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Clarkson President Tony Collins Addresses Role Of Technology And Industry At New York-ontario Trade Summit
Clarkson University President Tony Collins addressed the relationship of technology, education and regional economic development as a guest speaker last week at the New York-Ontario Trade Summit held at Jefferson Community College in Watertown.
Clarkson wants to be a positive force for regional economic development because we believe that this region affords a quality of life that is truly special and a sense of community that is unique, Collins stated. "We intend to select economic development projects where our faculty, students and alumni can work effectively with others to achieve concrete results through the application of innovative and creative technology."
This was the first international trade summit to be held in the region and was sponsored by New York State Senator James W. Wright, the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Kingston (Ontario) Chamber of Commerce.
Professionals from New York and Canada attended the summit, including business owners, economic developers, transportation and trucking company representatives, and academic and community planning organization members.
The idea for developing a Capital Corridor grew from a study conducted by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority and its Canadian partner, the Federal Bridge Corporation. The goal is to identify ways that New York and Ontario can promote the Interstate 81/Highway 401 connection between the United States and Canada. The summit included examples of how cross-border trade within the corridor works, an overview of the transportation links that encourage trade, and a look at the tourism industry in the region.
Addressing technology, education and economic development partnerships, President Collins highlighted joint research by U.S. and Canadian educational institutions and spoke of the opportunities to create new knowledge-based companies in northern New York by "transferring technology, connecting university research with industry needs, finding ways to connect students with local businesses, and providing more useful internship opportunities."
Collins cited Clarkson's Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) research in colloid and surface science and fine particle technology and CAMP's commitment to its industrial application. He also introduced the "Grants for Growth" program Clarkson has developed in partnership with Cornell and Syracuse that will provide seed funding for applied university-industry research projects designed to create new jobs and develop or commercialize new technologies.
Collins outlined several proposals that would involve cross-border collaboration, including the development of a joint doctoral program in Supply Chain Management with the University of Ottawa and support for a world-class research facility on the St. Lawrence River.
Other summit speakers included: Stephen E. Mayer, former general manager of operations for the Peace Bridge Authority in Buffalo and a founding member of the Continental One Corridor there; John Spinks of Ottawa International Airport; Fred DiMaggio of New York State Homeland Security; Gary DeYoung of the 1000 Islands Tourism Council; John Blend III of Insight Capital Partners; Mark Barie of Crossborder Development Corporation; and Garry Douglas, president of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce, among others.
While promoting stronger, mutually beneficial interaction with the surrounding community and region, Collins has emerged as an innovative leader in aligning collaborative research at universities with economic development opportunities in upstate New York.
Collins is a member of the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central NY, Inc., a regional effort in the corridor that connects Binghamton to Watertown and St. Lawrence County (known as Central Upstate New York), which created the Essential New York Initiative. The Initiative makes recommendations aimed at transforming the central upstate region into a technology-driven economy. It is an update of Vision 2010, a regional economic development plan put forth in 1996 that recognized both the potential and necessity of exploiting technology regionally to compete in the global economy.