Five cities that are defining New York State's innovation economy

Empire State Development Blog

Find the latest news on economic development in New York State

We feature stories of innovative businesses that are making New York their home, plus offer updates on economic activity and development from around the state.

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Press Release

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 6:45pm
OPI Innovation is a Key Part of “Finger Lakes Forward” – the Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the 10 companies selected to take part in the second cohort of New York State’s Luminate NY accelerator competition in Rochester. The finalists selected include optics, photonics and imaging start-ups who were selected after pitching their innovative ideas to an advisory panel comprised of industry experts at the Luminate NY Lightning Awards at the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House. Each company will receive an initial investment of $100,000 and will be a part of the initiative’s second cohort, which will launch in January 2019 at the newly renovated Sibley Building in downtown Rochester. The 6-month program will assist the selected companies with their ideas to accelerate their commercialization. The teams will then compete on Demo Day, where they will vie for over $2 million in follow-on funding. Funding for the $10 million program is being provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative award and is being administered by Nextcorps. Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Congratulations to the finalists who are part of Luminate NY’s second cohort and who will continue to drive entrepreneurship in the photonics industry, with ideas that will benefit the Finger Lakes region and all of New York State.” The Luminate NY initiative supports the selected innovators as they grow their ideas in Rochester with help from industry experts, businesses and local universities. The program aims to assist entrepreneurs who are interested in solving challenging industry problems, including, but not limited to: machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles. The 10 selected startups include: Augmentiqs-  Misgav, Israel Circle Optics- New York, NY Kura Tech- San Francisco, CA Lumedica Vision- Durham, NC Mango teQ LTD- Auckland, New Zealand Neurescence- Toronto, Ontario, Canada Opalux- Toronto, Ontario, Canada The Organic Robotics Lab- Syracuse, NY Ovitz- Rochester, NY VPG Medical, Inc.- Rochester, NY The competition received interest from more than 70 applicants from around the world including companies in Sweden, India, Canada, Australia, Russia, Israel, Portugal, China, Netherlands and New Zealand. Sixteen companies from New York State applied, with the remaining coming from U.S. cities including, Boston, San Francisco, Orlando, San Jose, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Fort Collins, Santa Clara, St. Louis, Durham, Columbus, Chicago, Providence, and Philadelphia.  Luminate NY Managing Director Sujatha Ramanujan said, “The OPI market is worth $500 billion today, with analysts projecting significant growth in the coming years. With our resource-rich OPI ecosystem, the Finger Lakes region has the opportunity to become a major contributor to this growth. We’re already seeing the interest in what Luminate NY and our region has to offer, with 30% of our applicants coming from   around the world and 48 percent from U.S. states other than New York.” Luminate NY is building on the U.S. Department of Defense-led American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, which is supported by a $250 million commitment from New York State and is based in Rochester at the state-of-the-art AIM manufacturing facility located in On Semiconductor at Eastman Business Park. The facility will be used to test, assemble and package chips that use photons in place of electrons for increased performance of semiconductor circuits. First announced by Governor Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden in July 2015, AIM Photonics will help secure the Finger Lakes region and nation’s leadership position in emerging technology research, development, and manufacturing.  Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “Congratulations to these innovative teams on their selection to take part in the second cohort of the groundbreaking Luminate NY accelerator program in Rochester. This unique competition will help the region further establish itself as a global leader in the burgeoning light-based products and services industry, helping to move the Finger Lakes forward for years to come.” State Senator Joe Robach said, "Luminate NY is an exciting opportunity and with these 10 finalists selected for the second cohort, companies understand that Rochester is once again on the forefront of the development of innovative technology that has the potential to revolutionize how we live our lives. The results of this program will create opportunities and grow jobs right here in our community." Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “Congratulations to today’s winners of the second Luminate New York Lighting Awards. Today’s winners and their entrepreneurial spirit will create projects that will provide the future of job and economic growth for our state and nation. I know that this award will help build a brighter future for our families.” Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I want to congratulate this round of Luminate NY finalists and wish them luck in this next, exciting phase of their development as Rochester job creators. These companies are already winners in this unique program to support and encourage innovation in optics, photonics and imaging around the world. I remain grateful to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for bringing these 21st century innovators to Rochester through Finger Lakes Forward and helping us achieve our goals of creating more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.” For additional information about the Luminate NY accelerator, click here. Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward  Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here. ​   Contact: Shari Voorhees-Vincent | Shari.Voorhees-Vincent@esd.ny.gov | (585) 399-7055 Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 2:58pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center, located at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, Orange County. The state-of-the-art Welcome Center, one of 11 being built across the state, will serve as a modern gateway to the Hudson Valley and Catskills vacation regions, supporting New York State's commitment to growing regional economies and promoting local tourism, foods and craft beverages across the state. "The Hudson Valley and Catskills regions are home to some of the most sought-after destinations in the state, and this Welcome Center will help highlight those exciting attractions and drive even more tourism to the area," Governor Cuomo said. "This investment will attract new and returning visitors and continue to bolster the region's economy for decades to come." "The Hudson Valley and the Catskills regions attract visitors year-round for its attractions and recreational activities," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new Welcome Center will serve as a gateway to the area, and continue to grow the economy by increasing tourism and offering local food and beverage options. The transformation of welcome centers across the state will open the door to more visitors and showcase the best New York has to offer." Read the full press release here. 
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 1:00pm
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Press Release

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 4:00pm
Amazon Will Create 25,000 to 40,000 New Jobs with an Average Salary of More than $150,000, Invest More Than $3.6 Billion Over 15 Years and Create $27.5 Billion In Tax Revenue Over 25 Years 238 Cities Across North America Competed for Multi-Billion Dollar Project that Provides Over 900% Return on Investment to New York  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that Amazon will establish a new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. The decision followed a comprehensive, year-long selection process during which 238 cities across North America competed for the multibillion-dollar project. In 2019, Amazon will occupy up to 500,000 square feet at One Court Square while working to construct four million square feet of commercial space on Long Island City's waterfront over the next 10 years, with expansion opportunities for up to 8 million square feet over the next 15 years. Through a $3.6 billion total investment, Amazon will draw from the diverse and talented workforce in New York State to fill at least 25,000 new jobs by 2029 and up to 40,000 jobs by 2034 with an average salary of more than $150,000. The construction is expected to create an average of 1300 direct construction jobs annually through 2033. Overall, the project is estimated to create more than 107,000 total direct and indirect jobs, over $14 billion in new tax revenue for the State and a net of $13.5 billion in City tax revenue over the next 25 years. The project provides a 9:1 return on investment. "When I took office, I said we would build a new New York State - one that is fiscally responsible and fosters a business climate that is attractive to growing companies and the industries of tomorrow. We've delivered on those promises and more, and today, with Amazon committing to expand its headquarters in Long Island City, New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in U.S. history," Governor Cuomo said. "With an average salary of $150,000 per year for the tens of thousands of new jobs Amazon is creating in Queens, economic opportunity and investment will flourish for the entire region. Amazon understands that New York has everything the company needs to continue its growth. The State's more than $100 billion infrastructure program - the most ambitious in our history - combined with our education initiatives like K-12 tech education and the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship program, will help ensure long-term success and an unrivaled talent pool for Amazon." Read the full press release here. 
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Public Notice

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 2:00pm
Frontier Phase 3 Southern Tier Unserved Broadband Capital
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Press Release

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 12:19pm
Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Bausch + Lomb, a global eye health company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bausch Health Companies Inc., will grow its contact lens manufacturing business in the City of Rochester, Monroe County-a move that will allow the company to create 100 new jobs in the region. Parent company Bausch Health currently employs more than 1,000 people at its North Goodman site in Rochester. The project will include an expansion of the existing facility as well as the addition of production lines which will support the manufacture of the company's disposable silicone hydrogel daily wear contact lenses, helping to drive the long-term, future growth of the company. The expansion project is expected to get underway later this year and is expected to be completed in 2022. The company is also expanding its operations in Waterford, Ireland. "This expansion will ensure Bausch + Lomb remains a major economic driver for Monroe County and the surrounding communities and continues providing quality jobs for hard-working New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "By supporting the company's own investments in the region, we are once again demonstrating the Empire State's commitment to fostering growth and moving the Finger Lakes forward." To assist with the expansion project, Empire State Development is providing Bausch Health with up to $3 million through the Excelsior Jobs Program. Monroe County, Rochester Gas & Electric, New York State Electric and Gas and Greater Rochester Enterprise offered incentives and help to move this project forward. Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Monday, November 12, 2018 - 10:30am
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that photonics manufacturer IDEX Health & Science, LLC today officially opened its new Optical Center of Excellence in Henrietta. The new center, located at 1180 John Street, will support the company's life science, semi-conductor, and defense businesses. IDEX Health & Science had considered moving its operations out of New York State. As a result of the State’s investment the company retained 186 jobs and committed to creating at least 34 new full-time jobs which the company is close to achieving. Investing in successful companies supports the strategy of the Finger Lakes Forward initiative which is working to revitalize communities by supporting the regional economy. Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "IDEX Health & Science’s expansion once again confirms the Finger Lakes as a growing hub for optics and photonics, adding to the region’s highly skilled workforce and to industry innovation.”   “This new center continues the region’s growth in the optics and photonics industry, and will create new job opportunities in the area,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today’s event. “The expansion of IDEX Health & Science with a new Optical Center in Henrietta will continue to advance the life sciences and semiconductor markets, growing the local economy and moving the Finger Lakes Forward.” As part of the expansion project, IDEX Health & Science installed high-tech machinery,  equipment and clean room space at the new 100,000 square foot site. The global company specializes in optics and fluidics serving the life sciences, semiconductor, and defense markets. Product offerings include: filters, lenses, shutters, laser sources, light engines and integrated optical assemblies as well as connections, valves, pumps, degassers, column hardware, manifolds, microfluidics, consumables, and integrated fluidic assemblies. The new facility will be exclusively focused on the optics and photonics product lines. Joe Rytell, President, IDEX Health & Science said, “We have focused on the growth of highly engineered optofluidic sub-systems and components across our target markets. This focus, coupled with our deep technical expertise, has driven accelerated growth in our optics business. The new investment in facility, equipment, and people will enable IDEX Health & Science to better serve our customers and execute on our exciting long term growth plans.” To encourage IDEX Health & Science to expand its operations in New York State, Empire State Development will provide up to $2.4 million through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is also supporting this expansion project with a 850 kilowatt power allocation from the Governor's ReCharge NY program, which provides qualifying businesses and non-profit organizations with discounted NYPA power in exchange for commitments to retain or create jobs in New York State. “The Governor’s ReCharge NY program has been a great success throughout New York State, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “It’s great news to see IDEX creating jobs and investing in the Finger Lakes region and NYPA is proud to support the firm with a low-cost power allocation.” State Senator Patrick Gallivan said, “IDEX Health & Science has made a commitment to Henrietta, the Finger Lakes Region and New York State, resulting in significant job retention and creation. Their decision to stay and expand in Monroe County is a testament to the success of the burgeoning optics, photonics and imaging industry locally.  This expansion project will provide new opportunities for workers throughout the region and will support continued growth in this high tech field.”  Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “I applaud Joe Rytell and the team at IDEX Health & Science for their commitment to our region. Today’s announcement by the company and Governor Cuomo shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create jobs for the future. Additionally, this is another step in the creation of a cluster of industries based on photonics technology and, I look forward to IDEX Health and Science’s growth and the addition of new jobs at their new Henrietta campus.”   Town Supervisor Steve Schultz said, “Keeping high tech businesses in town, able to feed off the phenomenal resources coming out of our local colleges, especially RIT, is an important goal for building an economy that will drive our Town forward for years to come. And the jobs created not only help those employed at IDEX, and those served by IDEX, but also all of the restaurants, gas stations, and other retail and service companies in the community. We are proud to be home to great companies like IDEX Health and Science.” For more information about IDEX Health & Science click here. Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward  Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.     Contact: Shari Voorhees-Vincent | Shari.Voorhees-Vincent@esd.ny.gov | (585) 399-7055 |Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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Public Notice

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 12:00pm
HNTB Capital Project
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Public Notice

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 10:00am
Windstream NY BB P3 Broadband Capital
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Public Notice

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 1:30pm
Super Dirt Week 2018 at Oswego Speedway Capital Project
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