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Cluster strategy starting to yield results in NYS

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A chip fabricator in Albany is the germ of a regional approach to the economy.

A regional "hub" approach to attracting industry is starting to bear fruit, reports Joseph Spector at Gannett.  Albany's nanotech industry is centered around chip fabricator GlobalFoundies and Buffalo has found a niche in biomedical research:

About a half-hour drive south, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Albany is doing the research in nanotechnology that is driving the industry. Its work fuels the ideas for places like GlobalFoundries, IBM in Dutchess County, Endicott Interconnect Technologies in Broome County and the Infotonics Technology Center in Canandaigua, Ontario County. What the Albany area has created between its private high-tech companies and colleges is the blueprint for what Gov. Andrew Cuomo and economic-development officials envision for the entire state. They say the state's economic revival will be tied to whether regional hubs can be developed to capitalize on an area's workforce, colleges and private businesses. "This is all part of what I like to call internal harvesting," said Michael Manikowski, the economic-development director in Ontario County. "This is really the key to effective economic development in my view. You really need to look at the assets in a region."

Buffalo innovations

"Bright Buffalo Niagara" is the new name of a coalition of organizations dedicated to bringing investment and entrepreneurship to the region, reports Vincent Sherry at the Buffalo News:

Among changes to Bright is an effort to continue expanding its reach beyond Western New York. Bright will now incorporate Southern Ontario in its network and continue its efforts to include Pennsylvania that began last year. The goal is to strengthen the entire region and increase investment opportunities for local entrepreneurs. “The [Pennsylvania] connection has been extremely worthwhile,” said committee member Renata Bator, who describes Bright as being more community-driven than before.

Kodak

Kodak shares are on the rise, reports Mike Dickinson at the Rochester Business Journal, following a ruling in favor of the firm in a dispute with Apple and RIM (the firm that makes Blackberries):

Kodak won the latest round in the patent fray with Apple and Research In Motion Ltd., a victory that could generate more than $1 billion in new licensing revenue for Kodak, Bloomberg News reported Friday evening. The ITC said it will review a judge’s findings from January that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry do not violate Kodak’s patent. The ITC, which can block imports of products that violateU.S. patents, plans to make a final determination by May 23. The administrative law judge had found Kodak’s patents were invalid and had not been infringed.

Beech-Nut

Beech-Nut is moving its baby food production out of Canajoharie, marking the end of its operations there, reports Eric Anderson at the Times Union:

The white multi-story building with its landmark sign next to the Thruway helped put the town on the map, with extensive advertising campaigns that toutedCanajoharie’sphysical beauty and called it “Flavor-Town.” But a damaging flood and an outdated production facility led the company, now owned by privately held Swiss firm Hero Group, to plan its move. State and local officials offered hefty incentives to keep the plant and several hundred jobs in the neighborhood. Now, the search is on for a new use for Beech-Nut’sCanajohariesite.

High speed rail

Republican representatives Ann Marie Buerkle and Tom Reed have written federal officials to ask them to ditch high speed rail plans, reports Robert J. McCarthy at the Buffalo News:

"Constructing a high-speed rail line across Western and upstate New York is not practical," Reed andBuerklewrote. "Fulfilling this requirement would cost tens of billions of dollars. "We simply must make the tough choices necessary to prioritize our limited resources on projects that are essential and have the potential for long-term self-sufficiency," they added. The letter reflects the thinking of the 87 freshman Republicans who arrived at the House of Representatives in January, committed to cutting $61 billion in spending from the federal budget.

Deals (or lack thereof)

Elmira-based Chemung Financial Corp. is buying Fort Orange Financial Corp. for $29.3 million in stock and cash, reports G. Jeffrey Aaron at Gannett.

Verizon is suing a Rochester suburb in an attempt to site a tower there, reports Sruthi Gottipati at the Democrat and Chronicle:

The town "clearly violated federal law by unreasonably and repeatedly delaying and prohibiting Verizon Wireless from providing service where a recognized gap in service exists," the lawsuit reads. The suit also alleges that the town is biased in favor of neighbors who oppose the project. "It's unbelievable," said Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio about the suit. She's waiting for word from the town's attorney on how to proceed. Verizon wants to build a 100-foot tower on property owned by the St. Paul Boulevard Fire District on Cooper Road to increase capacity and coverage for customers.

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