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Economic Driver

President Rodríguez speaks to the New York State Assembly during a public hearing on Monday.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 14, 2017) – President Havidán Rodríguez touted the successes of the University’s Center of Excellence in Atmospherics and Innovate 518 during a public hearing on Monday.

The hearing was scheduled by the New York State Assembly to examine the effectiveness of state-supported programs in creating employment opportunities and business growth for New Yorkers. Several state leaders in economic development were invited to testify throughout the day, including President Rodríguez.

UAlbany’s atmospheric and environmental sciences programs have a 55-year history of academic excellence and service to New York State. Included in its portfolio is the NYSTAR Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Environmental Prediction and Innovation, home to the largest concentration of atmospheric, climate and environmental researchers in the state.

In just three years, the Center of Excellence in Atmospherics has engaged with more than 50 companies on research and development opportunities and is on track to drive more than $2 million in economic impact.

President Rodríguez and Christopher Thorncroft
President Rodríguez and Chris Thorncroft at the Legislative Office Building.

The Center aspires to be fully-funded at the $1 million level in the near future with $250,000 in seed funding secured by Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy three years ago and each year since.

“Through the Center of Excellence, our research can help companies decrease their losses due to weather and thus increase profit to reinvest into the state’s workforce and economy,” said Rodríguez during the hearing. “We are building some very high-potential relationships in several different sectors. So I am very enthusiastic about our Center of Excellence, and how these partnerships can positively impact our economy and the quality of life in our communities.”

Innovate 518, New York State’s Capital Region innovation hotspot, drives commercialization within eight counties by leading the development of a supportive innovation infrastructure and connecting entrepreneurs to the start-up ecosystem. The hotspot is managed by UAlbany through partnership with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Center for Economic Growth and an affiliated network of close to 24 incubators, accelerators and entrepreneurial service providers. Together they provide best practices, networking and mentoring, as well as educational and financial resources to better assist start-up companies.

Rodríguez was joined on Monday by Christopher Thorncroft, chair of UAlbany’s Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences and co-director of the Center of Excellence in Atmospherics, and Matthew Grattan, UAlbany’s director of community and economic development.

You can learn more about the Innovate 518 program by clicking here.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.