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From His CHIPS And Science Act To The Inflation Reduction Act, Schumer Has Been Delivering Major Fed $$$ To Transform Upstate Economy With Cutting-Edge Industries And Bring Manufacturing Back From Overseas

Now Senator Secures $15M NSF Award For Cornell To Lead New Northeast Hub To Accelerate Innovation, Entrepreneurship And Economic Development Along With UBuffalo, Syracuse University, Binghamton University, RIT, University Of Rochester, To Take Products Out Of The Lab And Launch New Businesses & Create Good Paying Jobs

Schumer: Cornell Will Lead Northeast Coalition To Make Upstate NY A Center For Innovation

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $15 million to establish a new federal Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Hub for the Interior Northeast Region that will be led by Cornell University and include a consortium of top New York research institutions, including the University at Buffalo, Syracuse University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Binghamton University, and the University of Rochester to expand entrepreneurship, translating more research into new businesses and bolstering new innovative industries in Upstate New York. Schumer said this new hub will be an important component of the rapidly growing tech economy in Western NY, the Southern Tier, Central New York, and the Finger Lakes, helping to bring new opportunities in innovation jobs and transform Upstate New York’s economic landscape. 

“Upstate New York is primed to lead the nation in developing and building the innovation economy, and I am proud to deliver this $15 million federal investment to help bring next generation technology out of the lab, spur startups, and create good-paying jobs. Cornell, working hand-in-hand with Upstate New York’s top research institutions, will strengthen the state’s research and innovation potential from Buffalo and Syracuse to Rochester and Binghamton,” said Senator Schumer. “Federal investment like this is how we breathe new life into Upstate New York and help reestablish the region as a global leader for innovation. In tandem with the historic funding I just led to passage in my CHIPS and Science Bill, and the largest ever investment in fighting climate change through the Inflation Reduction Act,  we can transform Upstate’s economy and I will keep fighting to make sure Upstate workers secure good-paying jobs building our nation’s future.”

“As a prior I-Corps participant, and now Hub Principal Investigator, I am thrilled to see I-Corps grow in reach and breadth in our region. IN I-Corps will play a key role in catalyzing the impact of the world-leading research in our region in solving society’s big challenges," said Lynden Archer, Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering and James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor in Engineering at Cornell University. "The IN I-Corps Hub is designed to help support innovators that are commercializing research outside of the major metro areas that have been where the vast majority of venture capital funding has been deployed. We are tremendously grateful for Sen. Schumer's support of I-Corps and the mission to grow a truly national and inclusive innovation ecosystem.”

Schumer explained that the NSF’s Innovation Corps program is an entrepreneurial training program that helps bring invention and innovations beyond the university laboratory, and establishes hubs to give communities the tools needed to bring products to commercialization, launch new businesses, create good-paying jobs, and foster innovation ecosystems to promote future growth. The Cornell-led Interior Northeast Hub will join eight other federal hubs in the National Innovation Network (NIN), expanding the geographic reach of the network and promoting economic growth and cutting-edge emerging STEM industries, with a specific focus on promoting rural and underserved communities. Schumer said the I-Corps program, started in 2011, has been incredibly successful having spurred over a thousand startups that have cumulatively raised over $760 million in public and private funding, and now this opportunity will be expanded further to regions across Upstate New York.

The Interior Northeast Hub will include areas from Upstate New York to New Hampshire to West Virginia and will support the administration of I-Corps entrepreneurial training programs and research in collaboration with nine partner institutions: the Rochester Institute of Technology, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, Syracuse University, University of Rochester, University of Pittsburgh, Dartmouth College, University of Vermont, and West Virginia University. Schumer said these world-renowned research institutions will pave the way not only in administering these entrepreneurial development and training programs, making sure the technological discoveries made on these campuses are brought to market, reaping benefits for local economies. 

Schumer has long championed the expansion of Upstate New York’s tech economy to accelerate the recovery of the region. Just last week, after over a year of non-stop advocacy, the senator delivered over $63 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan’s EDA Regional Challenge to Binghamton University to make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing and $25 million for the Western New York Advanced Manufacturing Coalition to train workers for in-demand tech jobs and support the growth of manufacturers in the region.

In the past month, Schumer has passed some of the largest federal investments in decades to boost manufacturing and cutting-edge research in America, making today’s announcement all the more timely to position Upstate New York for major new manufacturing and innovation opportunities. Schumer’s CHIPS and Science Act, on top of the historic incentives to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the U.S. from overseas, contains billions to bolster NSF research and initiatives to support entrepreneurs, which can build on today’s I-Corps announcement, as well as boosts investment in STEM education and training programs. In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment in fighting climate change ever, contains billions to strengthen the clean energy-manufacturing sector and create thousands of new jobs in Upstate New York. Thanks to these massive increases in federal investment, and now the training offered through this program, Upstate New York will be able to supercharge the scientific discoveries already being made on campuses to launch more businesses and revitalize the region like never before.

The Interior Northeast Hub will officially launch on January 1, 2023.

A copy of Schumer’s original letter of support to the National Science Foundation appears below:

Dear Director Panchanathan:

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Cornell University to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to form a new Interior Northeast I-Corps Hub. This program will create a regional powerhouse, partnering with like-minded rural and rural-serving research institutions in Upstate New York and neighboring states within the interior Northeast region that stretches from West Virginia to New Hampshire. Collectively, this group sees an opportunity to knit a dispersed group of small innovation zones into a cohesive region wide innovation community.

The Downstate region, in and around the New York City, is a densely populated economic powerhouse that requires its own, highly focused, innovation initiative. I am proud that New York City has been awarded an I-Corps Hub that can continue to facilitate the growth of high-tech startups that are such a boon to the economy of New York City and downstate New York.

Upstate New York has had a markedly different economic history over the past decades than the New York City metro area. One of Upstate’s major strengths is its wealth of innovative research universities, such as Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Binghamton, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester. These institutions are not only academic leaders, but economic anchor institutions. Upstate colleges and universities spent $3,094,558,000 in R&D in 2020, which represents 43% of all R&D spending by institutions of higher education in New York State in that year.

A new innovation support model is sorely needed for nurturing critical and emerging technologies and accelerating their translation from lab to market outside of America’s major metros. This work needs to be done in a way that increases diversity and represents a truly national rising tide of high-tech economic opportunity across all regions, rather than one that is concentrated in a few big cities. I think the proposed Interior Northeast Hub provides a perfect incubator for developing this new model, and am excited to see it form with the support of the National Science Foundation.

I applaud Cornell University for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration.