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State University of New York system attempts to become "the Engine of New York's Economic Revitalization"

August 18, 2010

Nancy L. Zimpher, the Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY), believes that SUNY campuses statewide can become "the engine of New York's economic revitalization."Chancellor Zimpher's vision of economic development fueled by higher education is supported by a recent report from the Rockefeller institute of Government. The report describes a new paradigm of economic development in which university-driven economic development will replace the traditional mix of business attraction and retention incentives. The report lists five essential elements that must be leveraged for universities to become engines of economic revitalization. New "Technology Transfer" hubs at SUNY's five campuses are among SUNY's efforts.

"Trends [in higher education] suggest a new paradigm for economic development programs — one that puts higher education at the center of states' efforts to succeed in the knowledge economy" according to the Rockefeller report. The authors found these common trends among universities across the country:

  • Putting their research power to work by developing new ideas that will strengthen the country's competitive edge in the new economy — and then by helping to deploy those innovations into commercial use;
  • Providing a wide range of knowledge-focused services to businesses and other employers, including customized job-training programs, hands-on counseling, technical help, and management assistance;
  • Embracing a role in the cultural, social, and educational revitalization of their home communities; and,
  • Educating people to succeed in the innovation age.

After looking at successful university-driven economic development models nationwide, the authors believe they have indentified the five essential elements for universities nationwide to fulfill their potential as the engines of economic revitalization:

  • Leadership
  • Flexibility
  • Culture
  • Resources
  • A New Paradigm

Under the new paradigm, knowledge — research, technology transfer, management assistance, and/or worker training provided by universities — is the lead incentive that states offer businesses they want to attract or grow. Read the report.

SUNY, the Research Foundation of SUNY and SUNY campuses statewide launched five regional "Technology Transfer" hubs. The hubs will be located at the University at Albany, Binghamton University, and University at Buffalo, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and Stony Brook University. Leveraging over $1 billion in research expenditures, these hubs will serve as regional service providers to turn innovations, inventions and ideas into products and materials.

Read the press release.

Learn How to Leverage your Regions Higher Education at SSTI's 2010 Conference.
Our research-intensive and regional universities and community colleges must play bigger roles in maintaining and sustaining U.S. competitiveness. The successful leveraging of higher education assets has spurred economic growth across the country! Has your region benefited from your universities and community colleges? SSTI's 2010 conference will help you take the steps necessary to build a strong regional economic development, which places universities at the front of innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about conference sessions that will provide you the knowledge to develop your regions economic development plan and how to incorporate institutions of higher education visit: http://www.ssticonference.org/

New York