North Country Regional Economic Development Council nominates Clarkson University as a state development ‘innovation hot spot’
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 6:31 am

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) has nominated Clarkson University to be a development “innovation hot spot” where research can be turned into working businesses.

The council has submitted its progress report to the state to meet the Sept. 24 deadline.

The report provides detail on the council’s achievements in implementing its five year strategic plan. It includes a description of how the council advanced its plan, revisions to some of its strategies and additions to its workgroups, and an implementation agenda and tracking of the advancement of priority projects awarded in 2011 and 2012.

The NCREDC submitted its list of the 21 priority projects the council has endorsed for the third round of the Regional Council competition.

The progress report can be seen at the council’s website at www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.

The council has added three new working groups to comport with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s development agenda:

• an Opportunity Agenda work group to develop a plan, strategies and actions to overcome challenges that prevent underprivileged families and individuals from participating in New York’s economic revitalization

• an Innovation Hot Spots work group led by Clarkson University to compete for one of five “Hot Spots” designations across the state, which will focus on transfer of technology from the region’s academic community to commercialization.

• an Infrastructure work group to advance the development of infrastructure deemed critical to the region’s economic success and to work with the Governor’s New York Works task force.

Among items indicating progress in implementing plans from previous award rounds are:

• the Tourism Committee’s approval of the Tourism Transformation Fund and a process for identifying and designating Tourism Destination Areas (TDA)

• the Higher Education and Research Development (HEARD) consortium, a collection of 11 colleges, universities and research institutions across the seven counties, has spent much of the year advancing their work on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) practices in the region and will focus efforts in 2014 on developing a region-specific plan

• the opening of several new USDA-certified meat processing facilities in the region and new investments in the region’s local foods economy.

As it looked to the next phase of its work, the NCREDC says it undertook a review of the strategies adopted in 2011 and 2012 and considered adjustments, refinements and additions which would reflect new information, changes in circumstances, and progress already achieved.

Among the projects supporting the North Country’s diversity of economic sectors, endorsed by the council as regional priorities for the third round of the regional competition, are a Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) Value Added Agriculture Program, the Port of Ogdensburg Agribusiness Capacity Building plan, and the North Country Regional Tourism application.

In addition, the council chose Clarkson University in Potsdam to compete for the Innovation Hot Spots program.

This year, all 10 regions statewide will compete against each other for millions in development aid from the state. The competition places emphasis on Regional Council performance and action to implement strategies.

Five regions will be identified as the “Top Performer” and will receive up to $25 million each for the honor. The remaining regions will compete for the balance of $25 million. Each region will also be eligible for up to $10 million in Excelsior Tax Credits.

For more information, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.