The Capital Region Economic Development Council, co-chaired by President Shirley Ann Jackson and CEO of SEFCU Lou Castellana recently released their five-year strategic plan for improving the economic status of the Capital Region. Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a number of committees throughout the state to come up with plans to revitalize their regions and compete for $200 million in state aid. CREDC’s plan would benefit eight counties in New York state.
RPI has received extensive local media attention since the plan’s announcement, as it has been touted to stand the most immediate financial gain if the group’s plans were to be approved. If their request for $25 million was approved, it would then have a petascale (or greater) supercomputer in the Rensselaer Technology Park, which would replace the current supercomputer there. The current supercomputer at the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations is touted as one of the world’s most powerful university-based supercomputers, and is funded by IBM and New York State, as well as RPI. The upgrade, as explained in the council’s plans, is expected to bring in additional corporate investment and academic partnership in research requiring use of the computer, and can deliver 6,000 new jobs. The total cost of the supercomputer would be $150 million.
The Institute is also mentioned in another plan to create the New York Capital Research Alliance, which would link Albany Medical Center, RPI, and the University at Albany, as well as other colleges, in pursuing further research in biomedical science and technology and attracting private and federal sponsored funding. The plan requests $900,000 in funding to establish the Alliance. Another $6 million is requested to leverage $40 million in funding from partner investors to continue support of the High Performance Computer Consortium, which involves Rensselaer, Stonybrook University, and the University at Buffalo. All plans involving RPI are expected to show the best results within the mid to long-term (18-36+ months.)
CREDC’s plan also highlighted further investment in regional tourism, ranging from establishing media and arts festivals such as Model of Human Occupation to investing further in local ski resorts like Windham Mountain. It also highlighted waterfront improvements in downtown Troy around Monument Square. For more information, check out http://capitalregionopenforbusiness.com/.