02.09.15

SCHUMER PUSHES FOR $1 MILLION IN FED FUNDS FOR NEW TECH PARK & CLOUD COMPUTING INITIATIVE AT MARIST COLLEGE – WOULD ENABLE COLLEGE TO SUPPORT INNOVATION, HELP GET START-UPS OFF THE GROUND & CREATE LOCAL JOBS

East Campus Science and Tech Park Would Provide Home For High-Tech Entrepreneurs To Develop New Companies & Create Jobs – Approximately 300 Jobs Would Be Created Or Retained In Region With Fed Funding

Cloud Computing Center Would Provide Space For Entrepreneurs To Test Whether Cutting-Edge Concepts Have Real-World Applications – Would Create 40 New Jobs & Help Retain 100

 

Schumer: Marist Plan Would Create Jobs, Jobs, Jobs In Poughkeepsie & Be A Real Shot In The Arm for Hudson Valley Economy

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the federal Economic Development Agency (EDA) to award Marist College $1 million for two major projects that would foster economic growth, help get start-ups off the ground and create local jobs. The federal funds would enable Marist to create a Science and Technology Park on its East Campus and a ‘Proof of Concept’ Center for cloud computing. Schumer is pushing the EDA to award Marist these funds -- $500,000 for each project – through its Regional Innovation Strategies grant program. Schumer explained that federal funding would enable Marist to begin the planning and design phase for the proposed East Campus Science and Technology Park and leverage over $34 million that is already committed to the project. Through the proposed East Campus Science and Research Park, Marist will build on existing regional strengths and its robust technology offerings to retain existing and attract new talent to the region. The Proof of Concept (POC) Center for Cloud Computing and Analytics would be a space for entrepreneurs in cloud computing to test whether a new concept, theory, or enhancement to an existing approach has the potential for real-world application.

“Marist College is reaching for the clouds in an effort to build the economy of tomorrow right here in the Hudson Valley. This federal funding would be a real shot in the arm to Poughkeepsie and the entire Hudson Valley economy. Getting a new science and tech park up and running on the Marist campus – as well as a dedicated center for cloud computing entrepreneurs – will bring innovative entrepreneurs into the region who will use the space as a launching pad to create new businesses and jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Schumer. “These two initiatives are very close to becoming a reality and these federal funds will help planning and construction get underway. I will fight tooth and nail to secure these funds so that local entrepreneurs have the resources they need and deserve to turn the Hudson Valley into even more of a high-tech hub.”

"The EDA grants will allow Marist to create an innovation hub for the region, bringing together university, corporate, start-up, and nonprofit resources to increase economic value and grow jobs across the region,” said Dr. Dennis J. Murray, President of Marist College.

Schumer said Marist and the Hudson Valley are an ideal location for both a science and tech research park and a cloud computing center. Recognized as the fastest growing region in New York State with nearly 12% of the state’s total population, more than 38% of residents have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, exceeding the New York State average of 32.5%. The region is rich with assets including a highly-skilled and diverse workforce of more than 1.1 million individuals, 30 colleges and universities which promote a strong learning environment and cultural opportunities, and more than 75,000 employers, of which more than 100 are recognized as Fortune 500 firms. Marist will build on existing regional strengths to retain existing and attract new talent to the region. Schumer said the need for this project is evidenced most clearly in employment growth data reported by the Department of Labor that shows that in spite of its close proximity to New York City and strong regional assets, the Hudson Valley has not kept pace with the rest of New York State with its two-year job growth at less than 1% compared to the state average of nearly 3%.

 

In 2013, Marist College purchased the 51 Fulton Street building to serve as the anchor building for the area of campus dedicated to business development, commercialization, technology transfer, and med-tech activities. The building will be designed to support the entire commercial lifecycle of new regional businesses from inception, idea generation, startup, and growth to full profitability supporting regional economic health. Marist proposes to develop 15,000 sq. ft. of the 45,000 sq. ft. building as an incubation and innovation center designed to be a research and development facility for technology-based companies to promote community economic development and technology transfer. Marist estimates that approximately 300 permanent new jobs will be created or retained in the region over three years if they are able to secure this grant. The jobs retained and created are long-term, high-paying, sustainable jobs that are projected to be in high demand for at least the next five years.

 

The Proof of Concept Center would foster innovation and entrepreneurship by leveraging the educational and professional expertise and workforce development resources in place at Marist. The Center would be the first of its kind in the Mid-Hudson Valley region and provide a highly virtualized environment for entrepreneurs to develop and test their ideas. The primary objectives of the new Center are to: Attract entrepreneurs, startups, and local residents with early innovations; Provide affordable access to IT technology and services; Partner with regional organizations to support innovation development; Provide training through boot camps, drop-in labs, and classes; Provide assessment and guidance through the appropriate POC TRL levels; Speed the development of new technologies to market.

 

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the Economic Development Administration appears below:

 

Dear Assistant Secretary Jay Williams,

 

I am pleased to write in support of Marist College's application for $1,000,000 through EDA’s FY 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program.  With $500,000 through the i6 Challenge and $500,000 through the Science and Research Park Development Grants program, this funding will allow Marist to foster further economic growth in the Hudson Valley through training and incubation.

 

Founded in 1929 as a liberal arts college, Marist currently educates over 6,300 students.  Located in Poughkeepsie, NY, the college significantly contributes to the local economy and has a major impact on its surrounding communities. 

 

With funding, Marist will build on existing advancements in cloud computing, assisting local entrepreneurs.  The award will allow for the creation of the Proof of Concept Center for Cloud Computing and Analytics.  This center is vital to supporting existing businesses, new startups, and entrepreneurs in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley region.  The Center will offer both workforce training and assistance in technological readiness, and Marist projects that the Proof of Concept Center will create 50 new jobs and allow for the retention of 115 existing jobs.  The Proof of Concept Center will provide much-needed resources to businesses in the Mid-Hudson Valley, helping startups and existing businesses capitalize on technological innovation necessary to succeed in today’s fast-changing economic environment.

 

Along with the Proof of Concept Center, Marist has concurrently applied for funding through the Science and Research Park Development Grant. Marist hopes to begin the first stage in the planning and design process for the proposed East Campus Science and Technology Park as part of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).  This study will generate recommendations about architectural themes, use of space for innovation, shared services and sympathetic physical layout.  It will also outline success factors required to attract appropriate investors, entrepreneurs, businesses, and regionally located corporate partners.  The new Center will train 315 residents, giving them the skills in cloud computing, analytics, computer networking, etc. which are critical to acquire a permanent position in the industry. Training offered by Marist College will be critical for local, high-skilled employment in the coming decade, and I applaud Marist College for its foresight.  I sincerely hope the applications meet with your approval.

 

Thank you for your consideration.  For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Director.

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

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