July 17, 2013

Economic Development Council has new initiatives

PLATTSBURGH — A number of new initiatives are included in the third round of the Regional Economic Development Council program.

At stake is a share of $760 million in funding, tax credits and other incentives.

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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Co-chairs Anthony “Tony” Collins, president of Clarkson University, and Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, provided details Tuesday of some changes to the program in this third round of funding.

They spoke at Clinton Community College during the second of seven public meetings, one in each of the seven counties included in the North Country council’s region.

Douglas said public participation has been an important part of their success so far. The North Country Council was awarded $90.2 million for 82 projects in 2011 and $103.2 million for 70 projects in 2012.

“It’s something the region has a right to be proud of,” he said.

Collins said it’s important to note that, for projects that have moved forward, the state’s investment leveraged almost 10 times that amount in private investment.


One of the new initiatives this year is the Innovation Hot Spots competition.

Collins said the goal is to foster the connection between businesses and colleges to create jobs. One key is to show the ability to transition innovative technology to the market.

A total of up to 10 Hot Spots will be chosen — five this year and five next year. 

Collins said applicants must have an incubator program in place, which Clarkson University has. It has vetted about 600 proposals in the last two years, of which 120 are incorporated in one form or another, at present. 

While Clarkson will serve as lead applicant, it will provide links to proposals from across the North Country region.

“We think we have an excellent opportunity,” he said.

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