SUNY IT Announcement
Thank you, RoAnn, (Assembly Member Destito) your generous introduction and thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your kind reception.
May I say what a pleasure it is to be here in the beautiful Mohawk Valley and to be back on the campus of the SUNY Institute of Technology.
First, let me join my colleagues here on the dais and all of you here in the audience in welcoming Dan Pickett and his team from nfrastructure Technologies to the Utica/Rome region and to our UAlbany/SUNY IT "cross-regional nanotechnology partnership."
Dan, having read the story of your company, starting out in the basement of a liquor store, I can only say that not only is nfrastructure Technologies the quintessential American success story, clearly you had powerful spirits always above you.
Thank you, Dan, for being here.
As many of you may remember, in July of 2009 - just over a year ago - we gathered here on the campus of SUNY IT to announce the creation of the SEMATECH Computer Chip Hybrid Integration Partnership - better known as "CHIP."
As part of that partnership, we announced that the Assembly would invest state dollars in order to leverage the private dollars, so that the infrastructure necessary to launch a high-tech business incubator and technology accelerator could be built on this campus.
The fact that nfrastructure Technologies is coming here before we have even begun to build, speaks loudly to the tech industry's recognition that our partnership works.
In fact, long before any Administration jumped on board and claimed the idea as their own, RoAnn Destito and I, and our Assembly Majority colleagues were fostering university/industry partnerships and utilizing our outstanding colleges, universities and community colleges to drive state investments in R&D, in commercialization, and in job training, because we understand that our "human capital" is our greatest asset.
Now, as I recall, there were more than a few doubters following our CHIP announcement last year.
The arrival of Dan Pickett and nfrastructure Technologies should give you an idea of the potential that is here at SUNY IT.
If that's not enough for you, I urge you to visit the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at UAlbany. See for yourselves how we have been able to transform a public university into the largest academic research complex in the world through the university/industry/government model developed by Dr. Alain Kaloyeros.
It is an impressive place to say the least, and I'm sure Alain will arrange a tour and I know he will buy all of you lunch.
From my own experience, I remember cutting the ribbon for the first building, the Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management (CESTM) at UAlbany.
At the time, June 30th of 1997, CESTM was just an odd-shaped, space-age-looking building with green windows, located at a busy intersection with nothing around it but open fields.
Back then, we promised the capital city the same thing that we are promising you, that more is coming:
More jobs, more companies, more investment, more cutting-edge technology, more job training, more opportunities for students to work with the biggest companies as they develop and commercialize the latest nanotech devices, more reason to invest in and to remain in your hometowns.
Now, I know how much he hates the attention, but all of this began with the vision and a pitch from Dr. Alain Kaloyeros and a crucial five-million-dollar investment from the Assembly Majority, so we know that the model works.
Dr. Kaloyeros is the "Johnny Appleseed" of nanotechnology. Wherever he takes his model, nanotech-related companies and nanotech-related jobs spring up.
It is happening in Albany. It will happen here. Let there be no doubt.
It is not just the vision that makes this model so successful. It is the commitment and the leadership that has made such a difference.
While many were celebrating Albany's emergence as a world capital for nanotechnology, RoAnn Destito was shouting, "Hey, what about us? Why can't we build a job-creating, nano-economy in the Utica/Rome area?"
It made sense, to branch out, connect universities, connect regions, utilize our plethora of assets and resources to transform our small nanotechnology corridor into a statewide corridor.
While the concept was brewing, your assemblywoman, RoAnn Destito never stopped asking "when."
She worked aggressively with President Yeigh, Dr. Kaloyeros, with me, and with and her Assembly colleagues, to begin delivering a future for Utica/Rome that some thought unimaginable.
Last year, RoAnn promised that this partnership would bring 475 well-paying contractor and supplier jobs here. I have assurances that we will eventually exceed that jobs number, and the 75 full-time jobs and the 100 part-time jobs nfrastructure Technologies is bringing to Utica/Rome is a step in that direction.
RoAnn, you deserve a great deal of credit for the progress we are seeing her at SUNY IT today. I hope, ladies and gentlemen, that you appreciate her leadership as much as we do in Albany.
Of course, we are also counting on the vision and the leadership of President Wolf Yeigh.
Wolf, given your experience as a tactical intelligence officer in the United States Navy as well as your work at both Princeton and Stanford, we are supremely confident in your ability to succeed in this important challenge.
I know that when the history is written, you will have contributed significantly to rebuilding the economy and lifting the spirits of this great region of our Empire State.
Though I hail from Lower Manhattan, I, too, am delighted to have nfrastructure Technologies - this cutting-edge New York technological company - bringing good jobs into this region and equally important, working in concert with us to train our workforce and to build our IT supplier network.
This way, Utica/Rome will become an even more attractive place for semiconductor research, development and manufacturing, and so that ultimately, we grow a truly prosperous, job-creating, 21st Century economy that reaches from Tech Valley to the Mohawk Valley and hopefully, beyond.
This is an important and a wonderful day for this great region of our state, but I assure you that it is just the next of what will be many big announcements here at SUNY IT that will change the future of Utica/Rome forever.
I am proud to be a part of it. Now, it is my honor to introduce the leader from whose vision all of our nanotechnology success grows, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros.