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Clarkson President Tony Collins Addresses State Senate Task Force At High-tech Development Hearing
Clarkson University President Tony Collins delivered a presentation earlier this week at a public hearing of the New York State Task Force on Economic Development and the Emerging Industries (a.k.a. NextGen task force) in Albany.
In a speech delivered at the invitation of Senator Raymond Meier, Collins addressed issues related to university research and economic opportunities in the high-tech and biotechnology fields.
Collins pointed to promising new technologies, including a virtual wheelchair and coatings for heart valve and knee replacements, developed at Clarkson through the State’s $4.5 million investment to support biotechnology last year as part of its Gen*NY*sis (Generating Employment Through New York Science) program.
He added that northern New York’s location would be attractive to high-tech firms and could outstrip areas such as Manhattan in terms of “being able to attract people interested in our quality of life, if the best equipment, laboratories and Internet connections were available.”
Collins urged the task force to continue its commitment to regional business development by providing research institutions with the necessary support to commercialize technologies and encourage product development. He cited the key role the State could play in attracting investment by supporting private venture capital funds, addressing liability issues, and maintaining more reliable Internet access.
The NextGen task force was created in December to build upon recent state investments in high-tech and biotechnology achieved through the Gen*NY*sis program and the Governor’s “Centers of Excellence” initiative, which are designed to support research institutions and stimulate economic growth.
The task force’s main objective is to address the business side or “phase II,” issues confronting the state’s current technology and biotechnology industries through additional investment that could stimulate economic growth and job opportunities. This week’s hearing was the first in a series of hearings the task force is holding around the state.
Since his inauguration as president of Clarkson University last July, Collins has pledged a commitment to supporting the regional economy by leveraging the resources of the University through private venture capital funds and intellectual property commercialization.