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Politics

The NYSTAR and Empire State Development merger is complete

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For better or worse, two New York economic development agencies have pledged themselves to each other.

Two of the state's economic development agencies have officially tied the knot.

Earlier this year, the state's new economic development chief, Ken Adams, said he would finally push forward with a long-discussed merger of two of the state's big economic development agencies.

And now voila - NYSTAR, which is focused on small, early stage high-tech businesses, has officially been folded into Empire State Development (ESD).  The marriage was effective May 1.

Join us for champagne and Jordan almonds.

Speaking in Syracuse Friday morning, Edward Reinfurt, who's heading the trimmed-down version of NYSTAR at ESD, said the consolidation will reap economic rewards for the state.

"That was done, yes in part for fiscal reasons, but secondly and most essentially," said Reinfurt, " ... because the state believes that innovation was not ancillary to economic development. It's essential to economic development."

"Everyone's creative in the shower"

Reinfurt said New York has been very successful on netting federal and commercial research money, but has more work to do to those ideas out of the university and into the marketplace. 

"Everyone's creative in the shower in the morning," he says.  "It's what you do when you get out of the shower that's important. And that's what we have to do with our ideas. We have to provide and connect more of our people that have this idea, that can be turned into a product that can benefit society and can benefit our economy. And that is the challenge to all of us."

Reinfurt spoke to researchers and businesses at the Central New York Biotechnology Symposium. His counterpart at the helm of ESD was in Buffalo this morning - look for the word from Adams from the Innovation Trail's Daniel Robison later in the day.

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