October 09, 2007
By: by Eric Anderson, Deputy Business Editor, Times Union
ALBANY -- As steel went up outside for the new research headquarters of
International Sematech, the state's top two economic development officials met
at the Albany NanoTech complex Thursday with nearly 70 local officials to
coordinate New York's economic development efforts with local priorities.
The session, the last of seven held around the state, brought together Empire
State Development Corp. co-chairmen Daniel C. Gundersen and Patrick J. Foye and
local development, business and civic leaders.
The next step will be to draw up blueprints outlining strategies for
revitalizing the upstate economy, which the administration of Gov. Eliot Spitzer
has made a major goal.
Topics Thursday ranged from the lack of private capital for smaller companies
to research and development tax credits that could keep the state competitive.
A major part of the local economic plan is nanotechnology, said Gundersen.
The College of Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering at the University at Albany,
the site of the meeting, has become a major international research center for
But Gundersen and Foye also talked about some of upstate's infrastructure
needs, from improved highways and wider access to broadband Internet connections
to better air and rail service.
"Broadband is perhaps the best tool we have to connect our communities across
upstate," Gundersen said.
Renewable energy sources are another factor in upstate economic development,
he said, with the push to develop wind energy and increase the production of
ethanol playing major roles.
Foye said the Spitzer administration also is focused on the importance of
state Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno's passenger rail initiative and
wants to improve service between New York City and Albany.