Building on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s innovative strategy for “smart cities” growth and livable communities, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany announced today that it has been awarded $4 million in funding through the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative to lead revitalization of the landmark Kiernan Plaza, helping to establish the City of Albany as a 21st century hub for groundbreaking research, education, and workforce training for emerging smart cities technologies.
Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, “On behalf of the UAlbany NanoCollege, I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his visionary leadership and critical support for CNSE’s ‘Smart Cities’ initiative in downtown Albany, and applaud his entrepreneurial strategy for promoting economic growth through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. We look forward to spearheading this innovative transformation of the iconic Kiernan Plaza, which will position the City of Albany as a centerpiece for game-changing research and commercialization of smart cities technologies; create exciting educational and career opportunities for individuals throughout our community; and further expand the Governor’s blueprint for publicly led industry-university partnerships to enable innovation-driven high-tech economic growth.”
CHA Chief Executive Officer Ray Rudolph said, “CHA is thrilled to see this exciting and visionary initiative move forward, including the location of our corporate headquarters in downtown Albany through this partnership with the globally recognized College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Not only will this provide an important boost for downtown Albany, it also supports CHA’s continued international growth through the expansion of our core capabilities in clean energy and advanced manufacturing technologies.”
Harris Oberlander, Chief Executive Officer of Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, said, “The importance of this funding, and the significance of Trinity Alliance’s partnership with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, cannot be overstated. This collaboration will provide young people and residents of our inner cities with access to world-class education and training, and prepare them for opportunities in the high-tech industry that have typically been out of reach. Just as importantly, this project will serve as an anchor for the transformation of our community, and we are proud to play a role.”
Mary Bayly Skevington, Chair of Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, said, “We are most grateful for the critical financial support for this wonderful initiative, through which young women will receive top-notch education and training to introduce them to jobs in society’s fastest-growing high-tech industries. Girls Inc. is thrilled to build on our partnership with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, which has already enabled the nation’s first nanotechnology-based Eureka! program, and is providing girls with a firsthand look at careers which in some cases are available to them for the first time.”
The Regional Economic Development Councils were created by Governor Cuomo to transform New York’s operating model for economic development from a top-down approach to a community-based model which empowers individual regions to develop and advance regionally-targeted strategic plans and job-creating projects.
In spearheading the Smart Cities initiative, CNSE will initially partner with CHA, formerly known as Clough Harbour & Associates, which will locate its corporate headquarters and leadership team at Kiernan Plaza as a means of building on its industry-leading engineering capabilities in smart systems, clean energy and manufacturing in partnership with CNSE.
The CNSE-CHA partnership will act as a catalyst to attract partner companies, support the formation of startups, and develop clusters of companies in new energy, manufacturing and smart system technologies with a one-stop, “lab-to-fab” capability for research, development and deployment – in the process, addressing the vital needs of New York’s manufacturing competitiveness and public infrastructure.
The collaboration between CNSE, CHA and additional partner companies will establish Kiernan Plaza as a nexus for the development and commercialization of a variety of innovative “smart cities” technologies, including smart devices, sensors and computer chips, integrated systems, and operating software to collect and analyze data for monitoring highway conditions and improving traffic flow; protecting vital infrastructure, such as bridges, data centers and utility installations; safeguarding facilities, including wastewater treatment plants; and providing e-safety and security in educational settings.
CNSE’s Kiernan Plaza revitalization will also enable research supporting the development and deployment of 21st century governmental services in partnership with a variety of New York State agencies, such as the Departments of Transportation and Health and the Office of General Services.
Additionally, the initiative includes a partnership between CNSE, Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, and Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region to develop and deliver joint nanotechnology education and workforce training programs, many of which will benefit young people from urban environments and communities whose citizens are traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The collaboration is designed to create new opportunities for individuals throughout the community to engage in New York’s emerging nanotechnology-driven smart system industry.
This partnership will include the development, planning and coordination of academic curricula and outreach activities to provide community members served by Trinity and Girls Inc. with nanotechnology educational opportunities in STEM fields; workforce training in high-tech skills; pathways to STEM careers; and a range of venues to further engage in the state’s burgeoning nanotechnology sector.