to create integrated systems that cost effectively improve environmental quality and human health and performance. In addition, this proposal fully funds the New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center.

  1. Support for Energy Technologies (Entech)

Clean, efficient, reliable and affordable energy is critical to the continued growth and expansion of the state and national economies. Regrettably, however, the Public Service Commission has failed to lower energy prices, and the Governor’s budget proposal ignores the high cost of energy in the State.

  • Recent national and international events have underscored the need to invest in R&D activities that promote the development of economical, dependable and environmentally friendly sources of power.

In order to assure a competitive economy as well as a high quality of life for all New Yorkers, the Assembly Majority proposes a regionally focused plan that supports:

  1. New York State Institute for Energy Technologies
    $3 million; $15 million over five years
The Assembly proposes a university-based consortium including the University of Albany and Stony Brook that will establish an energy applications research center charged with the development of technology “roadmaps” and commercialization “pathways” in partnership with industry and government for the purpose of accelerating technology into the energy marketplace.

The Universities, in collaboration with other institutions, would assist advanced energy technology companies overcome market and financial barriers by providing networked incubation and test-bed support for the integration and demonstration of power quality, reliability, safety, clean generation, and energy efficiency.

  1. Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center
Formerly known as the New York State Institute for Fuel Cell Science and Technology, the Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center at the University of Albany is a strategic partnership between government, industry and leading research organizations addressing New York State’s critical energy and environmental issues by converting advanced technologies into commercial opportunities for New York companies in the rapidly emerging energy and environmental health industries.

  1. Bringing Innovation to the Marketplace

The key to high-tech job creation is getting new technologies out of the research labs and into full scale production.

  • High-tech start-up companies often lack adequate funds to conduct applied research and development and subsequent testing and, as a result, many commercially viable technologies have been abandoned and an innumerable number of jobs have been lost.
  • New York must increase its commitment to universities and other research institutions that collaborate with small businesses and entrepreneurs to bring new products and processes through the various stages of technology development to the marketplace.
  • We must provide low-cost financial assistance to small firms in need of capital throughout the commercialization process.
  • Traditional venture capital fund managers typically avoid investing in companies without a proven track record.
  • The lack of access to early-stage, seed, or start- up financing has greatly inhibited the growth of new companies in the life sciences or industries such as biotechnology, biomedicine, photonics, microelectronics, software, and those which develop energy and environmental technologies.
  • More mature companies in these industries have had difficulty accessing working capital in order to expand their business or modernize their facilities.
  1. Centers for Advanced Technology
    $14 million
The Centers for Advanced Technology (CATS) support university-industry collaboration in research, education and technology transfer, with a strong focus on helping New York businesses gain a technological edge on their competition.

There are currently 14 CATS, each specializing in a particular area of technology.

  1. Buffalo Biological Medical Research Center
    $1 million
The Buffalo Biological Medical Research Center, a joint undertaking between Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Buffalo, capitalizes on the intellectual and technical resources of the region to focus on the diagnostic, therapeutics and devices of advanced medicine. It seeks to become the 15th Center for Advanced Technology (CAT).

  1. CUNY Photonics Initiative
The City University of New York seeks to begin a five- year expansion of its Photonics Research Initiative to hire top faculty researchers; renovate unused space for additional research laboratories; purchase equipment; hire technical support staff; and ultimately, construct a dedicated Compact Photonic Device Center at City College.

This effort would build on influential medical photonics research already underway at the Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers at City College, and at the CUNY-wide Center for Advanced Technology in Photonics.

  1. CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development
    $1.6 million
A University-wide consortium, housed at the University Center in midtown Manhattan, CISDD’s mission is to spur development and commercialization of advanced software technologies and software engineering methods in the downstate New York region. The institute represents a partnership between CUNY and the New York State Software Industry Association to advance the software industry.
  1. Long Island Millennium Center
    $5 million
Long Island’s Millennium Technology Research Center is designed to further efforts to make Long Island a leader in “convergence industries” such as bioscience, electronics, and software development, connecting and coordinating research at institutions such as Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and North Shore-LIJ Health Systems, while working in partnership with local businesses.
  1. Regional early-stage venture capital funds
    $2.5 million
Seed financing — small investments that help an entrepreneur/inventor prove a concept and develop a prototype — continues to be scarce. Traditional venture capital funds, and institutional investors tend to make larger investments at later stages of development which promise quicker returns.

Some regions of the State continue to experience shortages in venture financing. In order to fill these critical gaps in venture funding, the Assembly proposes to capitalize ten regional early-stage and seed funds at $250,000 each.

  1. Technology Transfer Grants
    $1.5 million
The Technology Transfer and Commercialization program would help businesses make the rapid transfer of new ideas and new technology from the research labs to the marketplace.

It would support the efforts of New York’s colleges and universities to commercialize high-tech innovations by providing awards to those institutions that work in collaboration with start-up companies to bring new products to the marketplace.

  1. High-Tech Industry Clusters
    $1 million
The nurturing of industry clusters is crucial to creating the climate necessary for high-tech job creation. High-tech industry associations provide crucial assistance to start-up and small firms, from helping companies take advantage of university R&D, to accessing capital and providing affordable health insurance to employees.

Continued State support of these associations is necessary to foster synergy among associated firms, maximize the impact of State financial assistance, and ensure the growth of emerging high-tech industries.

  1. Orphan Technologies
Orphan technologies are discoveries that have been developed in the laboratories of our academic research institutions and have not been commercialized. In some instances patents have been granted for these technologies but, for various reasons, they have not been licensed to companies for their use. The establishment of a clearinghouse to identify and market these technologies to high tech companies would greatly enhance our technology transfer and commercialization efforts.

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