May 16, 2013
NanoCollege chief assigned to develop 'innovation hot spots' at state universities
By: Jimmy Vielkind
Source: Times Union
Hoping to transition the state university system toward
"entrepreneurial academics," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has tapped Alain
Kaloyeros, head of the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale
Science and Engineering, to help set up business incubators the governor
calls "innovation hot spots."
Kaloyeros sat two seats away from
Cuomo for several hours on Wednesday as state officials ceremonially
kicked off a third round of activity by the state's 10 regional economic
Cuomo stocked each council during his first
year in office, and has used them as a vehicle for distributing state
resources and encouraging local political, business, labor and arts
representatives to develop strategic plans to guide development.
The councils will vie for a slice of $225 million in funding this year.
also submit plans to create one of the new incubators. Five would be
backed by seed money and allow participating companies to avoid paying
taxes. Each would be attached to a university.
Kaloyeros did not
give remarks during Wednesday's summit, but did ask several questions of
council co-chairs, who gathered from around the state to brief the
governor and his top aides on their efforts.
Cuomo called the
NanoCollege — where companies pay to do research in a commonly owned
facility on publicly owned tools — a "model."
The governor said
Kaloyeros could help state universities convert research into economic
activity, a process called "tech transfer."
"We're going to
recruit Alain Kaloyeros, who has figured this out before most people
knew the question, and he is going to help expedite this transition of
thinking," Cuomo said. "It's delicate, because academics are academics.
... But you can be a great academic and you can be entrepreneurial, and I
would argue you'd be a better academic if you were actually
Exactly what Kaloyeros will be doing is unclear, and most council members said they were unaware of his new role.
A spokesman for Empire State Development said Kaloyeros would serve as an adviser but would not get a formal title.
The spokesman said his work would not be limited to the regional councils, but would also include universities.
When asked, Kaloyeros said simply, "Whatever the governor wants me to do, I will do."