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NY Budget Advances State’s Research, High-Tech Agenda

April 03, 2014

Many of the proposals put forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for growing New York’s innovation economy were fulfilled or received ongoing support in the enacted FY15 budget. This includes a final installment of $680 million to complete the Buffalo Billion initiative, new rounds of funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils, SUNY and CUNY challenge grants, and tax breaks for manufacturers. Lawmakers also approved funding for a new genomic medicine network and STEM scholarship program.

Highlights of funding for new initiatives within the enacted budget are outlined below:

  • $55.75 million for the New York Genomic Medicine Network to support a partnership between the University at Buffalo (UB) and the New York Genome Center. The partnership seeks to advance medical science using Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research to enable genetic discoveries. A dollar-for-dollar match is required from the Genome Center. The budget also authorizes $50 million of the Buffalo Billion initiative for UB. Read more…
  • $8 million for a new STEM Scholarship program that will provide full tuition scholarships to any SUNY or CUNY college or university for students in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class. Students must pursue a STEM career and work in New York for five years.
  • The budget establishes a 20 percent real property tax credit for manufacturers who own or lease property and lowers the tax rate on income for all manufacturers from the current 5.9 percent to zero in 2014 and thereafter. The governor’s original proposal only called on tax breaks for manufacturers in upstate New York; however, the final agreement expanded the measure statewide.

Highlights of funding for ongoing initiatives include:

  • $680 million for the Buffalo Billion initiative effectively fulfilling a $1 billion commitment made by the governor in 2012. Much of the previous funding has been earmarked for clean energy projects and a high-tech manufacturing hub. Other projects include a commercialization hub on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The new funding, which comes in the form of tax credits, grants and other incentives, will be rolled out over the next several years.
  • $220 million in fourth-round funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils established in 2011. This includes $150 million in flexible economic development capital funding and $70 million in state tax credits.
  • $55 million each for the next round of SUNY 2020 and CUNY 2020 challenge grants. This funding provides competitive grants for projects that leverage investment, advance academic research and provide significant economic impact and job creation. SUNY 2020 was established in 2011 and CUNY 2020 followed two years later, in 2013. 
  • $3.75 million to continue the Innovation Hot Spots and Incubators program created in 2013 designed to offer incentives for companies to locate in designated areas affiliated with higher education institutes (see previous Digest article).
  • $3.5 million in restored funding to the Centers of Excellence, which are collaborative, public-private partnerships that work to commercialize scientific discoveries in high-tech fields.

Read the governor’s press announcements: https://www.governor.ny.gov/press/03312014Budget and https://www.governor.ny.gov/press/03302014-more-budget-highlights.

View the FY15 enacted budget: http://publications.budget.ny.gov/budgetFP/enacted1415.html#enactedBills

New Yorkstate budget, state tbed, higher ed, stem